About Trek Over the Top

Trek Over The Top is the most fun you can have with your snow pants on! It’s a poker run from Tok, Alaska to Dawson City, YT. 200 Miles one way, 200 miles back and a weekend party in Canada in between. This is the premier sledding event of the north! Considered Yukon’s premier event Dawson City hosts hundreds of sled enthusiasts each season.

History

In 1993, a small group of snow machiners known as the Alaska Trail Blazers arrived in Dawson City from Tok, Alaska. This group journeyed over the Top of the World Highway in winter, which back then was unheard of. Today, this trip has become the “Yukon’s Premiere Snowmobile Event”: Trek over the Top.

In 1994, the Alaska Trail Blazers were approached by visiting riders and plans were made to try and organize a few events. It turned out that 100 snowmobilers made the trip. A few international rides were organized and with the support of the Klondike Visitors Association, Diamond Tooth Gerties Gambling Hall located in Dawson City, Yukon was opened for ‘trekkers.’

Throughout the following years, the popularity of the run rose tremendously. A second run became necessary and then a third. Each run consisted of about 200 participants and runs were extended so trekkers could enjoy an entire weekend in Dawson.

While the majority of participants are our brothers and sisters from Alaska, the Trek has been enjoyed by numerous participants worldwide. Canadians, Americans from the Lower 48, and even Europeans have made the trip to Tok to participate in this epic event. Up to date, maybe the most famous Trekker of all has been Sarah Palin who, with her husband Todd, made the Trek in 2004.

Trek over the Top has become an annual tourist attraction for Dawson City, YT and receives the support of all the community and its businesses. With the help of the Dawson City Sled Dawgs, the Klondike Visitors Association, and the Alaska Trail Blazers, this event continues to be a success and remains to this day, the most northern international poker run in North America.

What Riders Are Saying

I think John and Jill should each be awarded a Silver Star–Jill for putting up with… John; and John, for putting up with… even one “whiner”. Otherwise… “another great show, guys”!! (Sorry, Woody and Wilcox tag line there…) PS–the ONLY gripe I heard was “they dropped the sled early and I missed it!!” I think… “you” can live with that, yes?? Thanks again for all your personal attention! Keith M. 2019

There are several good reasons why this adventure isn’t called “RIDE” Over the Top.  Consider these definitions of the word “trek”: 1. a trip or movement, especially when involving difficulties or complex organization; or 2. an arduous (difficult and tiring) journey.  Yes, coordinating international travel, food and lodging, sponsors and door prizes, gas deliveries, etc., does require “complex organization” but… about that “arduous” part.

If your decision to join us on the 2020 Trek depends on the promise of a “smooth ride” on a “perfectly groomed trail”, well, this “trek” is probably not for you.  But if “less than favorable” conditions won’t stop you from releasing your adventurous spirit and making new friends on both sides of the border, well… “Welcome!”  And if the trail does turn out to be relatively smooth, just consider that a “bonus!”

So, what do we mean by a 200 mile “groomed trail?”  First of all, don’t expect it to look–or feel–like a “groomed trail” in either the lower 48 or a few places in Alaska.  That’s due to a variety of differences including:

  1. The significant difference between Alaska/Yukon Territory and the lower 48 with respect to the sources and amounts of trail grooming dollars, coupled with significant differences in available personnel and equipment.
  2. The differences between distances up here and the lower 48 that add up to dangerously real emergency hazards if one must somehow travel many miles or kilometers of wilderness to find fuel or other trail grooming supplies, or places like repair shops.  If you’ve never been to “our” part of North America it’s hard to describe how remote it feels to travel between Tok and Dawson City, especially during the winter; if you’ve visited during “warm season” at least you have some idea of this vast wilderness.
  3. Even if we ride to Dawson City on a “pretty smooth” trail, there’s a big difference in trail conditions after “a few” snowmobiles and their collective tracks run over a trail throughout an entire day, and after 150 snowmobiles run over a trail within a matter of hours.  Three days later, that impact is doubled traveling back to Tok.
  4. Last but definitely not least is the difference we have… the least control over, namely, weather and snow conditions.  It’s not simply the difference between winter up here and winter in the lower 48 but the fact that our “weather and snow differences” can change drastically… overnight!  And especially when “overnight” is just a day before or a day after departure from Tok, what was actually a good trail compared to some previous Treks can almost instantly become a challenging assortment of trail conditions: windblown and bare gravel stretches ranging from feet to miles long, especially along the numerous open ridges in the Yukon; glare ice on stretches of hairpin turns next to steep drop-offs; hard packed snow drifts or deep powdered ditches requiring slow speeds and the best of suspensions; and, if significant snowfall or high winds are added to that mix, a rough ride may become a secondary concern!  (Have no fear, however, for… our sweepers are… usually near!) Keith, Seasoned Alaskan Trek Rider, 2019

Attending Trek Over the Top was not only the best experience I had had all year, but it was also the tipping point in proving I was a true Alaskan! Anyone who loves the winter, fantastic scenery and a wild, weekend party needs to take on the Trek at least once! ~Justin Matley, 2009 Trekker

You get a big Gold Star by your name! Thank you for indulging my requests. This will be my eighth Trek and my wife’s second. We/I have always stayed at the Eldorado with every satisfaction save for a couple of minor inconveniences which, thanks to you, have been addressed. The Alaska Trailblazers/Dawson Sleddogs have always managed to pull this off with what seems to be a seamless, smooth event. Having been involved in similar group endeavors, I know that it rarely, if ever, is an easy as it looks. Kudo’s to you and the Trailblazers for all your hard work and of going to the wall to ensure all Trekkies get the best effort. You’re all Aces. Thanks again. Best Regards ~Scott & Carol, 2015