Yukon Quest moves finish line to Takhini Hot Springs

The Yukon Quest has moved both the start and finish lines for this year's race due to poor snow and ice conditions.

Poor ice conditions also move starting line onto downtown Fairbanks street

Musher Sebastian Schnuelle from Paxson, Alaska races en route to the finish line in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 2011. The 2014 race will now leave from a downtown Fairbanks street Saturday with the finish line in Takhini Hot Springs instead of Whitehorse. (The Canadian Press)

The Yukon Quest has moved both the start and finish lines for this year's race due to poor snow and ice conditions.

The finish line will be at Takhini Hot Springs 30 kilometres away from the usual place in downtown Whitehorse. 

Marie Belanger, the Quest's executive director, says Canadian Rangers who build and maintain the trail say there's too much open water on the approaches to Whitehorse.

"These are guys who have been doing this for years with us and they know the trail really well so we trust their opinion on this," she said. "We need to really worry about the safety of the teams and so that's our priority on the trail and this year as you know the weather has been throwing us a few curve balls."

The start line in downtown Fairbanks, Alaska, has also been moved. Officials say the ice on the Chena River is too thin to support the large crowds that show up. 

The race is now starting Saturday on 2nd Avenue.

On Monday, Yukon Quest officials announced the trail would be re-routed along the Yukon River between Eagle, Alaska, and Dawson City due to poor snow conditions on the Taylor Highway, cutting 80 km off the 1,600 km race.