Dog Mushing in Fairbanks, Alaska
Are you tired of snowboarding & skiing? Do you wish you could have new adventures in your life? Or maybe you are a dog lover who would just absolutely love to see dogs having fun in the snow? If so, then you should totally check out Winter Tour Dog Mushing or Sledding. This is a very popular sport that takes place in icy or snowy regions around the world. If you are looking for real adventure beyond snowboarding and skiing, you should take a dog sled across the ice.
Winter tour dog mushing is a really great way of getting to relax and have fun with the very best friend of humans – dogs! But these aren’t your ordinary pound puppies. They are specially bred to thrive in the cold and pull heavy loads at astonishing speeds! These dogs live to run. And when you feel the wind in your hair as you fly through the wilderness behind them, you will know why this unique sport has become so popular.
It goes without saying that a lot of people like you have heard about dog mushing but haven’t had the chance to try it first hand -which brings us to the very question of…
What Does Dog Mushing Feel Like?
It feels amazing! Let me give you a step by step breakdown of what you can expect to experience the minute you get to your winter dog mushing tour location.
First of all, when you arrive, you’ll be greeted with groups of dogs in the kennel who are super excited to see you because they know they are going to give you the thrill of your life with their unique racing skills. Then, you hop on the already waiting sled prepared specially for you. You’ll be so amazed at how fast these creatures run that your jaw will drop to the ground! A lot of people aren’t prepared for just how fast these dogs will fly through the countryside. So make sure you hold on tight! You will definitely be wowed. They are so well coordinated that they all move along swiftly together, perfectly in sync, and will definitely infect you with the joy they have for doing the only thing they love most, running full speed.
Some people get really excited about going dog mushing during the summer, but I assure you, it’s nothing compared to the thrill it gives during winter time.
What You Will Need
Chances are that if you are traveling somewhere to go dog sledding, you’re probably staying a few nights. Just like any other trip, be sure to pack the essentials such as toiletries and plenty of clothes.
All of the places that have winter dog mushing are going to be super cold, so you’re going to want to come completely prepared for some freezing temperatures and snowy wet weather. This means bringing lots of extra changes of clothes with you, and wearing lots of warm, insulated layers.
When you finally go out for your dog sledding adventure, make sure you have your full winter gear on – you’ll really need it! Heavy ice resistant clothing is an absolute necessity to make sure you’re able to have a good time. You definitely won’t want to ruin the dog sledding experience by being uncomfortably cold the entire time. But don’t worry about parkas and boots – these will be provided to you by the staff there. Aside from clothes, you will want to also bring a water bottle, snacks, hand and foot warmers, and even a towel. Once you get back inside after your trip, you will likely be ready for a drink and a snack. The hand and foot warmers are an added bonus to help you get warmed up more quickly. The towel is good for helping you dry off from any ice or snow that was flung your way during the trip.
Where to Sled
By now you’re probably already excited about going winter dog sledding, but you may not have an idea of the best place you can get these awesome rides. Here’s a list of places in the world where you can have the time of your life:
In Alaska, dog mushing is a part of life. It’s been in existence since long before Alaska became a state – and even before explorers first reached its shores. In fact, in the early days, one of the easiest way to get around was by traveling with a dog team. There are many ways in which a visitor can get in touch with the dog mushing culture in Alaska. They have the races, tours, and hands-on experience. There is the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race which starts in downtown Anchorage and has its finishing like at Nome and there’s also the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race, which switches its starting line between Whitehorse and Fairbanks in Yukon. You can decide to be a cheerleader in the races or have a firsthand experience by riding in the sled basket behind the team, or even standing on the runners and mushing your own team. The races can range anywhere from just a couple of hours, to an extended period of a couple of days, depending on the route and the level of experience and competition. The mushers can also take you on a tour, showing you the kennel of the dogs, how they were raised, and the way the teams are being trained. They can also give you some time to spend with the puppies before heading out for a short ride.
During winter, Norway has the cheapest flights, so many international travelers take delight in traveling to this spot for the fun of winter adventures. It is a very beautiful area for cold weather sports that include many snow and ice based competitions – and, of course, dog sledding. While on the sledding trip, you will have the opportunity to see the amazing Northern Lights as they shine over the beautiful Norwegian countryside around Tromso and Oslo. Trails for dog sledding are very easy to find in Norway because so many people there love the outdoors exploring their country.
If you live on the East Coast and are just venturing into the world of dog sledding this may be a good place for you to start. It’s not as intense as Alaska but you’ll definitely have a great time, espcieally as a beginner. Tours are available over weekends in two different locations for dog sledding in New York and they operate throughout most of the winter seasons.
Greenland is a country whose landscape has natural glaciers. They have a very long history with dog sledding there, since it was once one of the primary means of transportation. Dogs were the only thing they had to travel across the country during its harsh winters. Due to this long standing relationship with dogs, Greenland is home to many dog sled races. They have races like the Avannaata Qimussersua in Western Greenland. You can even ride around the icebergs, sledding with Inuit mushers. These indigeneous sledders make dog sledding a smooth ride in Greenland because they give you expert advertise on how to get the best out of your trip.
Annually, there are about 500 inches of mountain trails and snowfalls in Yellowstone. This makes it the absolutely perfect place to sled all day long. There are over 200 species of animals in Yellowstone, which creates the perfect backdrop of beautiful and captivating scenery for you and your dogs to enjoy while sledding. You can learn how to mush by contacting one of the family-owned businesses that will teach you the basics at a specific price rate. The rate usually starts from $75 & upwards. Up to 200 miles of nature trails can be explored by advanced dog sledders. It’s just an absolutely amazing sight to see. You wouldn’t want to miss it for anything in the world.
The Husky Mountains, Sweden
Another great place to sled is the Mountains of the Swedish Lapland. Here, you get to explore the most gorgeous landscapes of the region along the frozen river of Tornetrask in Sweden. You will also have the chance of exploring the incredible lakeside beauty of Abisko and all the mountains leading to the Kebnekaise, which is Sweden’s highest peak. On this tour, you will get to follow the King’s Trail, which is one of the best-known hiking trails in the summer – but turns into a fine sledding track in winter – and then spend the evening in cabins located along the way, Lavvu or Ark. As long as you have your health and fitness in check, you are absolutely good to go on this dogsled tour high into the mountains.
Just in case Greenland and Lapland happen to be a little bit over budget or you just can’t travel so far, we have the Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge based right here in the northern region of the U.S. They have been providing dogsled vacation for almost 30 years and they happen to be the only ones devoted to exclusively operating full time dogsledding in the whole nation. Wintergreen specializes their lodge to lodge trips for beginners and those who have minimal fitness. Camping trips are also available for people who have fair or good health & fitness.
Grafton Notch, Maine
Here, we have the Mahoosuc Guide Service. They offer tour services that range from simple to highly comprehensive. They have trips scheduled for a whole day and during weekends. The day trips take place on Umbagog Lake and close trails while the weekend trails consist also of snowshoeing and skiing. There’s a 4-6 day trip along the Maine Northwoods which has a landscape of remote wilderness areas. The tour package comes with Inuit or Cree guides complimented by local food like bear, beaver, goose, moose or walleye. Many Inuit and Cree families are operating their own businesses through the frequent works of Mahoosuc and the native villages.
As you can see, there are a lot of great places to choose from to go dog sledding. But Alaska still lies at the very top, being the absolute best around.
I know there’s bound to be some concerns about the dogs and how much they have to do, but here’s the thing; they actually never really have to run intense and extreme distances and they aren’t hard-driven to run more than the pace that they are comfortable with. The welfare of the dogs is taken very seriously by the mushers. According to Modern Dog Magazine, retrievers are bred to retrieve, herding dogs to herd, and Huskies to pull. Huskies have a natural and genuine love for running and have a very strong instinct for pulling. All that needs to be done is to mush them and they are ready to go!
Why Choose Winter Tours?
In this article, we have gone over just about everything you need to know about Winter Tour Dog Mushing. But why should it be in the winter time? Why not the summer, spring, or fall?
If you want to plan a trip to Alaska to go dog sledding, winter is their longest time of the year. What does this mean for you? This means that by choosing the winter time, there are more time slots that are available to you. You won’t have to fight so hard to get your schedule to align to a dog mushing tour that is only available so many times in a season. But there is more.
Peak season in Alaska is not the wintertime. In fact, it’s actually the off season. There will be fewer people and crowds during the winter season. So, if you want a more personalized experience and even more time with those adorable husky dogs, then make your dog mushing tour reservations for the winter season.
What are you waiting for? There are so many huskies out there that are looking forward to your winter dog mushing tour!