The race starts downtown on Fourth Avenue. Anchorage is the biggest city in Alaska.
At Eagle River the mushers unharness his or her dog team. They unharness their dogs because there is less snow toward Palmer and the open water of the Knik River. The mushers put the dogs in trucks and take them to the restart at Wasilla.
Wasilla is the home of the "Restart". Also Wasilla is a good place to photograph and interview mushers. Mushers can't leave Wasilla until four hours after they checked into Eagle River.
Knik is the home of Joe Redington, known as "Father of the Iditarod". In Knik there is a mushers hall of fame.
Rabbit Lake is only a tent check point.
This checkpoint is close to where the Skwentna and Yentna rivers meet.
This is snow country. It is not uncommon for them to have about ten feet of snow all over the ground. Finger Lake is also a tent camp like Rabbit Lake. Finger Lake is a checkpoint that has a cabin across from the camp. The cabin was abandoned by Gene and June Leonard when they moved out of the state in 1990.
Rainy Pass is the highest mountain on the trail. Also, Rainy Pass is a very beautiful mountain. In Rainy Pass there is a lodge and it is called "Rainy Pass Lodge". There are cabins that are available for the public, but during the Iditarod they are closed. One cabin is for the mushers to sleep in over night.
9.Rohn Roadhouse (RONE)
This checkpoint has beautiful scenery and most mushers rest here for 24 hours because they have to rest somewhere for this long.
Nikolai is the first native village along the Iditarod trail. In Nikolai there is a village store at the far end of the village. Nikolai is a checkpoint and it is at the Community Hall.
This checkpoint is where the Kuskokwim and the Takotna rivers meet.
Takotna is on the banks of the Takotna River. Takotna has a bar, store and a restaurant. Takotna is one of the smallest towns but it has a very, very big welcome to the mushers.
Ophir is a ghost town.
This is a ghost town that had over 10,000 people at one time. It was once a mining town and between 1908 and 1925 a lot of gold was mined here.
15. Shageluk (SHAG-a-luck)
This is a small town with only 139 people. It is known as the village of the dog people and during the Iditarod it really is.
This is the first checkpoint on the Yukon River. The Yukon is the longest river in Alaska. There are two stores here.
This is the last checkpoint all the mushers will see the until they will reach Kaltag,103 miles farther up on the trail. There is a store in Grayling. The checkpoint is in the old community center.
18. Eagle Island
At the Eagle Island checkpoint each musher finds a lot of wind and still 65 miles to the next checkpoint.
This is the last stop before the mushers turn towards Norton Sound. The wind does not blow as much here. The widow of Edgar Kalland who was one of the original mushers who helped carry life saving diphtheria medicine to Nome lives here.
20. Unalakleet (YOU-na-la-kleet)
This is the largest community the mushers will get to in between Wasilla and Nome. It is located on the coast of Norton Sound. In March a lot of sudden storms can happen.
21. Shaktoolik (Shak-TOO-lick)
At Shaktoolik there are a lot of big snowdrifts. The trail here can be very dangerous because the mushers have to cross Norton Bay.
Once they reach here mushers feel safer at this checkpoint because the rest of the race is on solid land.
23. Elim (EE-lum)
From here the trail heads over the Kwiktalik Mountains toward Golovin Bay
Golovin is a small village with a population of 127 people. From here the trail heads overland towards White Mountain.
25. White Mountain
This checkpoint is just miles from Nome. It is located on the banks of the Fish River.
This is the last checkpoint before getting to Nome. Nome is just 22 miles away.
This town has a population of 3500 and is the end of the Iditarod trail. This city was established as a gold mining town in 1898 when gold was discovered. It was at first called Anvil City after the creek where they first discovered gold. That was called Anvil Creek. The city was renamed Nome in 1899. The race finishes on Front Street in downtown Nome.
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