The Route

The ITI follows the historic Iditarod Trail from its trailhead at Knik Lake near Anchorage to the remote interior village of McGrath, continuing to the Bering Sea before reaching the trail's conclusion in Nome.

After the village of Ophir, the trail diverges into northern and southern routes before rejoining in Kaltag. Generally, in even-numbered years, the northern route is followed, and in odd-numbered years, the southern route is used.

As a result of route changes over the past few years, the ITI will follow the southern route again in 2019, if conditions allow. 

The southern Iditarod Trail route

The southern Iditarod Trail route


Seven checkpoints (including the ITI 150 and ITI 350 finishes) with food and minimal lodging are available to participants.

Checkpoint 1 - Yentna Station (mile 59)

  • Racers pay for meals and lodging, if desired

  • Hot and cold water provided

Checkpoint 2 - Skwentna Roadhouse (mile 90) 

  • Racers pay for meals and lodging, if desired

  • Hot and cold water provided

Checkpoint 3 - Finger Lake (mile 130) 

  • Meals and tent lodging provided

Checkpoint 4 - Rainy Pass (mile 150) 

  • Meals and lodging provided

  • Meals and lodging for sale in Rainy Pass Lodge

  • ITI 150 finish

Checkpoint 5 - Rohn (mile 200) 

  • Meals and tent lodging provided

Checkpoint 6 - Nikolai (mile 300)

  • Meals, lodging and showers provided

Checkpoint 7 - McGrath (mile 350)

  • ITI 350 finish

  • Meals and lodging provided

Supply Drops

Three supply drops are provided for ITI 1000 participants and two supply drops are provided for ITI 350 competitors. Drop bags may only contain consumable items (food, batteries, hand warmers, etc); all survival gear must be carried by competitors from the start. Drop bags are due in Anchorage at Speedway Cycles on Saturday February 16, 2019 at noon.

Drop #1

  • Checkpoint 3 - Finger Lake (mile 130)

  • 5 lb limit

Drop #2

  • Checkpoint 5 - Rohn (mile 200)

  • 5 lb limit

Drop #3

  • Iditarod (mile 473)

  • 10 lb limit

  • Liquid fuel provided

ITI 1000 participants may mail boxes of consumable items to themselves in villages along the route prior to the start of the race.



A bus and cargo vans will transport athletes and their gear to the starting line from the Inlet Tower Hotel & Suites on race day. The vans and bus will begin loading on February 24th at 10:30am and will depart at 11am.

Return Flights

ITI 150: arranged by ITI crew members upon arrival at the finish. The approximate flight cost will be $350 per person.

ITI 350: arranged and paid for by participants with Alaska Air Transit upon arrival in McGrath using ITI discounted rate of $250.

ITI 1000: arranged and paid for by participant with Alaska Airlines upon arrival in Nome.

Anchorage Lodging

Inlet Tower Hotel & Suites
1020 W 12th Ave
Anchorage, AK 99501
(907) 276-0110

We recommend the Inlet Tower Hotel & Suites in Anchorage for lodging before and after the race. The hotel is centrally located near restaurants, REI, 6th Avenue Outfitters and other resources. Athletes and their families qualify for a special rate of $60/night for a standard room or $80/night for King Suite rooms. The following amenities will be offered to ITI guests:

  • Bicycles and gear allowed in guest rooms;

  • 2 breakfast vouchers for the hotel restaurant;

  • Complimentary airport shuttle; and

  • The hotel will store luggage for free during the event.

To reserve a room, contact the hotel at (907) 276-0110 or (800) 544-0786 and tell the representative that you are with the Iditarod Trail Invitational or provide group code IT19. You may also coordinate directly with the guest service manager at