Photo Credit: Turning Heads Kennel

Winter Dog Mushing

Quick: what’s activity screams “Alaska” perhaps more than any other? Dog mushing through the snow, of course! After all, Alaska is home to the world-famous Iditarod, and mushing has a long tradition here. Fortunately, you have lots of options for experiencing dog mushing on snow—as long as, of course, there’s snow (usually mid-October or early November until around mid-April). it’s a lot of fun, and all ages can do it.

So what’s it really like? Well, when you arrive at a kennel, you’ll be greeted by a group of dogs, running around, barking excitedly, and waiting anxiously to do what they love best—run.

You’ll hop on the sled, and very quickly your jaw will drop at how quickly these dogs move and work together, making it look effortless. And even more quickly, you’ll be immersed in the Alaskan winter wilderness—the miles will fly by.

You’ll want to bring your own winter gear on this adventure, though many tour operators will provide warm books and parkas. Just don’t miss an opportunity to go. If you’ve done dog mushing in summer, with a cart on wheels, you need to do it in winter—it’s a very different experience, and one you won’t soon forget. Of course, the mushers know that this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many people, and will do their best to make it memorable—but really, it’s the dogs that steal the show!

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Winter Dog Mushing

Anchorage View All

Tours depart from nearby Willow (1.5 hr drive). Several companies provide a shuttle from Anchorage.

Season: Year Round $59+ 1-3.5 hrs

Sum­mer or win­ter, vis­it a fam­i­ly-run cham­pi­on ken­nel, meet friend­ly dogs and an expe­ri­enced mush­er for a ride along pri­vate trails with views of Denali. Opt to ride in the sled or mush your own. Or, for a tru­ly authen­tic adven­ture, go on a train­ing run for the Idi­tar­od! Large groups and spe­cial events wel­come when orga­nized in advance.

Season: Year Round $79+ summer, $349 winter 1 hr+

Go behind the scenes with Idi­tar­od mush­ers and get your own thrilling ride with the dogs at Turn­ing Heads Ken­nel. Choose a sum­mer dog demon­stra­tion and cart ride, or whisk off by heli­copter for glac­i­er dog sled­ding. In win­ter ride snow-cov­ered trails or ask about their mul­ti-day expeditions.

Season: Year Round Summer: $75+ | Winter: $150+ 2+ hrs

Win­ter or sum­mer, expe­ri­ence the thrill of run­ning Idi­tar­od sled dogs and even have a chance to dri­ve! Meet the sled dogs and hear first-hand just what it’s like to run the Iditarod.

Season: November - March $299+ 8 - 9 hrs

Every­body loves sled dogs, and Salmon Berry Tours offers you the chance to get behind the sled year-round. In sum­mer and win­ter, you’ll head to the ken­nel of Idi­tar­od Cham­pi­on Dal­las Seavey, where you’ll see a gear demon­stra­tion, meet the dogs, and ride on the sled behind them. They also have a mul­ti-day adven­ture for Idi­tar­od enthusiasts. 

Season: Winter $169+ 1 - 8 hours

Expe­ri­ence the excite­ment of rac­ing cham­pi­on sled dogs at the Alas­ka Mush­ing School, just 75 min­utes from Anchor­age. Get a professional’s insight into the mush­ing lifestyle as you ride behind a team of ener­getic sled dogs on trails con­nect­ed to the famous Idi­tar­od route. Bun­dle up and ride in com­fort, or brave the cold and dri­ve the team yourself!

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Talkeetna View All

Season: December–April (weather dependent) $275+ 3.5-4.5 hrs

Ride snow­ma­chines on pri­vate trails through forests while keep­ing an eye out for wildlife on your way to vis­it sled dogs and mush­ers and learn what it’s real­ly like to run the Idi­tar­od while mush­ing your own team.

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Denali National Park View All

Season: Year Round $125+ per person 2-4 hrs

Expe­ri­ence the thrill of the icon­ic Alaskan sport of dogsled­ding from vet­er­ans of the Idi­tar­od and Yukon Quest races! Oper­at­ing in sum­mer and win­ter from Cantwell, about a 30-minute dri­ve south of Denali Nation­al Park, the pri­vate tours will be just you and your group, led by expert guides. Win­ter tours can involve learn­ing to dri­ve your own dog team or rid­ing out to see the north­ern lights. In sum­mer, the excit­ed dogs pull a side-by-side on  ...more

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Fairbanks View All

Season: Year Round $100+ Dogsled Tours 1-3 hrs

Plen­ty of peo­ple come to Fair­banks to look at the sky — for north­ern lights, or to bask in the mid­night sun. But this dog-mush­ing expe­ri­ence out­side of Fair­banks is proof that there’s plen­ty more of Fair­banks to be seen at eye — or even paw — lev­el. May through Octo­ber, take a a trail ride with 16 dogs hitched up to an ATV. Novem­ber through April, take a mush­ing tour through the snow!

Season: Year Round $85+ per person 30+ min - Multi-Day

Take part in the thrill of win­ter and fall dog sled­ding out of Fair­banks. You’ll expe­ri­ence the sport with one of Alaska’s longest-run­ning dog tour com­pa­nies. Go for a ride, attend mush­ing school, or go on a mul­ti-day adven­ture to the his­toric Tolo­vana Roadhouse.

Season: Year Round Summer 2 hrs | Winter 2-7 days

Vis­it the world’s old­est Siber­ian Husky ken­nel any time of the year with tour options rang­ing from a cou­ple of hours in the sum­mer to mul­ti-day win­ter adven­tures explor­ing Fairbanks.

Season: November–March (depending on snow conditions) $89+ per person 1/2 - 4 hrs

Glide over the snow on a sled that’s being pulled by a team of dogs — many of whom have run the Idi­tar­od, Yukon Quest, or oth­er races. Go with Rod’s Alaskan Guide Ser­vice and expe­ri­ence the thrill of dog sled­ding with dogs that love to run and pas­sion­ate mush­ers who will offer a deep­er under­stand­ing of this unique sport.

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