Please note that if you wish to physically follow the race, check out information in our Volunteer Section. (Link to Volunteer Page)
The Yukon Quest dog sled trail follows historic Gold Rush and Mail Delivery routes from the turn of the 20th Century.
EAGLE TO CIRCLE CITY (159 miles/256 km)
On the Yukon River, Eagle, population 115, is accessible only by air, snow machine or dog team in the winter. The Yukon Quest is one of the biggest events of the winter for area residents, and they come out in full force to support the race.
The trail follows the flat, sometimes soft, sometimes icy, Yukon River. The route is exposed to wind, and markers may be blown over or hard to spot, especially at night. About half-way, mushers travel past the cabin of Charlie Biederman, a legendary figure in the Yukon Quest, who died in 1995.
CIRCLE CITY TO CENTRAL (74 miles/119 km)
With a population of 73, Circle City, on the Yukon River, is the most northerly point on the race. It was the site of a major gold rush as well as a supply stop for prospectors. The first phone system in Alaska was installed here. It claims to be the largest log cabin city in the state.
At Mile 147 Steese, from Circle City, teams can be seen as they travel under the Birch Creek Bridge. It is 30 miles of narrow winding road between Central and Circle City. Mushers travel over 70 miles of taiga and frozen swamps after leaving the banks of the Yukon River. As you travel towards Arctic Circle Hot Springs, you can view the teams right after they leave Central.
CENTRAL TO TWO RIVERS (115 miles/184 km)
With a population of 113 and at the heart of the Central Mining District, Central is the base for a number of placer mining operations. Teams rest here after the trip over Eagle Summit. Nearby Arctic Circle Hot Springs has been a popular gathering spot for tourists and locals since the late 1800s.
Once the teams leave Central, they aren’t visible from the highway again until Mile 94 on the Steese Highway. Mile 101 is a dog drop. Mushers like to rest their teams here and warm up after the steep climb over the famous 3,650-foot Eagle Summit. Dog teams can be seen at Mile 116 before they start up Eagle summit. They can also been seen at Mile 106 as they come down off the summit, and at the Dog Drop at 101 Mile.
TWO RIVERS TO FAIRBANKS (33 miles/53 km)
With a population of 84,979, Fairbanks is Alaska’s second-largest city and is a start/finish point for the Yukon Quest.
Two Rivers is a new checkpoint held at the Twin Bears campground. Teams will have an 8-hour mandatory layover here. Six miles from the checkpoint teams will cross the Chena Hot Springs road. The trail runs parallel to the road past Two Rivers store and turns left to run down Pleasant Valley road. Teams will cross under the Nordale Road Bridge in North Pole about ½ mile after reaching the Chena---18 miles to downtown Fairbanks.