Snowmachining in Alaska

Because of the long winters in Alaska, snowmachines (otherwise known as sno-gos, sleds, and snowmobiles) are a very popular means of travel for much of the year. While they have not replaced dog teams entirely, due to their mechanical nature (nobody wants to break down a hundred miles from the cabin), they have a solid niche among recreational users, trappers, and many others.

Snowmachining the Alaska Range in April

 

Snowmachining Events

Alaska has several notable winter events that feature snowmachining. The Iron Dog bills itself as the world's toughest snow machine race. Covering over 2,000 miles during the month of February (usually the coldest month of the Alaska winter), the race originally followed the traditional Iditarod Trail. Subsequently it takes place from Big Lake (in the Susitna valley) to Nome, and may or may not run the Iditarod route.

The biggest annual event for snowmachiners is Arctic Man. Over the years Arctic Man has become a huge festival including races, ski competitions and tons of fun. Participants usually bring a motor home or camper, as there are no accommodations at the location, near mile 195 of the Richardson Highway, between Gakona and Delta Junction.

Other Resources

Alaska Snowmachining Forum

Articles on Snowmachining in Alaska

Tales From Arctic Man by Katie Johnson

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