Mileages Between Checkpoints

Deshka Landing Start to Yentna Station: 47 miles, 4 hour mandatory layover plus start differential

Yentna Station to Finger Lake: 75 miles, mandatory 6 hour layover

Finger Lake to Yentna Station: 75 miles, mandatory 6 hour layover

Yentna Station to Happy Trails Kennel, Big Lake: 47 miles

Trail Map


Start Photos from Husky Productions/Donna Quante

Sarah Stokey

Lisbet Norris

Ray Redington

Karin Hendrickson

Alex Beutow

Frank Haberman

Monica Zappa

Miriam OsredKar

Cindy Abbott

Our appreciation to Donna Quante at Husky Productions for these beautiful photos of the first ten mushers at the start at Deshka Landing. We’ll be uploading more of her terrific photos later.





Start Photos Continued

More great start photos from Julia Redington:

unidentified team, photo by Julia Redington

#6 Elliot Anderson, photo by Julia Redington

#11 James Volek, photo by Julia Redington

unidentified team, photo by Julia Redington

#13 Nicolas Petit, photo by Julia Redington


Mushers started arriving in Yentna around 2 pm, we’ve been unable to get updates on times yet, but we’re working on getting the information to post. Thanks for hanging in there with us, we’ll get times and dog numbers up as soon as we hear from the checkpoint!


Start Photos: Bibs #2, #3, and #4

Musher # 2 Lisbet Norris Photo by Julia Redington

Musher # 3 Ray Redington Jr. Photo by Julia Redington

Musher # 4 Karin Hendrickson (dogs blurred ....) Photo by Julia Redington


Thanks to Julia Redington for these great photos from the start, more of her photos will be uploaded later!

Departure Times, Dogs Out

The Start Leaderboard has been updated with departure times and the number of dogs in each team.

Gear Checklist

Off to a Great Start!

A big thank you to race timer Bob Morgan for his assistance with the start this morning, he reports that it went well and all the teams are on the trail to Finger Lake! Thanks to all the NL300 Volunteers!

Thank you, Deshka Landing!

Thanks go to Justin and Jamie High, managers at Deshka Landing, for sponsoring the start of this year’s Northern Lights 300!

Start Order

1. Sarah Stokey
2. Lisbet Norris
3. Ray Redington
4. Karin Hendrickson
5. Alex Beutow
6. Elliot Anderson
7. Frank Haberman
8. Monica Zappa
9. Miriam Osredkar
10. Cindy Abbott
11. James Volek
12. Charley Bejna
13. Nicolas Petit
14. Stephanie Ehlenfeldt
15. Jason Mackey
16. Phillip Walters
17. Marilyn Storey
18. Vern Halter
19. Travis Beals
20. DeeDee Jonrowe
21. Jimmy Lebling
22. Seth Barnes
23. Christine Roalofs
24. Kelly Maixner
25. Luan Marques
26. Christian Turner
27. Lev Shvarts
28. Angie Taggart
29. Justin Savidis
30. Laura Allaway


Amended Race Trail and Rules for Mushers

Amended Race Trail and Rules for Mushers: Please read in detail and make note of any questions you may have and ask for clarification at the musher meeting.

Due to trail conditions, we have made some changes to the race course.
Race Start is now at Deshka Landing at 10:00am. Please let us know at the musher meeting or before if you have a trailer. You will need to move your truck to Happy Trails Kennels for the finish. Please talk to the race staff if you need someone to move your truck.

From Deshka Landing the trail goes left around the Willow Swamp to the Old Hunter Trail to Big Swamp Trail and out onto the Big Su near Su Station. The trail follows the Big Su to Yentna River to Yentna Station. This leg will be approximately 50 miles.

There will be a mandatory 4 hour layover at Yentna with start time differentials.
From Yentna Station you will follow the Yentna River to Skwentna. Due to severe overflow, the Iditarod Trail to Onestone Lake is not accessible. Thus the race trail will go via Shell Lake to Finger Lake. This leg of the race is approximately 75 miles.
SEE AND BE SEEN! WHILE ON THIS SECTION OF TRAIL BETWEEN SKWENTNA AND FINGER LAKE YOU ARE REQUIRED TO HAVE A HEAD LAMP ON DAY AND NIGHT!! You are also required to have some reflective tape on the back of your sled and/or your gear; the more the better. This is the trail that iron dog racers are training on so safety is our number one concern. So, pack extra batteries and a spare headlamp. There are some very tight sections of trail on this section where head on passes are going to take some serious cooperation should they occur. For safety’s sake, put the race aside and work with each other to make the pass safely.
YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO CAMP OR STRAW DOGS ON ANY PART OF THE TRAIL AFTER YOU CLIMB INTO THE HILLS OFF THE RIVER UNTIL YOU ARE BEYOND THE TIGHT TRAILS AFTER SHELL LAKE. We will discuss this further at the meeting, but camping anywhere near Shell Lake may result in musher being disqualified. Zoe, the lodge owner who is graciously allowing us to run through her private property, has a pet dog. Please beware of the dog and DO NOT stop at the lodge. We will have race volunteers at the lodge who will need to see or hear your bib number. You do not need to sign in, but please respond when the checker asks for your bib number.

There will be a mandatory 6 hour layover at Finger Lake.
Returning the same trail back to Yentna Station for the last mandatory 6 hour layover.

The final leg of the race will go down the Yentna to the Big Su to dismal swamp, Flathorn, Iditarod trail and finishes at Happy Trails Kennels.

There may be changes to this route if conditions change and we will give you trail details at the mushers’ meeting.

Mushers’ Meeting is at Eagle Quest Lodge near Deshka Landing at 7:00pm on Thursday, January 24. If you want to buy dinner, please arrive early. Space is limited at the lodge.

Vet Checks are Wednesday, January 23 from 9 am – 4 pm at Happy Trails Kennels in Big Lake. Please check the race rules to see when you should arrive for your vet check. Vet forms will be available and you are required to bring proof of current vaccinations for canine distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, and rabies.

Food Drop is due Wednesday, January 23. There is a change from the original race rules. Mushers are responsible to deliver your food drop to Willow Air sometime on Wednesday. There will be signs directing you to the drop location. You may send as many drop bags to each checkpoint as you need (Yentna and Finger Lake), however for ease of loading all of the bags into the planes, please keep drop bags less than 40 pounds per bag, make sure they are well marked with the checkpoint and your name, and DO NOT use wire ties. Remember that the race will not be returning any bags so do not send out what you aren’t willing to carry home. If the weather prevents flying on Thursday or Friday, you may be required to carry your food drop. You will be able to access all of your Yentna drop bags outbound and inbound and we will make every effort to park you in your same spot on your return layover.

Straw. We will provide a bale and a half of straw at Yentna and one bale at Finger Lake.

Water. You will be melting snow at Yentna Station. There will be a hole in the lake ice at Finger Lake for water. We will provide 12 cans of Heet at Yentna Station and 6 cans at Finger Lake. You should carry more Heet in case of emergency.

Dropped Dogs. Get your dropped dog contact forms completed and turned in at vet check. There is a $30 fee per dropped dogs so be sure your handler has money to cover how many dogs you may drop. You are required to leave 4 pounds of food per dog. Dropped dogs will be flown back to Happy Trails Kennels and can be picked up there. All dropped dogs require a 16 to 18 inches cable neckline attached to its collar with a snap on one end and a loop on the other. If the dog you wish to drop does not have a cable neckline, you will have to carry it home.


At long last, after all the warm, rainy weather of the past week or so, we’re seeing a steady snowfall accumulating and the weather forecast is for a continuing chance of snow over the next several days. Now is the time to do those snow dances in earnest!

Our trail crews are checking out the upper trails and we should have a report in soon. With a few cancellations we are once again adding mushers to our wait list. If you would like to be on the wait list, call Sue Allen at (907)354-8631 and send an application and check. If you are offered and accept a spot on the race list we will hold your check and if you do not get into the race we will send your check back.

Still Accepting Applications

A note from the NL300 Race Manager, Sue Allen:

Hello mushers. We are working our way through the wait list and are now taking more. If you would like to be on the wait list, call me with your intentions and send an application and check. We will hold your check until and if you are offered and accept a spot on the race list. If you do not get into the race we will send your check back.

Race Update

A message from our Race Manager: Hey NL 300 mushers. We are working on back up plans for a trail if plan A (to Finger Lake via same trail as last year) falls apart. Right now, we could go! Will check out trails after this wonderful predicted rain, wind and warm over the next couple days. If you have questions, please email me at Sue

Prime Rib Dinner & Auction

Musher’s Bios Online

Photo by Eric Vercammen / Northern Light Media

The musher’s biographies for the 2013 Northern Lights 300 are now online, listing their kennel names, links to their websites, interests, previous race experience, and sponsors. The biographies are accessible from the primary listing at the top of the dropdown menu, or as individual mushers below the primary listing of all the 2013 entrants.

Sled for Auction at the Fundraising Dinner on January 5th

The 2013 Northern Lights 300 will start January 25th from Martin Buser’s Happy Trails Kennel in Big Lake. A fundraising dinner will be held on January 5, at 6:00 pm, at American Legion Post 35, just north of Wasilla on the Parks Highway. Fundraising items for auction include a Laughing Husky dogsled, a handmade quilt, and much more. Join us for another fun evening and a wonderful dinner with mushers, volunteers, families and friends!

Fundraising Dinner: Auction Items

Among the items offered for auction at the Northern Lights 300′s fundraising dinner on January 5th will be a beautiful hand-crafted Laughing Husky basket sled donated by Helen Hegener. Complete with a sled bag and a strong, sturdy snowhook, this dog sled joins the growing selection of items offered for auction at the prime rib dinner, including another awesome handmade quilt from Annette Fee at Janac Crafts.

The Prime Rib Fundraising Dinner will be held at the American Legion Post 35, , 5050 Tweed Court, Wasilla, on January 5th at 6:00 pm. For more information about the dinner contact Lisa at 315-0905. To donate items for the auction please contact any Northern Lights 300 volunteer: Lisa 315-0905, Annette 982-2352, Peggy 355-0381, or Kathy 373-8545.

Remember to keep the date open and join us for a memorable dinner and an exciting night of fun and bidding for your favorite items!

2012 Race Photos

Dropped dogs get a scenic flight back to Big Lake with pilot Mike Koskovich (James Fee)

Looking forward to the 2013 running of the Northern Lights 300, meanwhile we have a new page sharing a few photos from the 2012 Northern Lights 300 including the pre-race meeting, the start, out on the trail to Finger Lake and return, and links to even more photos of the race.

If you have photos of the 2012 NL300, or any photos of interest to share, you can email them to – and thank you!

NL300 Fundraising Prime Rib Dinner & Auction

The NL300 will sponsor its second annual Prime Rib Dinner & Auction on Saturday, January 5, 2013 at the American Legion Post 35, 5050 Tweed Court, Wasilla. Come out and enjoy an excellent prime rib dinner, an exciting auction with some terrific items up for bidding, and the delightful evening’s company of our race volunteers, mushers, sponsors, and friends. For more information about the dinner contact Lisa at 315-0905. To donate items for the auction please contact any Northern Lights 300 volunteer: Lisa 315-0905, Annette 982-2352, Peggy 355-0381, or Kathy 373-8545.

Quilt Raffle

The Northern Lights 300 is raffling a beautiful queen-sized quilt donated by Annette Fee of JANAC Crafts in Wasilla. The quilt is entirely hand-made, in dark and muted shades of brown and tan with several different scenes of wolves.

One of several different panels in the quilt

Tickets are $5.00 each or 5 tickets for $20.00, and the drawing will be held at the finisher’s banquet on January 28th. To buy tickets contact one of the following volunteers: Lisa 315-0905, Annette 982-2352, Peggy 355-0381, or Kathy 373-8545.