Salmon Berry Tours was founded in 2005 and at that time offered walking tours of Anchorage. This past year it earned Anchorage's Tour Operator of the Year Award. Learn more about our great story!READ MORE
Price Per Person$3981
Duration9 nights, 10 days
DatesFebruary 27 - March 8, 2019
Join us for an exclusive, locally guided, small group Iditarod vacation with a special locally guided program in Denali! From the start of the 2019 Iditarod race to aurora viewing in Denali and drive your own dog sled team in the town of Talkeetna - this 2019 Iditarod package is limited to a maximum 8 guests for an intimate, private look at the 2019 Iditarod, winter adventures in Alaska and Life in Denali as well as unique aurora viewing opportunities!
Wednesday, February 27
Welcome to Alaska! Fly directly into Anchorage to start your adventures - and meet your Salmon Berry Tours guide at the airport, who will bring you into downtown Anchorage for your overnight stay at one of our favorite accommodations. This boutique-style hotel is located right in downtown Anchorage, within walking distance of the Iditarod Starting Line! You will also have an easy walk to many of our favorite shops and eateries, as well as the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail and Fur Rendezvous Winter Festival. When you arrive, please call our office at 1.907.278.3572. Our guide will meet you outside baggage claim #3 in the commercial zones behind the taxi cabs. Overnight Anchorage
Thursday, February 28
The Seward Highway is a National Scenic Highway, and for good reason! Almost immediately after our tour exits Anchorage south, you’ll learn why! Together we’ll drive from downtown Anchorage along the Seward Highway's Turnagain Arm to the aerial tram on Mt. Alyeska. At the top we will enjoy stunning panoramas (weather permitting) of the Alaska wilderness. From this height on a clear day we can view glaciers and the foothills of the Chugach Mountains where they meet the sea at Cook Inlet. The next highlight is the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. This rescue center is home to bears, a musk ox herd, a wood bison herd that was once thought to be extinct, moose, elk, caribou, and more! Lunch is included at a local eatery in Girdwood, where we can experience some local culture. Upon returning into Anchorage we begin the Iditarod festivities with a musher meet & greet, allowing time to get autographs, free Iditarod posters and learn about the families behind the race! The kick off of the 2019 Iditarod is the Musher’s Banquet with highlights that include the silent auction and live auction Iditarod fundraiser and local music. Enjoy a hearty dinner while watching the Iditarod entrants draw for their starting bib number. Today's tours and evening events include transportation by your Salmon Berry Tours local guide. Overnight Anchorage. B, L, D
Friday, March 1
Today is a free day in Anchorage today! If you are an Ididarider - you will have a mandatory meeting with your musher at 2:00pm today. If you are not participating in the 2019 Ididarider program, you will have the option to attend the musher meet & greet programs with Jeff King and Mitch Seavey. Overnight Anchorage. B
Saturday, March 2
The Ceremonial Start of the 2019 Iditarod is underway today with the first mushers starting their Iditarod at 10:00am. There are many places to view the Ceremonial Start and if you get chilly or need to use the restroom, we invite you into our office for hot chocolate and Alaskan hospitality! Overnight Anchorage. B
Sunday, March 3
Today we travel north to the 2019 Iditarod Official Start at Willow Lake! Along our drive, enjoy a 2nd breakfast of scones and hot chocolate before arriving to frozen finish line. We arrive early in order to get a good spot along the starting line chute! A lunch on the lake is included and we won't be leaving the starting line until the last musher leaves for her or his Great Race across Alaska! This evening, we overnight in Talkeetna at the Talkeetna Cabins. A family style dinner and musher presentation at the Talkeetna Roadhouse is included this evening. Enjoy home-style baked chicken dinner with traditional side dishes followed by a slideshow and Iditarod guest speaker. Overnight Talkeetna. B, 2nd B, L, D
Monday, March 4
After family style breakfast at the Talkeetna Roadhouse, take flight to Rainy Pass Lodge to watch the mushers come through! This is a beautiful flight with views of the massive Alaska Range from above. Your pilot guide will share with you areas of interest as you fly over with 2-way communication headsets provided to each guest. Upon arrival into Rainy Pass, land on the frozen lake and enjoy a true Alaskan welcome! The Rainy Pass Lodge is the first remote recreational hunting/fishing lodge in Alaska! Be sure to walk through their museum for a step into the history of the mining/fur trapping days of old. Today Rainy Pass Lodge is a well established Iditarod checkpoint where mushers come through this mandatory checkpoint so the veterinarian staff can look over the dogs. Here the mushers "snack" their dogs and come in and out of the checkpoint, some staying for a longer rest. There is a light lunch served at the remote lodge as well as snacks throughout the day provided by your local guide. This evening is an aurora dinner. Enjoy a private dinner at a local eatery with an aurora presentation by The Star Lady who will explain the science and intrigue behind the aurora borealis! Overnight Talkeetna. B, L, D
Tuesday, March 5
After family style breakfast at the Talkeetna Roadhouse, hit the training trails of 4-time Iditarod Champion, Dallas Seavey Racing. Dallas Seavey holds many titles in the sport of long distance dog mushing. He is a four-time Iditarod first place Champion, top three finisher in Norway’s 2018 Finnmarksløpet, the youngest Yukon Quest first place Champion! Meet the professional Iditarod mushers/handlers of Dallas Seavey Racing and genuine Iditarod champion Alaskan Huskies! Bond with your dog team while you receive a thorough explanation of the musher lifestyle, lingo, and an orientation of how to handle the huskies. With your newfound knowledge and confidence you’ll receive your dog sled equipment and help harnessing your team into the sled. Each two guests will share a dog sled and a small dog team of 4-7 Alaskan Huskies for the 5 mile self drive mini expedition! Take off into the groomed dog sled trails of Talkeetna’s snowy boreal forest! During the total 5 miles, there will be a lead musher guiding and tail musher following for quality, safety, and comfort during your mush - both guiding the dogs and riding in the sled! Now that you are no longer a rookie musher, you will have time to reward your dog team with treats at the kennel and meet Iditarod-in-training puppies! Alaskan Huskies are powerful athletes that are known for their affectionate, loyal, playful personalities -- and the puppies are no different! Make sure to take photos with the future Iditarod champion puppies before they’re famous! After we say goodbye to the teams, we travel north. Enjoy the serene quiet of Denali National Park in the winter. Once in Denali, we will meet our local guides, and enjoy a welcome dinner and presentation on Living in the Subarctic at our overnight accommodations at Tonglen Lake Lodge Overnight Denali. B, L, D
Wednesday, March 6
Today is all about Denali National Park in the winter! Take a walk through the Murie Science & Learning Center, the Denali National Park Visitors Center where we will have a deli style lunch as we talk about various exhibits on display. There is an afternoon guided snowshoe walk at Mount Vista inside Denali Park along the Denali Park Road where if weather permits we can see the Great One, Mount Denali. Warm up with lively tales of the trail and visit a local kennel before dinner this evening at 229 Parks Restaurant & Tavern. An evening presentation on wildlife in Denali follows dinner tonight then this evening if weather conditions look promising, this evening is a New Moon so dark skies make for beautiful star gazing and potential for great aurora viewing! Overnight Denali. B, L, D
Thursday, March 7
Sleep in today! Relax this the morning at your leisure at the lodge. This afternoon, celebrate winter with the locals! In the bustling summer months, the trails and park road are busy with locals and travelers alike but in the winter - keep your eyes open for moose and caribou that will browse the shrubbery along the roadside taking the snowlpacked trails or paths instead of the deep deep snow of the backcountry. Also look for foxes, wolves and coyotes who are busy looking for food sources like spruce grouse, hares, ptarmigan and mice. Today you also get a chance to visit the National Park Service Headquarters to learn about the canine rangers - the only dog team in the US National Park Service! If these canine rangers are not patrolling the park, we have a chance to visit the dogs who travel between the park entrance and Wonder Lake at the end of the Denali Park Road. Go out to look at the snow sculptures created around town, take an easy hike with your guide along area park entrance trails and join a local family for an evening presentation this evening. Overnight Denali. B, L, D
Friday, March 8
Drive south to Anchorage today for your departure flight home. Please schedule your flights for 3pm or later... Farewell from Alaska! We hope you enjoyed your visit with us! B
2019 Tour Package Pricing
$3981 per person based on double occupancy
Want to know more? Check out our guide blog... Hidden Gems: Guide Marisa on Discovering Denali National Park in Winter
Multi-Day Itinerary Cancellation Policy: A 50% deposit is required to start the booking process. Remainder is due 60 days prior to travel. Cancellations must be made in writing (email, fax, or mail). Processing fee of $100 per guest applies for cancellations more than 60 days before travel, or 50% of total if received less than 60 days from travel. No refund applies if cancellation is received less than 30 days prior to travel.
Salmon Berry Tours recommends travel insurance provided by TravelSafe Insurance. Salmon Berry Tours is not affiliated with TravelSafe Insurance, nor do we offer any special discounts with them.
Our recommendation is based on positive guest feedback. In particular, the experience of one Salmon Berry Tours guest is instructive:
Our guest had booked the vacation of a lifetime and the ultimate Alaska package. She had to cancel the trip a week before it began due to unfortunate circumstances. She later told us that with ten minutes of phone time, her claim was processed in full. She was very pleased with TravelSafe Insurance's immediate and empathetic response. Getting a refund for her trip was the last thing she wanted to think about, and TravelSafe Insurance took care of her needs and concerns immediately.