Iditarod Trail Headquarters

Anchorage Region

Near Wasilla, the town of Knik boasts a rich sled-dog history, since it's the home of many Alaskan mushers (and checkpoint 4 on the race route). For more information about this uniquely Alaskan race, stop in at Iditarod Trail Headquarters. The log-cabin museum's most unusual exhibit is Togo, the famous sled dog that led his team across trackless Norton Sound to deliver serum to diphtheria-threatened Nome in 1925 – a journey that gave rise to today's Iditarod.

He's been stuffed and is now on display. Outside, you can get a short sled-dog ride (around US$10, from 9am to 5pm) on a wheeled dogsled. The Iditarod, a famous 1100-mile dogsled race to Nome, begins in Anchorage – but only for the sake of appearances. At the end of a short run in Anchorage, the teams wave goodbye to the cameras, pack up their dogs and sleds, and drive to snowier country up north for the 'restart.' Wasilla serves as the second official starting point for the race, though the lack of snow often pushes the restart north to Willow or even further north.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Anchorage Region attractions

1. Dorothy Page Museum

2.03 MILES

A collection of historic buildings right in the center of Wasilla's strip malls. Fridays are free.

2. Eklutna Village Historical Park

7.88 MILES

One of the most interesting anthropological sites in the region, where the uneasy marriage of the Athabascan and Russian Orthodox cultures is enshrined…

3. Friday Fling

12.38 MILES

An open-air market with local produce, art, crafts, food and live music. Held every Friday in summer.

4. Matanuska Valley Agricultural Showcase

12.39 MILES

A garden next to the visitor center that features flowers and the area’s famous oversized vegetables. But you have to be passing through in August if you…

5. Palmer Museum of History & Art

12.4 MILES

The log cabin that used to be just a visitor center is now more museum than brochures, with local art and interesting displays on Palmer’s agricultural…

6. Colony House Museum

12.51 MILES

This friendly museum is run by enthusiastic Colony descendants. Take the time for a guided tour, and you’ll leave with an appreciation of the enormity of…

7. Musk Ox Farm

12.75 MILES

The Musk Ox Farm is home to a domesticated herd of these big, shaggy beasts. These ice-age critters are intelligent enough to have evolved a complex…

8. Pyrah’s Pioneer Peak Farm

13.32 MILES

South of Palmer, Pyrah’s Pioneer Peak Farm is the largest pick-your-own-vegetables place in the Mat-Su Valley, with would-be farmers in the fields from…