Happy Trails Kennel Dog Sled Tours

Martin Buser's dog team pulls an ATV on a short loop as a dog sled demonstration

In summer, watch a team of excited dogs pull an ATV driven by a musher along a short loop

Get an insider’s look at the iconic Alaskan sport of dog mushing when you visit Happy Trails Kennel in Big Lake, operated by four-time Iditarod champion (and member of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame) Martin Buser. You can visit year-round; come in winter and you can experience the thrill of dog mushing yourself!

Summer Tour: Visit the kennel

You’ll arrive at the kennel—which has motorcoach- and camper-friendly parking—and start by learning all about these special dogs and watching a video covering the history of the Iditarod and Martin’s 39-plus years of racing. From there, it’s off to the log amphitheater to check out a mockup of one of the Iditarod checkpoints, including a campfire and tent. Here you’ll learn about life on the trail, how racers care for and outfit the dogs, and how the mushers outfit themselves—complete with a demonstration. All of the summer guides are Iditarod veterans, so they know the experience first-hand!

Then the dogs get to show you their stuff. Six of them will be harnessed up to do what they love: running! Watch them pull an ATV driven by a musher along a short loop, giving you a sense of what this sport is really like. After that, you’ll get to cuddle some adorable puppies, which provides socialization that’s an important part of the dogs’ training—and of course is lots of fun!

A team of dogs pulls a sled along a snowy trail in Alaska

Experience the thrill of dog mushing

Winter Tours: Take a ride, or learn to mush!

Winter gives you the unique opportunity to mush like real mushers do! Similar to the summer tour, you’ll start by watching a video and then go out to meet the excited dogs, many of which have raced in the Iditarod and are offspring of Iditarod champions!. Then get bundled up in the spacious visitor center (with gear provided if needed), and it’ll be time to hop on a sled. You’ll set off on actual Iditarod training trails, complete with photo ops of Denali and Mt. Susitna. You’ll have two options:

  • Dog Sled Ride. Ride along as an experienced musher drives the sled. After, there’s plenty of time to snuggle the dogs.
  • Learn to Mush. Learn how to harness your own team and how to mush your own sled! (Ages 16+)

Getting There

19391 West Lakes Blvd, Big Lake, AK 99623
Big Lake, AK 99623
Driving Directions

Prices & Dates

Season Year Round
Rates Summer Kennel Tour // May–September | $55 adult, $25 child (12 & under)
Winter Dog Sled Tour // November - April. $179
Winter Learn to Mush // December - April $299
Rate Notes Military & Senior discounts

Happy Trails Kennel Dog Sled Tours