Press Release from the Idaho Sled Dog Challenge
Monday, Jan. 9

The Idaho Sled Dog Challenge is returning to the West Central Mountains of Idaho this month during the 2023 McCall Winter Carnival.

Celebrating its fifth year, the Idaho Sled Dog Challenge features world-class mushers. It is the only 300-mile Yukon Quest qualifier in the lower 48 and one of only three such events for the Iditarod in the contiguous continental U.S. The Iditarod and the Yukon Quest are considered the longest and the toughest sled dog races in the world.

The Idaho Sled Dog Challenge is part of the Rocky Mountain Triple Crown, which includes the Eagle Cap Extreme Jan. 18-21 near Joseph, Ore., and the Race to the Sky Feb. 10-14 near Helena, Mont.

Race organizers are bringing back the ceremonial start, which will take place at the McCall Activity Barn Jan. 29 — the day before the 300-mile and 100-mile races start. Valley County Pathways is grooming several miles of trail for the ceremonial start, and race organizers are auctioning off sled dog rides with mushers competing in the races. Organizers encourage spectators to make a day of it and stop by and watch the vet checks at the Ridley’s parking lot in McCall and then head over to the ceremonial start or vice versa.

Organizers are also auctioning off what’s billed as the adventure of a lifetime — a private 2023 Iditarod tour package for two. The bidding starts at $4,500 and ends Feb. 1 at midnight. The winning bidder and one guest will experience the finish of the 2023 Iditarod, dubbed the “Last Great Race on Earth.” They’ll fly out on the race trail, visit checkpoints, take in the vast beauty, and experience Alaskan culture, according to Idaho Sled Dog Challenge founder and organizer Jerry Wortley, who serves as an Iditarod Air Force pilot.

Visit and click on the auction tab for more details about the dog sled rides and Iditarod trip auctions and to bid on them.

The Ceremonial Start is an opportunity for more race fans to experience the excitement of the Idaho Sled Dog Challenge – and a dog sled ride for lucky auction winners

  • Replicates the Official Start 
  • Meet the Mushers
  • Race Judges will speak and answer questions
  • Ceremonial Start  – with auction winner riders

*Limited shuttle service available from the Idaho First Bank Parking Lot!

10:30am • Ceremonial Start Festivities Begin
The McCall Activity Barn
141 Moonridge Dr
McCall, Idaho

11am • High Bidder Dog Sled Rides
The McCall Activity Barn

3:00pm • High Bidder Dog Sled Rides
The McCall Activity Barn

Valley County Pathways will temporary close off the loop trails by the Activity Barn to be used by the mushers on Jan. 29. The main North Valley Rail Trail will remain open for xc skiing, snowshoeing and snow biking.

See more information about the event here: Idaho Sled Dog Challenge

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