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!
Winter Dog Mushing
Anchorage View All
Tours depart from nearby Willow (1.5 hr drive). Several companies provide a shuttle from Anchorage.
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!
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. Winter brings its own variety of tours, which range from an hour long to multi-day expeditions near Willow, Alaska.
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.
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.
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.
Fairbanks View All
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.
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.
Learn what dog mushing is all about in a historic setting: The kennel of iconic musher Susan Butcher. Tours are available year-round. In summer, tour the kennel, cuddle the puppies, and go for a ride. In Winter, mush across the snow or create your own custom experience, like learning how to mush or a ride under the northern lights!
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!