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Alaska hosting notable sporting events in 2022 and beyond

Interior and Arctic accommodations provide unparalleled northern lights viewing opportunities

Sports and tourism go hand in hand and continue to be a growing sector of travel. While many may not think of Alaska as a sports tourism destination, the state is hosting a number of significant sporting events over the next few years that travelers can plan their vacation around as part of their overall experience in the 49th state.

  • The Iditarod, the premier 1,000-mile sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome, showcases a long-standing tradition and heritage of Alaska’s people and sled dogs, and will be celebrating its 50th anniversary running in March 2022. The golden anniversary of the Iditarod is already stacked with one of the strongest fields in the race’s history, including current and five-time champion Dallas Seavey, four-time champion Martin Buser, four other Iditarod champions including Mitch Seavey, Joar Leifseth Ulsom, Pete Kaiser, Thomas Waerner and more.
  • Juneau, Alaska’s state’s capital, will be the first city in Alaska to host the full distance Ironman triathlon. The race will be held on Aug. 7, 2022, with athletes swimming 2.4 miles in Auke Lake, biking 112 miles on the Glacier Highway, with the final 26.2 miles running through the Mendenhall Valley. The Alaska Ironman logo was created by local Tlingit artist Crystal Worl. The event will also offer qualifying slots to the 2022 Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
  • Held every two years as a circumpolar sport and cultural event for youth athletes, the Arctic Winter Games will be coming to Alaska in 2024 and will be held in the Mat-Su Borough, located just north of Anchorage in Southcentral Alaska. The area’s recent facility developments, such as Skeetawk (a new alpine ski area in Hatcher Pass) and the Government Peak Recreation Area (a Nordic ski area curated by former Olympian Bill Spencer), made it possible for the Mat-Su Borough to successfully bid the 2024 games. The Arctic Winter Games was previously hosted in Alaska in 2014 in Fairbanks.

Interior and Arctic accommodations provide unparalleled northern lights viewing opportunities

While the aurora borealis is in the sky year-round, prime viewing season in Interior and Arctic Alaska is from Aug. 21 to April 21- a time of the year where the skies are dark enough to give locals and travelers a chance of seeing the sky illuminated by reds, greens, purples and blues. This winter, travelers can experience the northern lights from the comfort of a variety of unique accommodations:

  • Arctic Hive is an off-grid wilderness retreat center located 63 miles north of the Arctic Circle in Wiseman. Offering three, four-person cabins, this unique basecamp also has a 20-foot dome building with a glass ceiling perfect for aurora borealis viewing.
  • Aurora Villa, located on the outskirts of Fairbanks, sits on 10 acres of land surrounded by forested hills. This upscale bed and breakfast has rooms with floor-to-ceiling glass windows for private and comfortable aurora viewing right from the individual rooms.
  • Borealis Basecamp, situated on 100 acres of boreal forest just 25 miles north of Fairbanks, welcomes travelers to experience from the comfort of individual dome-shaped igloos with a viewing window directly above each bed.
  • Coldfoot Camp is located in Arctic Alaska at the base of the Brooks Range and Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve on mile 175 of the Dalton Highway. Coldfoot Camp welcomes visitors to experience rustic Alaska lodging paired with world-class guided aurora viewing above the Arctic Circle.
  • Pike’s Waterfront Lodge, located in Fairbanks along the Chena River, recently constructed an aurora conservatory. Consisting of three glass walls and glass ceiling, the conservatory faces north with fantastic winter views and front row seats to see the aurora borealis.

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