|Koyukuk Refuge Manager Kenton Moos snapped this photo of a musher on the trail last week...just before his phone froze!|
One of the key requirements for a traditional sled dog race is snow (maybe why Miami is not a musher-haven). This year, a lack of snow forced the Iditarod in Alaska to change its route. That meant that mushers competing in the 2015 Iditarod, which crowned a winner today, spent about a quarter of the race next to or in National Wildlife Refuges.
About 170 miles were in Koyukuk National Wildlife Refuge, which lies at the heart of the Koyukon Region. Mushers traveled through the refuge’s boreal forest, wetlands, lakes, tundra, uplands, and along the Koyukuk River itself. The 2015 Iditarod race trail also traces the northern boundary of two other National Wildlife Refuges: Nowitna and Innoko, home to major part of the Iditarod National Historic Trail.