Why You Should Go Dogsled Tours in Alaska
Updated: May 4, 2021
Here in Alaska, we’ve always got dog mushing on our minds. It’s our official state sport if you didn’t know! Winter is when the real magic happens, but training for our Alaskan sled dogs continues through the summer months (think dog sleds on wheels).
Did you know that visitors to Alaska can get a dogsled tour on snow in both the winter and summer? Read on to find out. And there are plenty more reasons why you should go dogsled tours in Alaska!
Go mushing with Iditarod Legend Dallas Seavey!
Photos: Jeff Schultz
All our dogsled tours visit the kennel of Alaska’s most famous dog musher, Dallas Seavey. Dallas is a 5-time Iditarod Champion, winning the 2021 Iditarod! He's tying the record with Rick Swenson. At 25, Dallas was the youngest Iditarod Champion ever, and today, at only 33, is already one of the sport’s living legends. You’ll mush at Seavey’s Kennel, AK Sled Dog Tours, and get a glimpse of where his champion sled dogs live, play, and train as you become a part of their training regimen!
Guides will share stories from the trail and a unique, behind-the-scenes perspective of Dallas' world-class training program. Maybe you’ll even get a glimpse of Dallas out on the trails preparing for this year’s Iditarod!
*Listen to Tales From the Trail Podcast Episode 19: Dallas Seavey, 5-time Iditarod Champion.
You’ll drive your own dog team!
Photos: Juno Kim
While most kennels just let you sit back and go along for the ride, our dogsled tour with Dallas Seavey actually makes you the musher! How cool is that? Never imagined yourself as the type, driving a dog team through the forests of interior Alaska? We can change that. You’ll learn the ropes in minutes, and keep the memories (and photos) for a lifetime.
Nothing can prepare you for just how fun dogsledding is. I was totally caught off guard my first time. I thought it would be ‘just okay’ and went along with it. Instead, I was absolutely loving every second of my dogsled experience. When they tell you to hold on, they mean it! Zipping through the winter boreal landscape is a quintessential Alaska experience you don’t want to miss.
You can still mush in the summer! ...on a Glacier!!
Photos: Juno Kim
Our summer dogsled tour is equally impressive. You’ll fly up above the Knik Glacier to mush on what’s technically called a ‘snowfield’. This is where glaciers originate. There you’ll spend an hour with a dog team and musher and even get a chance to run the dogs yourself if you want! Now if that sounds cool, imagine flying there. Your adventure begins and ends with a spectacular helicopter ride over glaciers and icebergs, often with views of moose, black bears, Dall sheep, and mountain goats. Look out for the blue melt pools and the crevasses on the glacier.
These dogs are Iditarod champions
Photo: Juno Kim
Mushers certainly deserve a lot of credit. After all, they care for their dogs, and battle sleep deprivation and sub-zero temperatures for ten straight days. But any musher will tell you it’s their dogs that are the true athletes. You’ll meet world-class huskies and malamutes who have won the Iditarod, and maybe even mush with them, too. That is the equivalent of hanging out with Olympians....and getting to scratch their belly!
Learn the History of Dog Mushing in Alaska
In summer, overland travel in much of rural Alaska is impassable due to marshes, bogs, lakes, streams, and rivers. The frozen tundra of winter opens opportunities for travel and transportation that don’t exist at other times of the year. Dog teams have been a reliable and necessary form of transportation for Alaskan Natives for millennia. In more recent history, dog teams were used to deliver mail and haul supplies. They were used during the gold rush and were crucial for the famous 1925 serum run to Nome. To this day, dog teams are still used to patrol Denali National Park all winter long.
About our Winter Dog Mushing Experience
Our winter dogsled tour starts with a scenic helicopter ride of about 45 minutes as we fly over the mountains to the small town of Talkeetna. We’ll land right at the Alaska Sled Dog Tours kennel and get acquainted with the pups. After a sled demo, you’ll head out on the property’s private trails for a 45-minute mushing experience. Hold on tight and keep your sled on track while guiding your dog team over rolling hills and through the scenic birch and spruce forest. Meet and play with future Iditarod champions (aka puppies) before our scenic return flight.