Tagish Lake Kennel

Official Website of Michelle Phillips & Ed Hopkins of 

Tagish Lake Kennel

Michelle Phillips of Tagish Lake Kennel has run dogs for 17 years. Her race history includes competing in the Yukon Quest 300 (two-time champion), the Percy De Wolfe, the Kobuk 440, the Klondike 300, the Cantwell Classic, the Gin Gin 200 (best finish 1st), the Denali Doubles, and the Copper Basin 300.

Michelle Phillips is a six-time competitor in the Yukon Quest, with a personal best finish of 4th place. Michelle Phillips has earned “Rookie of the Year” in both the Percy De Wolfe and the Copper Basin 300 races. Michelle has also run the Iditarod 5 times and in 2015 it will be her 6th Iditarod.

In 2010 Michelle completed her first Iditarod, placing 27th out of 71 mushers. The next year Michelle finish 17th out of 62 in the Iditarod. In 2012, she again competed, improving her personal best by finishing 16th among 66 teams. Michelle was honored to receive the Herbie Nayokpuk Award, presented to the musher who best exemplifies the sportsmanship and love of dogs that Mr. Nayokpuk demonstrated in his life.

Michelle Phillips took first place in the 2013 Yukon Quest 300, beating Aliy Zirkle by a mere eight seconds in a thrilling race to the finish line. In 2015 Michelle returned to the Yukon Quest 300 and won again, this time by a large margin.

In 2013 Michelle finished the Iditarod in 24th place. The next year, in 2014 she improved to 20th place, a race many considered to be the most grueling Iditarod in history.

Michelle Phillips

Ed Hopkins of Tagish Lake Kennel began mushing in 1986 handling dogs for Harry Sutherland. After a few years of running his own team, Ed handled dogs for Susan Butcher for two seasons and ran her yearlings in the Yukon Quest in 1993 and 1994. Ed Hopkins has run the Yukon Quest six times, earning the prestigious Yukon Quest Sportsmanship Award along the way.

A 12-time competitor in the Percy De Wolfe, Ed Hopkins won in 1999 and 2007. He has also won the Caledonia Classic 200 and the Caledonia Classic 150 for which he holds the track record. He also holds the track record for the 100 mile Silver Sled race. In 2011 Ed Hopkins ran in the Kobuk 440 and placed 2nd in the Yukon Quest 300.

In 2015 Ed returned to the Yukon Quest trail wearing bib #20 and finished in third place.

Ed Hopkins has been awarded the humanitarian award in the Kobuk440, the Percy De Wolfe Sportsmanship Award three times, the Humane Society Award and the Vet’s Choice Award.

Ed Hopkins

Please Help

We here at Tagish Lake Kennel are helping raise awareness and find a cure for Type One diabetes. Our son Keegan was diagnosed with Type One diabetes in October 2013. Please help us raise money to find a cure.

And so much more

For the past 15 years, when not racing professionally, Ed Hopkins and Michelle Phillips, with their son Keegan (and up to 90 Alaskan huskies) provide visitors with sled dog adventures of 30 minutes to 7-days throughout the year. Tagish Lake Kennel also breeds premium sled dogs for racing. For more information about Tagish Lake Kennel's sled dog adventures or purchasing sled dogs contact Ed Hopkins or Michelle Phillips.

Monday Morning Update

Monday morning update: Michelle is 13 miles out of Kaltag where the current temperature is -36F/-38C. Michelle and her team are averaging an impressive 8.5 mph but have dropped a few spots to 17th.

There are […]

Read More


Michelle is Running Iditarod to Help Find a Cure for Juvenile Diabetes

Michelle is running the 2015 Iditarod for a cause: to help raise awareness about Juvenile Type 1 Diabetes and to find a cure. Michelle and Ed’s son Keegan was recently diagnosed with this disease after […]

Read More


Michelle is on the Way to Ruby

Michelle is pulling into a popular camping spot between Tanana and Ruby, which at other times of the year is a Bible camp. It’s 119 miles between checkpoints in this stretch so it’ll be interesting […]

Read More