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Kotzebue, AK 99752

Checkpoints on the Iditarod Trail


Checkpoints on the Iditarod Trail

Katherine Keith

Photo taken by Andy Haviland in White Mountain of Team Baker coming into town when John Baker won in 2011.

During the Iditarod there are 24 checkpoints on even years and 26 on odd years, a "checkpoint" is where a dog musher and team can get precious rest and eat food during the race (a competitive musher sleeps around 2 hours a day while racing in the Iditarod) as well as give attention to dogs where needed whether that be massaging sore muscles or taking care of a cut foot.


Another big part about checkpoints are drop bags and dropped dogs. After you are done using certain supplies such as a bag of dog booties, they can then be dropped and flown to your home after the race has been concluded.  As far as dogs go though, they are dropped when they get worn out, become sick, tear a muscle, or hurt a foot. They are flown to the finish of the race and are put into veterinarians care.

Even for Champions there is time for humor at the Checkpoints!  (Another photo from Andy Haviland in White Mountain)

The Checkpoints In The Iditarod:

Anchorage, Campbell airstrip, Willow, Yenta Station, Skwentna, Finger Lake, Rainy Pass, Rohn, Nikolai, McGrath, Takotna, Ophir and then...


Iditarod, Shageluk, Anvik, Grayling, and Eagle Island


Cripple, Ruby, Galena, Nulato, and Kaltag

Both Years Continues:

Unalakleet, Shaktoolik, Koyuk, Elim, Golovin, White Mountain, Safety, and finally onto Nome.

Unalakleet Checkpoint in 2016