Idaho sled dog challenge returns Jan. 21-Feb. 3

January 12, 2023

The Idaho Sled Dog Challenge is returning to the West Central Mountains in Idaho this month during the 2023 McCall Winter Carnival, according to a release by the event’s organizers.

This Iditarod and Yukon Quest qualifier event is considered one of the grueling mushing competitions in the world, according to co-founder and trail coordinator Dave Looney.

"Mushers will tell you this is a very, very atypical race," Looney said in the release. "Our elevation change is 36,000 feet, which is greater than the Iditarod. They call it a 500-mile race packed into 300 miles. So the dog care and the pacing and the attention they have to pay to the terrain is really important, because there's a lot of up and down. One musher said the Idaho Sled Dog Challenge is like climbing Mt. Everest–twice."

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

Currently eight mushers are registered for the 300-mile race, 11 are signed up for the 100-mile race and eight are competing in the Warm Lake stage race.

The event operates under a special-use permit from the U.S. Forest Service, which allows for 25 mushers and dog teams between the 300-mile and 100-mile races. The permit allows for an additional 15 mushers to compete in the Warm Lake stage race.

To learn more about the race, visit