The thrill experienced on a dogsledding ride is almost indescribable. This exciting experience uniquely encompasses the joy of bonding with your team of furry and fast sled dogs, together with learning how to guide them and your sled with the help of a professional musher. Dogsledding packs in the thrills for participants of all ages. Whether seated in a sled or standing on the sled’s runners, you’ll race across snowy trails in Alaska’s outdoors pulled by a team of dogs that were born to run. This is an authentic Alaska adventure, being an important part of the state’s Alaska Native cultural past and continues to be an entertaining part of its present.
For Alaska visitors, dogsledding is also practically a mandatory must-do excursion. Many who hope to try out dogsledding are surprised that they can take these journeys year-round – yes, even in the summer. While dogsledding in the winter is the image most conjure up when daydreaming about hitting the trail, dogsledding in the summer elevates the experience to another level, as rides can take place on glaciers and in off-season sled dog training areas.
All of that said, simply visiting a sled dog kennel is a treat in its own right. Many dog sledding experiences include a tour of famous mushers’ dog yards. This is where the puppies live and grow up and where their owners train dog teams as well as prep their sleds and gear. Visitors quickly learn what the Alaskan musher lifestyle is like: a lot of work, not a lot of glory. But these are passionate, and sometimes peculiar, people who love working with their dogs as much as their dogs love to pull their sleds and run.
Summer Dogsledding Fun in Alaska
Since most Alaska travelers prefer visiting during the summer, mushers make sure that they can offer an exciting dogsledding experience even under the Midnight Sun. Whether on a sled with wheels or taking helicopter rides up to icy glaciers for more traditional sled rides, summer dogsledding excursions are well worth the time and dollars.
There are a range of helicopter and small planes trips that deliver passengers to dogsled teams waiting in snowy places even in the summer. These dogsledding trips, most of which begin out of Anchorage, are among the summer’s most popular ventures – there’s truly nothing quite like it. Helicopter pilots guide you on a scenic ride to a snow-covered mountain pass or glacier, where you meet your sled dog team and friendly musher-guides stand ready to take visitors on the ride of their lives. You’ll cruise across the snowy landscapes while basking in the warm summer sun. What a way to redefine the definition of summer! There are also dogsledding day tours of out Seward, Girdwood and from the beautiful base of Alaska Glacier Lodge, outside of Palmer which also offers transfers from Anchorage.
Of course, you don’t have to fly across the sky to meet and ride with sled dogs in the summer. A number of famous Alaska mushers offer summer kennel tours and dog time, including trips on wheeled carts pulled by their teams as part of the teams’ summer training. Iditarod champion Mitch Seavey, one of a family of Iditarod regulars and contenders, hosts on of the most popular tours out of his Seward kennel.
Winter Dogsledding Tours in Alaska
Come winter, the options for dogsledding expand as many of the most popular tours take place in and near Alaska’s top two tourism areas: Anchorage and Fairbanks. In the winter, mushing enthusiasts can get transferred to a nearby dog kennel and experience the real thing – sledding on snow!
Out of Anchorage, doggie day trips include a drive north to Talkeetna to visit an Iditarod champion sled dog kennel. Visitors become part of the team, harnessing the dogs before setting out on a 10-kilometer (6-mile) self-drive mini expedition. Guests traveling in teams of two each share a traditional sled and a small dog team of 4-7 Alaskan huskies. Experienced mushers guide and support their visitors, providing safety, comfort, and photo opportunities with each dog team. Your visit is packed with other special moments on the trail and around the kennel, and includes a delicious meal in tranquil Talkeetna.
Our Fairbanks winter dog sledding trip promises a day of fun. Before hitting the trails, sled dog kennel owners and their handlers introduce visitors to their livestyles in the Interior region of Alaska and give them a tour of their kennel, and an introduction to their dogs. They also provide a quick course on commanding a team and traversing the trails before taking off on your dogsledding fun. There is also plenty of time to snuggle up to and take pictures with the dogs after your ride.
And not to be forgotten, for true dogsledding enthusiasts, there’s the Iditarod race in early March.
If your dogsledding is a “must do” on your Alaska trip, don’t worry about the season or location: there’s a “doggone” good time waiting for you and Alaska Tours can help you partner up the pups and hit the trails. So “mush on”!