The 85 mile trail ahead to Unalakleet and the Bering Sea Coast is a historical trading portage from the Bering Sea Coast to the INterior. Not only does it communicate between the cultures of the Yukon and the Coast, it also transfers its travelers to completely different weather systems and ecological zones. The black spruce dominated forests of the Interior contrast with the brush tundra of the coast hammered by storm after storm originating in the Bering Sea. On a practical level, the first 30 miles leave Kaltag and go uphill to summitt on a barrier coastal range and then descends for 55 miles to Unalakleet and the sea.
This run is a traditional test in the Iditarod. Often difficult and uncomfortable because of winds, the winning team must travel strongly on this trail.