Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Yukon Quest on GPS or Google Earth

Last year, we provided some Iditarod track files for quite a large number of software applications. This year, for the Quest, I've prepared copies of the most popular file types:

  • a KMZ file for use with Google Earth
  • a GPX file for use with compatible GPS units, such as Garmin's

KMZ file loaded into Google Earth

The files contain the same information: checkpoint (and dog drop etc) locations as well as the race trail for odd years. I condensed this data from a variety of sources and hand-cleaned it, but obviously it will only be approximate, and the trail will vary from year to year. Also, because the trail is made up of points that are about half a mile distant, the total distance is being underestimated (it comes out to 911 miles according to this track). So please take this (ENTIRELY UNOFFICIAL) file with a good pinch of salt! If it is helpful or useful, I'd be glad. 


  1. Hi Melinda, nice to look through your recent writings. I was away from home for last year's quest so there are some new happenings with trackers etc I gather.

    A quick question here - how does the GPX file get uploaded to a garmin unit? when I click on the link i just get the script? I thought I would be able to save as a file then upload that way.

    thanks, Darren (Whitehorse)

  2. Okay, I think it was as simple as saving the webpage?

  3. Hi Darren, this post was written by me, Chris.

    - To download the files, right-click and choose "Save as..." or "Save as file..." (this depends on your browser.
    - To upload to the Garmin unit, I'm not familiar with all software options, but I'm personally using Garmin Basecamp (a free mapping program), which has an option to send a file to the unit.

    What software do you have? We can figure it out.

  4. Regarding saving the files, I just checked and it's actually "Save link as..." in both Chrome and Firefox. The file names should be automatically correct, but if you need to type them, they should be Yukonquest_oddyears.kmz for the Google Earth file and YukonQuest.gpx for the GPX file (for GPS units).

  5. Hi Chris, sorry that I asked such a simple question. I have it figured out. Saved the file and then sent to my friend who then uploaded it to the GPS unit w/o issue. Thanks for providing the file - it will be going out with at least one Q1000 musher.

    And once again. thanks for the insight into race tracking. looking forward to a good race.

  6. Indeed, so do I! Glad it's useful.

  7. Hi again Chris and/or Melinda,

    I know you know a lot about the trackers... and I have a few questions wrt YQ2015

    1. Did you notice how the trace and main trackers at some spots trigger with incorrect order - so the track double backs on itself. I could find an example if you want?

    2. I don't see the "show all points" option on the map layers, just show all tracks?

    3. Nice to see checkpoints on the right hand pane or raceflow.

    4. Any way to add more than the leading 10 teams to raceflow?

    1. 1) yes, but not exactly. The situation there was that they were on the Takhini, which meant that sometimes they *were* traveling a bit backwards with respect to the direction of the track. Once they got off the river it stopped.

      2) The "show all points" feature is only on a button. If you look at the buttons across the top of the map, you'll see a 'T' button and a 'P' button. The 'P' button is show all points

      4) I know! I've been asking for this for years, but unfortunately that hasn't been added yet.