Yukon Leg Of 2021 Quest On The Canadian Side Is Cancelled Due To COVID-19

  Yukon Quest starting line in Fairbanks. (File Photo, Country Journal) The realities of COVID-19 have taken their toll on the Internat...


Yukon Quest starting line in Fairbanks. (File Photo, Country Journal)

The realities of COVID-19 have taken their toll on the International Yukon Quest Sled Dog Race. As a result of the virus, the Canadian leg of the race will not take place this winter.  

It's the 38th year of the 1,600 kilometer classic race, which alternates its yearly starting point between Fairbanks in Alaska and Whitehorse, in the Canadian Yukon.

The race runs cross-country through some little-visited but historic Alaska and Yukon communities. From Fairbanks, the Yukon Quest runs east to the Alaska-Yukon border, passing through Two Rivers, Central, Circle City, Slaven's Roadhouse and Eagle on the American side. The Canadian side of the run – continuing from the border – includes Dawson City, Scroggie Creek, Pelly Crossing, McCabe Creek, Carmacks and Braeburn on the way to Whitehorse.

It's a grueling race due to the extreme cold, the isolation, the long distances – and the high mountain peaks that must be both climbed (and descended) by the mushers and dogs.

Fairbanks is only 440 feet above sea level. But the route isn't. The race demands that the dogs climb huge mountains in the course of the event. From Fairbanks, the race climbs to Rosebud and Eagle Summits, both over 3,600 feet tall, and then drops back down to 597 feet at Circle City, before climbing back up to 3,420 foot American Summit, back down to 1,050 feet, and then up again to the even higher King Solomon Dome, which is over 4,000 feet tall, east of Dawson City.

The Quest is pretty much considered the most challenging of all sled dog races.

As it's an international race, with a border crossing, the Yukon Quest has depended on coordination between the two countries involved – the U.S. and Canada.

But this winter, the race is different. For one thing, Canadians  have a far lower incidence of coronavirus than the U.S. and they want to keep it that way. (Eight Canadians died of the virus on September 10th. Over 1,000 died in the U.S. on that same day.)

Canada has already instituted harsh fines for Americans who dawdle while crossing the country on the Alcan in vehicles.

So it's no wonder that the Yukon has decided not to run their portion of the race. The Yukon Quest's Canadian board has cited concerns for not just the mushers, but race volunteers, viewers – and the people living in the villages along the route.

In the U.S., Alaska's Yukon Quest organizers say they're going ahead anyway. They'll run their leg of the race as a shorter 482-kilometer Yukon Quest 300 Race, which is scheduled to start February 13th in Fairbanks.

Meanwhile, the Copper Basin 300 in the Copper Valley is also still planned for the 2021 spring season, according to the CB300 website. 


News 92728108472429404

Click Here For Front Page

Too Far North

Too Far North

Check Road Conditions Here

Check Road Conditions Here
Click On 511 Site


Read The Bearfoot Guide To Roadside Alaska

Today's Top Journal Stories

Search For Somebody Below

See Every Single Story

The Journal Is Copyrighted Material

The Journal Is Copyrighted Material
All rights reserved. Contact us at 907-320-1145 or write: Linda.ncountry@gci.net