Races

  • Great Alaska Half Century

    The 50-mile course starts at Sheep Mountain Lodge and heads east toward Glennallen.

  • Great Alaska Century

    The 100-mile course starts at Sheep Mountain Lodge and heads east toward Glennallen.

  • Great Alaska Double Century

    The 200-mile course starts at Sheep Mountain Lodge and finishes in Valdez.

  • Fireweed 400

    The 400-mile course starts at Sheep Mountain Lodge and goes to Valdez where it turns around and heads back to Sheep Mountain.

  • Great Alaska 2DAY300K

    The 300 Km (200-mile) course starts Sheep Mountain Lodge, heads east to Glennallen, then turns south and continues to Tonsina Lodge.

Frequently Asked Questions

See below for questions and answers, Alaska, Anchorage, Sheep Mountain Lodge, and Valdez information:

  1. What do I get for my $100 entry fee?
    Race BIB, T-shirt, Aid Stations, Race Movie, Awards Ceremony. Racing with friends. Helping youth athletics in Alaska.
  2. Where are events held?
    Registration at BP Energy Center and the Awards Ceremony at the Beartooth Theatre Pub are in Anchorage. Race Start is at Sheep Mountain, 115 miles NE of Anchorage. Race End for 50, 100, and 400 is at Sheep Mountain (the start). Race End for the 200 is Valdez, Alaska, 200 miles from Sheep Mountain. The 400 race starts on Friday so it can finish on Saturday when crowds are at Sheep Mountain Lodge. The 50, 100, and 200 start on Saturday.
  3. How do I get home from Valdez?
    Arrange a ride with others at registration. Bring your own car. The Alaska ferry may NOT be available this year from Valdez due to budget cuts - check on this yourself. The Fireweed does NOT provide accommodations for races.
    Valdez U Drive will bring you back from Valdez to the start. You plus your bike transported from Valdez to Sheep Mountain for $75. 907-835-4402 for reservations. 5 person minimum / 26 person maximum. E-mail valdezudrive@cvinternet.net; Web valdezudrive.com
  4. Where do people stay overnight?
    See the Accommodations page of the web site. Space at Sheep Mountain is limited. Most Alaskans camp out on the dirt runway. You may camp at Sheep Mountain or in Valdez. There are facilites for RV camping at the start and in Valdez.

    Tonsina Lodge 120 miles toward Valdez from Sheep Mountain: 2DAY300K
    Owner Serge Beck at 907-822-3000 or Cell 907-803-0121 will treat us right! FREE WI-FI and FREE coffee.
     

  5.  
  6. Hotel: $129 Queen/Private bath or $99 for double twin with semi-private bathroom.  RESERVE EARLY. Restaurant: $25 dinner of the menu and receive a FREE shower. $15 breakfast off the menu. American, European and Russian selections. RV sites: $25 for water/electricity/sewer; $19 for electricity/water; $14 for dry site. $5 dump.
  7. What if I cannot make the mandatory registration in Anchorage on Thursday?
    You must make arrangements with Veronica Beagan at  beaganv@ak.net  BEFORE July 9, 2014. You must be approved so we know you are coming to the race and the timers can have your BIB and registration at the Sheep Mountain start.
  8. Is there lots of food in Valdez if I stay overnight?
    Yes. There is lots of food at the finish and any volunteers and supporters are welcome to eat, too.
  9. Is there food at Sheep Mountain?
    There is a full restaurant with home-cooked food from scratch. On Friday from 6 to 8 PM there is a $12 spahgetti dinner for anyone. On Saturday from 4:30 to 9 AM, there is a delicious breakfast for $8. After the race on Saturday afternoon, you can eat at the restaurant or the Fireweed has free food and drink.
  10. If I bike 200 miles to Valdez, how do I get back to the start or to Anchorage?
    You must provide your own ride back. You can usually arrange this at registration or at the starting line. Fellow races are very friendly and will help if at all possible. Also, race officials driving back can help. Finally, consider staying overnight in Valdez and make reservations on the state ferry to Whittier. From Whittier, bike or hitch the last 50 miles back into Anchorage.

    Valdez U Drivewill bring you back from Valdez to the start. You plus your bike transported from Valdez to Sheep Mountain for $75. 907-835-4402 for reservations. 5 person minimum / 26 person maximum. E-mail valdezudrive@cvinternet.net; Web www.valdezudrive.com
  11. How late can I get a refund?
    Starting in  2011 your "entry fee" is a non-refundable donation.

Alaska - General Information
Most people fly into Anchorage from outside Alaska. Registration on Thursday before the races and the Awards Ceremony the Monday after the races are in Anchorage. All races start at Sheep Mountain Lodge, 115 NE of Anchorage, a 2.5 hour drive on good roads from Anchorage. Rental cars tend to be expensive in Alaska in the summer. The 50, 100, and 400 miles races end at the Sheep Mountain Lodge. The 200 miler ends in Valdez on the coast.

REI in Anchorage will accept shipped bikes, assemble them for you if you wish, and tune them. All bike shops in Anchorage have expert bike mechanics.

Weather is usually 40 at night and 60 during the day. Rain showers are common on the Fireweed course.

Occasionally, we have racers contact sking athletes in Anchorage to be their drivers for the 400.

Tours of Alaska are plentiful in the summer and easy to arrange.

Arctic Bicycle Club, http://www.arcticbike.org/abc_home_java.html
Our sponsoring bike club! The Road Racing Division is http://www.abc-cycling.com/

Sheep Mountain Lodge, http://www.sheepmountain.net/
Fireweed400 race start. Lodge can only accommodate 40 people. Make reservations early.

Airport Weather Sheep Mountain, http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/current/PASP.html
Weather at the race start 24 x 7 x 365 from the dirt airstrip 2 miles away.

Majestic Valley Wilderness Lodge, http://www.majesticvalleylodge.com/index.html
One mile up the road from the start. Accommodates 60 people. Make reservations early.

NOVA River Rafters and Glacier Hikes, http://www.novalaska.com/
Raft trip starts 6 miles from Sheep Mountain Lodge. Great for race spectators.

MICA Glacier Guides, http://www.micaguides.com/glacier.html
Glacier tours start 10 miles from Sheep Mountain Lodge.

South-central Alaska web site, http://www.alaska.com/akcom/southcentral/
Location of The Fireweed400 and Anchorage.

Anchorage Daily News, newspaper in Anchorage, http://www.adn.com/
Find out what is happening in Anchorage. Searchable for Alaskan locations.

The Milepost, http://www.themilepost.com/
AAA for Alaskan roads with mile by mile commentary on the entire race route.

 

Anchorage
There are 8 bike shops, a zoo, 5 golf courses, and 300 bike racers in Anchorage.
The Arctic Bicycle Club is a main sponsor of the Fireweed.

Inlet Tower Hotel and Suites 
1200 L Street - Anchorage, Alaska 99501
Toll Free: 800-544-0786
907-276-0110 FAX: 907-258-4914
info@inlettower.com

 

Sheep Mountain Race Start

Sheep Mountain Lodge
Race Start Headquarters - mile 113.5 on the Glenn Highway
$135 for 2 in a cabin.
HC 03 Box 8490
Palmer, Alaska 99645
(Located Mile 113.5 Glenn Hwy.)
1-877-645-5121
info@sheepmountain.com

Majestic Valley Wilderness Lodge
Mile 114.9 on the Glenn Highway (race starts mile 113.5)
$115 to $135 double occupancy
HC03 Box 8514-I
Palmer, AK 99645
Phone: (907) 746-2930
Fax: (907) 746-2931
Email: info@majesticvalleylodge.com

Matanuska Lodge
Luxury Accommodations - NEW in 2007 - 13 miles toward Anchorage from the race start
King beds with Private baths
Overlooks Matanuska Glacier
On 100-mile Lake on the Glenn Highway
34301 West Glenn Highway
Only 4 suites. $400 or $450 a night.
http://www.matanuskalodge.com/
Brenda or Rodney
907-746-0378
nuska1@mac.com

Grand View Lodge Cafe & RV Park
22518 West Glenn Hwy
Milepost 109.5 Glenn Hwy, 4 miles toward Anchorage from the race start
Glacier View, AK 99674
(907) 746- 4480, http://www.grandviewrv.com/facilities-and-rates.htm
19 RV sites. Clean coin operated showers & laundry on premise.
Full 30 (30 Amp electric with water and sewer) $25.50
Full 50 (50 Amp electric with water and sewer) $27.50
Water & 30 Amp electric $23.00
Economy (No Hook Ups) $14.00
Tent Sites $14.00
Price for economy and Tent Sites have access to 24 hr restrooms and $ showers

Tundra Rose Guest Cottages
22518 West Glenn Highway
Milepost 109.5 Glenn Highway, 4 miles toward Anchorage from the race start
Glacier View, Alaska 99674
(907) 745-5865 or (800) 315-5865 in Alaska
http://www.tundrarosebnb.com/tundra-rose-cottages.html#rates
$125 Per Cottage ~ 2 persons
$15 per additional guest
5% Borough Bed Tax added to room rate
10% Active Military Discount
Basic economy units only

Caribou Hotel - located in Glennallen. Far away from the start.
http://www.caribouhotel.com
76 miles from the Fireweed start.
Full service Alaska hotel, B &B, cabins and guide-concierge service for
alaska fishing and alaska hunting beside Wrangell St. Elias National Park.

Glennallen, the junction of the Glenn and Richardson Highways
Voice 907-822-3302, FAX 907-822-3711, info@caribouhotel.com

 

The Race Course Itself

The Fireweed 400 will start on the Glenn Highway at Sheep Mountain Lodge, roughly 100 miles northeast of Anchorage, and run to Valdez and back a total distance of approximately 392 miles. The National Scenic Byway states "The Glenn Highway is a place where geology, culture, and scenery come together to create the majestic and rugged landscape that can only be seen in Alaska." The Glenn Highway was completed in 1944 linking the Alaska-Canada Highway to Anchorage. Before its completion there was no road access to Anchorage from the Lower 48.

In the first 15 miles of the route, racers will find a couple of steep climbs. The first 6 miles has a 1000 foot elevation rise. At approximately 15 miles from the start, riders will reach Eureka Summit (3,322), the highest point of the Glenn Highway. In the next sixty miles to Glennallen, the route descends gradually to an elevation of approximately 1000 feet.

Traveling east to Glennallen, bikers will have views of Mount Sanford (elev. 16,237 feet), Mount Drum (elev. 12,010 feet), Mount Wrangell (elev. 14,163 feet), and Mount Blackburn(elev. 16,390 feet). These Wrangell Mountains, along with St. Elias Mountains contain the most spectacular array of glaciers and ice fields outside the polar regions. The Wrangell Mountains are part of the Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve, the nation's largest national park. Together with the adjacent Kluane National Park of Canada, the park has been designated a World Heritage site by the United Nations. In addition to the Wrangells, the riders will be surrounded for most of the race on the Glenn and Richardson highways by the Talkeetna Range and the Chugach Mountains.

Wildflowers growing along the roadside in July include fireweed, sweet pea, lupine, cinquefoil, Jacob's ladder, and milk-vetch.

Attractions along the Glenn Highway

Gunsight Mountain - The notch of the Gunsight is plain if one looks closely.

Eureka Lodge - This is first lodge built on the Glenn Highway, opening in 1937.

The unincorporated community of Mendeltna - It was originally a stop used by Natives traveling from Lake Tyone to Tazlina Lake. Gold brought prospectors into the area of Mendeltna in the 1800s.

View of Tazlina Glacier to the south.- During the last ice age, this glacier and others spilled out of the Chugach Range and covered the whole Copper River Valley.

Glennallen - Glennallen is the hub of the Copper River Valley. The name Glennallen is derived from the combined last names of Capt. Edwin F. Glenn and Lt. Henry T. Allen, both leaders in the early exploration of the Copper River Valley region.

Mile 75.5 of the race route, just beyond Glennallen, riders will turn right onto the Richardson Highway. The trip from Glennallen down and into Valdez is one of the most beautiful highways in Alaska. With its alpine tundra filled with miniature flowers and fireweed it has long been called the Switzerland of Alaska. Before the riders descend to sea level at Valdez, they will need to climb a series of rolling hills that take them to the top of Thompson Pass, an elevation of 3000 feet. The climb, however, will seem gradual compared to the "Prime Climb" out of Valdez to the top of Thompson Pass on the way back to Sheep Mountain Lodge.

The Richardson Highway connects Fairbanks, the capital of the interior of Alaska, with the seaport of Valdez. At the turn of century, thousands of gold seekers, starting at Valdez, traversed the trails over the glaciers and mountains by wagon and sled into the interior of Alaska. In 1920, the wagon route to Fairbanks was upgraded for vehicular use, and in 1957 this route was paved.

Attractions along the Richardson Highway

Copper Center - Founded in 1896, Copper Center, founded as a governmental agricultural experiment station, was the first white settlement in this area. Gold Miners poured into the area at the turn of the century. A post office was established here in 1901, the same year as the telegraph station.

Trans-Alaska Pipeline - The pipeline parallels the highway in numerous spots.

Edgerton Highway Junction - The Edgerton provides access to the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

Mid-point of the Richardson - The route climbs to tundra meadows dotted with numerous lakes and river crossings.

The Worthington Glacier - This is the closest one can get by road to a glacier in the state.

Thompson Pass - Record snow falls are recorded here - over 200 FEET. It can snow any day of the year.

Keystone Canyon - The route winds along the Lowe River in the canyon. The canyon walls contain countless waterfalls and interesting rock formations, including the 360' Bride Vail Falls and Horsetail Falls.

Valdez - Valdez is located on an estuary of the Valdez Arm in Prince William Sound. Valdez developed due to its excellent ice-free port as the major debarkation point in Alaska for those seeking a route to the Klondike and to the interior of Alaska. Tsunamis generated by Valdez 1964 earthquake destroyed the original city of Valdez, and the community was rebuilt afterwards in a more sheltered area. The Alaska Oil Pipeline ends here, as does the 200 mile Fireweed race.


Valdez

Valdez Convention and Visitors Bureau is helpful to those in our race: http://www.valdezalaska.org/

Rooms in Valdez


Mountain Sky Hotel & Suites
200 yards from the finish

www.mountainskyhotel.com
reservations@mountainskyhotel.com
907.835.4445 / 907.835.2437
$139/night

At the head of the Azure waters of the Prince William Sound, nestled beneath the Chugach Mountains – Mountain Sky Hotel & Suites is the perfect choice for the adventurous traveler and the home-away- from-home vacationer alike. If its comfort you want it is at your fingertips with the largest standard rooms in the area, cardio center, 24hr business center, conference room, breakfast onsite, and easy access to adventure, travel, heli- skiing, fishing, hiking, and the stunning wildlife of the sound…

Jeremy Miner
General Manager
Mountain Sky Hotel
100 Meals Ave
Valdez, AK 99686


Best Western Valdez Harbor Inn
$119 for a room with one Queen bed or a room with two Double beds
907.835.3434/1.888.222.3440
www.valdezharborinn.com

Totem Inn Hotel and Suites
$ 149.00 for Deluxe rooms (single occupancy)
$189.00 for an Alaskan Suite (single occupancy)
907.835.4443/1.888.808.4431
www.toteminn.com


Glacier Sound Inn
Toll-free (1-888) 835-4485 • Phone: 835-4485 • Fax: 835-4744
$90 plus tax - a large discount from the normal $120 rate
www.glaciersoundinn.com


Blessing House
BnB rooms or an apt/mobile
http://www.valdezhousing.com/bhousebb/rack.htm
Diann Hursh, Box 233, Valdez, AK 99686
$70 for one, $90 for 2, $105 for 3
907-835-3135 or 907-831-1000 or 1-888-853-5333

Activities in Valdez

Keystone Canyon Whitewater
$5 off for a Keystone Canyon Whitewater trip.
Groups of more than 10: each get $10 off each. Offer valid through September 1, 2008.

Keystone Canyon Whitewater Raft Trip Description
The Lowe River through Keystone Canyon is one of the most spectacular whitewater raft trips in the state. This Class III stretch has stunning waterfalls cascading from six hundred foot vertical canyon walls. The view from the river is something you don't want to miss. Our trip is four and a half (4 1/2) miles, lasting about an hour on the water. We provide all the gear you need!
Trip Cost: $55/adult - $45 /children ages 7-12

We are located at Mile 16.5 Richardson Hwy. just before Keystone Canyon
on the left if you're headed toward Valdez.
Fireweed participants are welcome to utilize our large pullout.
We'll be cheering for the racers!

Sarah Carter
Keystone Outfitters
PO Box 1486
Valdez, Alaska
800.328.8460
www.alaskawhitewater.com


Fish Central Boat Rental and Fish Processing – 835.5090 www.fishcentral.net

Keystone Rafting - Keystone Canyon Run – 835.2606 www.alaskawhitewater.com

Whitney Museum - 835.1600 www.uaa.alaska.edu/pwscc

Pangaea – Glacier Hikes and Sea Kayaking 835.8442 www.alaskasummer.com

Alaska’s Bistro Dinner in the Bistro 835.5688

Halibut House Fish Baskets 835.2788

Ernesto Taqueria 835.2519 www.headhunters-inn.com

Inside Scoop 835.9000 insidescoop@hotmail.com

Sugar and Spice 835.4336 www.thestoreinalaska.com

Stan Stephens Glacier and Wildlife Cruises 835.4731 www.stanstephenscruises.com

Anadyr Guided kayak tours 835.2814 www.anadyradventures.com

H2O Guides glacier trekking and ice climbing guided tours 835.8418 www.h2oguides.com

Mike’s Palace 835.2365

Harbor Landing General Store 835.2331

Maudy’s Cottage 835.5390 kwells@gci.net

A Rogues Garden vitamin supplements, power bars, protein drinks, herbal supplements 835.5880 rogues@alaska.net

Prospector 835.3858 www.prospectoroutfitters.com

Sandra’s Gold 835.3820 www.sandrasgold.com

Hotels, B&B's, dining, camping, air lines, and additional summer activities such as sea kayaking, river rafting and flight seeing can all be found here.

For those finishing in Valdez consider returning to Anchorage via the State Ferry system. It is very scenic!