The volunteer trail breakers in Alaska and the Canadian Rangers in Yukon have been working hard breaking trail to ensure the safety of the mushers and teams.
The trail report is as follows:
Mile 101 to Central
The approach to Eagle has good snow with the top seeing less. Crooked Creek is mostly dry which is different from many other years of overflow. Good snow around Central.
Central to Circle
Some brush between the Hot Springs and Central. Medicine Lake to Birch Creek looks better than previous years with hard packed snow. Some open water on Birch Creek.
Circle to Eagle
Ice fog on the river. Some deep snow and rough ice crossings with windblown areas along the river. Trail stays along the river to Eagle this year instead of the Ford Lake Portage way.
Eagle to Dawson
Icy areas outside of Eagle. Large snowdrifts on top of American Summit. Forty Mile River in good condition with no overflow. Yukon River from Forty Mile to Dawson is good. The Yukon River in front of Dawson is open and trail will go from Moose Hide to town.
Dawson to Pelly Crossing
Dog yard will be moved to the Bonanza Road this year due to the open water in Dawson. Departing the dog yard, the trail will run the usual route up Bonanza and Upper Bonanza Roads to King Solomon Dome. Trail is in good shape.
Pelly Crossing to Carmacks
Snow conditions are low to McCabe Creek. Ice conditions are considered fairly normal for the Yukon River.
Carmacks to Braeburn
Overland trails are passable, but could use more snow. The section from Mandana to Braeburn is in the best shape ever.
Braeburn to Whitehorse
For the safety of the dogs and mushers rather than taking the Trans Canada Trail from Braeburn to Whitehorse the dog teams will retrace the trail back from Braeburn to Coghlan Lake, for 17 miles. They will then take the trail south to Lake Laberge, travel the Lake to the Yukon River, follow the River to the mouth of Takhini River, and then take the overland route to Whitehorse. The trail will be approximately 15 miles shorter. The trail re-route from Coghlan Lake to Lake Laberge and across the Lake were part of the original Yukon Quest Trail.
Both groups continue their efforts. Mushers will receive updated reports at the pre-race meeting and again in Dawson City.