Iron Dog racers begin the race in downtown Anchorage.
Matt Waliszek | Orzel Photography

Iron Dog Snowmachine Race

Billed as the world's longest snowmobile race, Iron Dog revs up for a start in downtown Anchorage. Iron Dog starts along Fourth Avenue and revs up for a 2,000 mile course stretching to Nome and Fairbanks. It's a whole weekend of high-octane excitement.

The world’s longest snowmobile race has gotten a little longer. The Iron Dog now begins in downtown Anchorage with a weekend of expos, demos and festivities capped by the start of the pro class race.

Iron Dog pits teams of two racers each against a 2,000 mile course stretching between Anchorage, Nome and Fairbanks. The first race was in 1984 and since then the Iron Dog has grown into one of winter’s big events. The Anchorage start was first added in 2015, and the race returns to town in 2018.

A special week filled with demonstrations, the race banquet and plenty of high octane fun culminates on Saturday, February 17. The morning starts with a vintage snowmobile parade and a kids’ event called Iron Pup. The start of the Pro Class race along Fourth Avenue begins at 11:30 a.m. with more than 30 Pro Class teams revving up and racing off the start line just after noon.

The course through Anchorage on the start day takes racers down Fourth Avenue, left onto E Street and down across Ship Creek. It then runs across JBER, the nearby military installation and concludes near the town of Birchwood. The race restart is set on Big Lake north of Anchorage on Sunday, February 18.

The downtown start is just one way to get in on the fun. Snowmobile tours welcome experts and first-time riders alike, and explore area glaciers, secluded valleys and gorgeous vantage points in the nearby wilderness. Iron Dog revs up a season of big winter events, and Anchorage's oldest celebration, Fur Rondy, is the weekend following the race start.