Sled dogs race down a forest trail in summer.

In summer, mingle with the dogs at the kennel then go for a cart ride on a wooded trail.

Go​ ​behind​ ​the​ ​scenes​ ​with​ ​Iditarod​ ​mushers​ ​and​ ​get​ ​your​ ​own​ ​thrilling​ ​ride​ ​with​ ​the dogs,​ ​thanks​ ​to​ ​this​ ​kennel​ ​and​ ​dog​ ​sledding​ ​tour​ ​out​ ​of​ ​Seward.​ ​​ ​​Owners​ ​Travis Beals​ ​and​ ​Sarah​ ​Stokey​ ​​offer​ ​an​ ​independent,​ ​hands-on​ ​type​ ​of​ ​tour,​ ​with​ ​smaller groups—often​ ​no​ ​more​ ​than​ ​six​ ​people.

Indeed,​ ​dog​ ​mushing​ ​is​ ​pretty​ ​intimate—the​ ​musher​ ​interacts​ ​with​ ​the​ ​dogs​ ​in intricate,​ ​ever-changing​ ​ways—so​ ​the​ ​kennel​ ​tour​ ​showcases​ ​the​ ​high-level​ ​of training​ ​that​ ​goes​ ​into​ ​cultivating​ ​a​ ​team.​ ​You’ll​ ​see​ ​the​ ​dogs​ ​listen​ ​to​ ​the​ ​commands and​ ​navigate​ ​the​ ​camp’s​ ​series​ ​of​ ​interconnected​ ​trails.

All​ ​you​ ​need​ ​to​ ​bring​ ​are​ ​your​ ​camera,​ ​sunglasses​ ​(especially​ ​if​ ​you​ ​go​ ​on​ ​the glacier)​ ​and​ ​flat,​ ​closed-toe​ ​shoes,​ ​which​ ​are​ ​easier​ ​to​ ​pair​ ​with​ ​over-boots​ ​than hiking​ ​boots.​ ​Tours​ ​run​ ​year-round​ ​but​ ​vary​ ​by​ ​season.

Summer Tours from Seward

Summer Dog Demonstration & Cart Ride

Lasting​ ​a​ ​little​ ​more​ ​than​ ​an​ ​hour,​ ​this​ ​is​ ​a​ ​fun,​ ​fast,​ ​and​ ​zippy​ ​tour​ ​with​ ​lots​ ​of turns—proof​ ​that​ ​the​ ​dogs​ ​are​ ​always​ ​making​ ​decisions.​ ​​ ​You’ll​ ​start​ ​with​ ​some hands-on​ ​time​ ​in​ ​the​ ​kennel,​ ​seeing​ ​how​ ​the​ ​dogs​ ​get​ ​trained​ ​and​ ​learn​ ​their commands.​ ​You’ll​ ​meet​ ​and​ ​pet​ ​the​ ​dogs,​ ​then​ ​go​ ​for​ ​a​ ​ride,​ ​seeing​ ​up​ ​close​ ​that connection​ ​between​ ​musher​ ​and​ ​dog.​ ​The​ ​groups​ ​can​ ​be​ ​as​ ​big​ ​as​ ​15,​ ​but​ ​tend​ ​to​ ​be about​ ​six​ ​people.​ ​(Finding​ ​yourself​ ​getting​ ​attached?​ ​Ask​ ​about​ ​their​ ​adoption program​ ​for​ ​retired​ ​sled​ ​dogs).

Helicopter Glacier Dog Sledding

Lasting​ ​about​ ​90​ ​minutes,​ ​this​ ​tour​ ​includes​ ​time​ ​at​ ​the​ ​kennel’s​ ​remote​ ​camp​ ​on Godwin​ ​Glacier,​ ​at​ ​3,700​ ​feet​ ​elevation.​ ​You’ll​ ​start​ ​in​ ​Seward,​ ​getting​ ​outfitted​ ​with any​ ​gear​ ​you​ ​might​ ​need​ ​(rain​ ​jackets,​ ​rain​ ​pants,​ ​boots​ ​over​ ​shoes,​ ​parkas)​ ​then board​ ​the​ ​Seward​ ​Helicopter​ ​Tours​ ​helicopter​ ​(also​ ​owned​ ​by​ ​Travis​ ​and​ ​Sarah)​ ​for the​ ​12-minute​ ​flight​ ​from​ ​the​ ​Seward​ ​airport​ ​to​ ​the​ ​camp.​ ​On​ ​the​ ​way,​ ​you’ll​ ​fly​ ​over Resurrection​ ​Bay,​ ​over​ ​a​ ​beautiful​ ​braided​ ​river,​ ​and​ ​up​ ​towards​ ​Godwin​ ​Glacier. There,​ ​you’ll​ ​be​ ​greeted​ ​by​ ​guides​ ​who​ ​will​ ​teach​ ​you​ ​about​ ​the​ ​glacier,​ ​introduce you​ ​to​ ​the​ ​dogs,​ ​and​ ​then​ ​show​ ​you​ ​how​ ​to​ ​ride.​ ​You’ll​ ​take​ ​a​ ​30-minute​ ​dogsled​ ​ride around​ ​the​ ​glacier,​ ​stopping​ ​along​ ​the​ ​way​ ​for​ ​pictures​ ​and​ ​then​ ​taking​ ​some​ ​time​ ​to mingle​ ​with​ ​the​ ​pooches—about​ ​an​ ​hour​ ​total​ ​on​ ​the​ ​glacier​ ​before​ ​you​ ​fly​ ​back​ ​to Seward.

Winter Magic in Willow

Sled dogs mushing through the snow.

Mush on snow year-round. In summer, fly to a glacier. In winter, learn to much like the Iditarod racers.

Winter​ ​brings​ ​its​ ​own​ ​variety​ ​of​ ​dog​ ​sledding​ ​tours,​ ​which​ ​range​ ​from​ ​an​ ​hour​ ​long to​ ​multi-day​ ​expeditions.​ ​​The​ ​hour-lo​ng​ ​tours​ ​are​ ​dependent​ ​on​ ​the​ ​winter​ ​weather and​ ​trail​ ​conditions,​ ​but​ ​typically​ ​take​ ​place​ ​on​ ​a​ ​lake​ ​near​ ​Willow.​ ​For​ ​longer tours—a​ ​full​ ​day,​ ​overnight,​ ​or​ ​up​ ​to​ ​four​ ​nights—you​ ​can​ ​do​ ​lodge-to-lodge​ ​based mushing​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Willow​ ​area​ ​with​ ​a​ ​small​ ​group​ ​of​ ​up​ ​to​ ​four​ ​people.​ ​You’ll​ ​have access​ ​to​ ​full​ ​gear—parkas​ ​and​ ​bibs​ ​to​ ​keep​ ​you​ ​warm,​ ​and​ ​insulated​ ​shelters​ ​that you’ll​ ​tow​ ​along—but​ ​the​ ​coolest​ ​part​ ​is​ ​that​ ​you’ll​ ​get​ ​to​ ​drive​ ​your​ ​own​ ​dog​ ​team.

You​ ​don’t​ ​need​ ​any​ ​prior​ ​mushing​ ​experience—the​ ​guides​ ​will​ ​cover​ ​all​ ​of that—and​ ​these​ ​tours​ ​make​ ​for​ ​a​ ​big​ ​Alaska​ ​highlight,​ ​no​ ​matter​ ​which​ ​you​ ​choose. People​ ​often​ ​come​ ​back​ ​for​ ​repeat​ ​tours,​ ​and​ ​say​ ​this​ ​was​ ​the​ ​coolest​ ​thing—or things​ —they​ ​did​ ​in​ ​Alaska.

Training with the Pros

The​ ​owners​ ​of​ ​the​ ​kennel​ ​know​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​about​ ​dogsledding:​ ​Travis​ ​Beals​ ​has​ ​been running​ ​dogs​ ​his​ ​entire​ ​life,​ ​and​ ​Sarah​ ​Stokey​ ​since​ ​2009.​ ​Both​ ​are​ ​Iditarod​ ​finishers (Travis​ ​has​ ​finished​ ​the​ ​race​ ​four​ ​times​ ​now,​ ​placing​ ​11​th​​ ​one​ ​year).​ ​Travis​ ​and Sarah​ ​spend​ ​a​ ​good​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​year​ ​training​ ​with​ ​their​ ​dogs,​ ​but​ ​since​ ​2012​ ​they have​ ​also​ ​been​ ​sharing​ ​their​ ​kennel​ ​with​ ​visitors.

What to Bring

  • Camera
  • Sunglasses for Glacier Tours (really bright up there!)
  • Flat shoes, not hiking boots. Easier to get the over-boots on.
  • For the summer dog demonstration tour, please wear closed toed shoes

Getting There

31722 Herman Leirer Road
Seward, AK 99664

Shuttle available for summer tours in Seward from area hotels, rail depot, and cruise ship terminal.

No shuttle for winter tours in Willow. To get to Willow by car from Anchorage: Head north of the Glenn Highway (1), and stay left on the Parks Highway (3) at the split. Continue through Wasilla, and Willow, until you reach the turn for Sheep Creek Drive. Total drive time approx. 1.5 hrs.

Driving Directions

Prices & Dates

Season Year Round
Duration 1+ hrs
Rates Glacier Dog Sledding (Seward, Alaska) // 90 Minutes | $549 adult, $519 child | Departs 9am, 10:20am, 11:40am, 1pm, 2:20pm, 3:40pm, 5pm, 6:20pm
Summer Dog Demonstration & Cart Ride (Seward, Alaska) // 90 Minutes | $69 adult, $34.50 child | Departs 9am, 11:30am
Winter Dog Sledding Tour (Willow, Alaska) // 60 Minutes | $189 adult, $159 child | Call for departures
Winter Multi-day Expeditions (Willow, Alaska) // Custom, call for rates and departures

Photos

Turning Heads Kennel

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