The dogs are pulling on the line as eager as you are to be under way. Pull the brake, yell "Hike" and take off. You're mushing a team of dogs in Alaska!
If that sounds like a fantasy come true then you're candidate for an Alaska dog mushing adventure vacation. For many people in the lower forty eight, nothing symbolizes Alaska like dog mushing. Interest in the Iditarod sled dog race just seems to get bigger every year.
There are plenty of dog mushing tour operators who are more than happy to provide a taste of sledding across the across the arctic behind a team of sled dogs.
Alaska Dog Mushing Tours - Quickie or Extended Adventure
Maybe you aren't ready to go on a winter camping trip with a dog team, and just want a short taste of what dog mushing is all about. There are tour operators in the Anchorage and Wasilla areas who can provide an hour long, mini dog mushing tour. Enough to get a taste without getting cold toes.
Or maybe an all day dog mushing tour in the Denali area would get your blood pumping. Overnight and multi-day dog sled tours are also available. And if that's just not enough adventure, sign up for a 12 day Alaska dog mushing tour of the Brooks range in northern Alaska.
Alaska Dog Sled Tours - Where to Go
Dog mushing adventures are available all over Alaska. There a lot of mushers in the Anchorage and Wassilla area and all up the Parks Highway in communities like Healy, Peters Creek, Trapper Creek and Cantwell.
The region around Fairbanks has a huge dog mushing community so there are lots of opportunities there. To really go for the gusto, then look at places like Bettles for access into the Brooks Range or Nome and Barrow for North Slope dog mushing tours and adventures.
Pricing is going to depend a lot on how remote the location of a dog mushing tour and of course how long it lasts.
A one to two hour long sled ride may cost $75 - $100. An all day trip could range from $300 - $500 per person.
A week long trip in the North Slope region of Alaska could run up to $3000 per person.
That might sound a bit steep but Alaskan dog mushing tours are typically smaller groups. An outfitter will be putting in a lot of extra effort to make your trip enjoyable and comfortable. For example, on a multi-day trip in a wilderness area, one of the guides may go ahead and set up camp in advance of your arrival. Or there may be snow machine support for a dog mushing group.
Accommodations for multi-day trips may range from backcountry cabins to Arctic Oven tents with wood or oil burning stove.
The tour operator will provide a full list of everything needed including clothing suggestions. Many will provide the low temperature sleeping bags that are needed for Alaskan winter dog sled trips.
Summer Dog Mushing?
Don't want to risk a cold nose? Take an sled dog tour in the summer. There are dog mushing tours and rides available on glaciers outside Juneau and other areas.