Four-time Yukon Quest champion Lance Mackey has scratched from the sled dog race.

Race officials accepted his resignation soon after the Alaskan musher got into Dawson City Thursday morning.

Mackey said his small team and the well-being of the dogs was the reason for pulling out. He was down to seven dogs when he got into Dawson.

Mackey had dropped five dogs as far back as Pelly Crossing, and seemed to know then his team wasn't going to make it.

"We dropped pretty much my whole team it seemed like, and it doesn't seem to be getting any better at the moment," he said at Pelly Crossing.

"I'm going to leave one here, and in all honesty I might not even leave here, that's how it's looking at the moment."

The lead Yukon Quest musher Hugh Neff, is about 40 kilometres outside Eagle, Alaska. It's the next checkpoint after Dawson City.

Shortly behind Neff is Allen Moore.

Trail conditions between Dawson City and the next checkpoint in Eagle are reported to be the worst in Quest history.