Iditarod Flight Tours

Puntilla Lake Day Trip
Includes: Transportation from Talkeetna, trail-side viewing
Length: 11am-3pm
Price: $500 per person

Iditarod Air Support

Chase the Race
Includes: Support from Check points 1 to Nome Charter for up to 3 people plus gear
Length: 10 Days
Price: 1 person $12,000
$7,500 per additional passenger

2016 Iditarod Race Following Tours

One of the questions often asked is 'How can I best see the Iditarod?' Iditarod tour flights are one of the best ways to see this great event.

An Iditarod flight is the adventure of a lifetime, and it's the one way to fully appreciate the last great race. Sheldon Air Service can configure an Iditarod tour flight to your custom needs, putting you where you want to be, when you need to be to witness first hand every move in the chess game the Iditarod leaders play as they duel to the finish line in Nome.

Sheldon Air Service offers an exclusive Day Trip from Talkeetna to the historic Puntilla Lake checkpoint with lunch at the Rainy Pass Lodge. This is an excellent way to view the leading mushers on the Iditarod trail. Seats are still available, see the bottom of the page for details.

Sheldon also offers full Iditarod race following tour air support, from the first checkpoints at Puntilla Lake and Rainy Pass all the way to Nome for the hardy adventurer.

Contact Sheldon at 1-907-733-2321 or

In February and March, when the most brutal aspects of the arctic winter begin to subside and before warming temperatures degrade the race course, an epic sporting event that would have been essentially unknown outside the sportspersons and fans who follow the sport would have been largely unknown but for Susan Butcher.

In 1986, Butcher became the second woman to win the Iditarod. She followed in the Iditarod trail of Libby Riddles the first woman to win the race in 1985. Butcher went on to rack up an enviable record in any sport, becoming the second four-time winner in 1990 and the first musher ever to win four out of five sequential runnings of the epic race. She is commemorated by Alaskans on Susan Butcher Day. It is through her accomplishment that the race came to national attention in the early '90's.

This is only fitting, as gender distinctions in Alaska are not what they are in the 'outside', the euphemism Alaskans use to describe the lower 48 states. Women maintain a coequal status in the 49th state, due to the self-selecting nature of those who chose to adopt the state and the direct impact of living amid the profound challenge of living in a vast expanse of raw, largely untamed nature.

The stage is now set for the crown jewel of Alaskan winter sports, the running of the Iditarod from Anchorage to Nome, which will begin with a ceremonial start at the intersection of Fourth Avenue and D street in Anchorage.

The race begins in earnest with the restart in Willow. From there, 78 teams of Iditarod mushers including veterans such as Martin Buser, DeeDee Jonrowe, Jeff King, Lance Mackey, Neff, Mitch Seavey and Aliy Zirkle, among others, face close to 1000 miles of arctic wilderness, two mountain ranges, forbidding weather and intense competition on the way to Nome.

The 2012 Iditarod race course, along the Northern Route, has been modified to circumvent the notorious Happy River Steps. Aliy Zirkle shows us the steps in a 2010 training video.

Iditarod sled dog racing is something that cannot be fully conveyed by televised commentary. To fully appreciate the Iditarod, one must follow the action in the environment, see the vast distances involved and observe the mushers rest and refuel at a checkpoint then continue the long-distance chess game on a game board of grand scale.

Sheldon Air Service offers two unique ways to experience the Iditarod in an unforgettable manner. For those who want the flavor of the racing without the duration, a day trip from Talkeetna to Rainy Pass Lodge checkpoint will provide a breathtaking aerial view of the course and a day full of close observation of the race at the Rainy Pass checkpoint.

Rainy Pass is one of the early obstacles in the complex course. Rainy Pass is part of the Historic Iditarod Trail, but until 1976 the pass was inaccessible and the route detoured through Ptarmigan Pass, also known as Hellsgate, because of the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake. From Skwentna, the route follows the Skwentna River into the southern part of the Alaska Range to Finger Lake. The stretch from Finger Lake to Rainy Pass, on Puntilla Lake, becomes more difficult, as the teams follow the narrow Happy River Gorge, where the trail balances on the side of a heavily forested incline. Rainy Pass is the most dangerous check point in the Iditarod.

For those who want a once-in-a-lifetime look at the Iditarod, Sheldon can provide a complete Iditarod race-following adventure. Iditarod sled dog racing can be strewn across hundreds of miles of arctic wilderness as the race ensues. The only way to fully experience the Iditarod first hand (short of training for a year and running a team) is to utilize that other icon of Alaska transportation, the ski-equipped bush plane.

For those who can afford the ultimate Iditarod race following experience, Sheldon can tailor the expedition to your needs, however there are implications. If your Iditarod race-following team wishes to take advantage of the quality accommodations available at selected locations along the route, a full load of 6 passengers in the DeHavilland Beaver or 4 passengers in the Cessna 185 can be transported along the route.

If your hardy band of Iditarod race-followers want to get the full experience and camp along the way, contact Sheldon with your team requirements and discuss with our experienced staff the amount of gear required to sustain an adventure team enroute. Weight limits will require a trade-off between gear and passengers. A team of 8 might be more realistic for those who want to reach out and touch Alaska.

Either way, your corporate team-bullding or ultimate bucket-list buddy road trip can count on the same thing: bar-none, the most experienced, capable air support for Iditarod race following that any amount of money can buy. Dave Lee, Director of Flight Operations for Sheldon Air Service has 14 years of Iditarod race following flight in his logbook. No one knows the Iditarod course as well as Dave Lee. From Anchorage to Nome, as the race unfolds, Dave Lee and Jok Bondurant will put your adventure team at the right place at the right time ”weather permitting” to witness the last great race on earth in no uncertain terms.

Puntilla Lake Day Trip

The 2016 Puntilla Day trip is scheduled for Monday, March 7th, 2016. By then early race leaders will have arrived at the Iditarod Puntilla Lake checkpoint and the trail will be full of the pack chasing them from Willow.

Passengers will be able to watch Iditarod mushers come into the Puntilla Lake checkpoint, have lunch at Rainy Pass Lodge and return to Talkeetna by 3 p.m.- 4 p.m.

Pack warm weather gear, sunglasses, a snack and bring your camera.

After departure from Talkeetna at 11 a.m. we fly you towards Rainy Pass, through the Alaska Range where you have a great chance to view mushers on the Trail and likely see moose, trapper cabins, expansive rivers, frozen lakes and grandeur of the Alaska Range.

Call our office to reserve your seat as this flight offering is on a space-available basis.

Cost is $500.00 per person.

Iditarod Race Following

This unique air service is for the adventurous traveler who wants to follow the Iditarod mushers all the way to Nome.

Travel Dates: March TBD

This charter affords you the opportunity to personally talk to the Iditarod mushers, personally see and experience nearly 1000 miles of the Iditarod Trail across the Last Frontier and visit various Native Alaskan villages and cultures.

Day 1: Rainy Pass/Puntilla Lake and Rohn checkpoints

Day 2: Nikolai-McGrath-Takotna

Day 3: Ruby-Galena-Nulato (north Trail)

Day 4/5/6: Unalakleet-Koyuk-White Mountain

Day 6/7/8: Nome

Charter rate for up to 3 passengers and gear for this up to 10 day adventure of a lifetime is $12,000.

Contact Sheldon Air Service with details of your 'Bucket List' team and we will craft you a personal Iditarod agenda to experience the Last Great Race to suit your desires.


J. Schultz Rainy Pass Lodge

J. Schultz Iditarod mushers on the Trail

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P.O.Box 648 · Talkeetna, Alaska 99676
Voice: 907-733-2321 · Fax: 907-733-2333
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