The Iditarod Trail Race Checkpoints (Even Years)

The Iditarod Trail Race Checkpoints (Even Years)

Team Ineka

The Iditarod is run every March starting in Anchorage and finishing in Nome, Alaska about 9-11 days later. The race alternates from a Northern Route (even numbered years) and a Southern Route (odd numbered years). This article describes the checkpoints on the 2010 race map.

  1. Anchorage: Population 260,283. The race began March 4, 2010 at 10 am on 4th Avenue.
  2. Willow Lake- Mile 69 Parks Highway: Population 1,838. The official race clock starts.
  3. Yenta Station: Population 8. A roadhouse-checkpoint in the Susitna Valley.
  4. Skwentna: Population 111. Located near the confluence of the Yetna and the Skwentna rivers.
  5. Finger Lake: Population 2. Kristen and Carl Dixon run this checkpoint on the eastern fringe of the the Alaska Range.
  6. Rainy Pass: Population 2. Rainy Pass Lodge on Puntilla Lake is at 1,800 feet elevation. Pass elevation is 3,1600 feet.
  7. Rohn Roadhouse: Population 0. This checkpoint is near the remains of one of the old roadhouses serving the historic Iditarod Trail mail carriers.
  8. Nikolai: Population 104. Ann Athabascan village located 40 air mils east of McGrath.
  9. McGrath: Population 423. At the confluence of the Kuskokwim and Takotna rivers, McGrath has a small, full service airport, stores and a and is the hub of the Iditarod School District. The first musher into this checkpoint gets the Spirit of Alaska Award from PenAir.
  10. Takotna: Population 50. This Athabascan village is one the favorite checkpoints and where many of the mushers take their 24-hour layover.
  11. Ophir: Population 0. A ghost town named for a nearby creek that supported placer mining. The name is a reference to the biblical Ophir thought to be the source of King Solomon’s gold.
  12. Cripple: Population 0. Same checkpoint as used by the Iron Dog snowmachine race, located at the Poorman Airstrip, close to the former gold rush boomtown of Poorman.
  13. Ruby: Population 190. Ruby developed as a supply point for gold prospectors. It was named after the red-colored stones found on the riverbank which were thought by prospectors to be rubies.
  14. Galena: Population 713. Originally a supply and trans-shipment point for lead-ore mines. Today Galena serves as the transportation and government and commercial center for the western Interior of Alaska.
  15. Nulato: Population 345. A center for missionary activity in the late 1800’s.
  16. Kaltag: Population 230. The home of Edgar Kalland, an orginal serum runner. The Iditarod Trail leaves the Yukon River here to wind up Old Woman Pass to the Bering Sea.
  17. Unalakleet: Population 747. Unalakleet has long been a major trade center as the terminus for the Kaltag Portage, an important winter travel route connection to the Yukon River. The first musher into Unalakleet gets $2,500 in gold from Wells Fargo Bank.
  18. Shaktoolik: Population 230. Just north of this wind-whipped Eskimo village, the trail leave land for the ice of the Northern Sound.
  19. Koyuk: Population 297. Koyuk marks the end of the long, treacherous sea ice travel across the Norton Sound.
  20. Elim: Population 318. The trail turns inland slightly near this Eskimo village to cross the low Kwiktalik.
  21. Golovin: Population 144. Back on the coast at Golovin, an Eskimo village, mushers face a short ice run over Golovin Bay. The rest of the race is over land.
  22. White Mountain: Population 203. An eight-hour layover is mandatory here to all the dogs to rest for the last push to Nome.
  23. Safety: Population 0. From here, the trail follows the shores of Norton Sound to Nome.
  24. Nome: Population 3,505. The race ends here under the burled arch on Font Street. Originally called Anvil City, after a nearby gold rich creek, it was once home to 30,000 miners.
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