8 Thrilling Dog Sled Adventures

Bundle up and harness the dogs! Alaska's official state sport isn't just for hardened Iditarod racers:

Forget horsepower, the real way to experience Alaska is by dog power! Dog mushing is Alaska’s official state sport, and in several spots around the state you can mush your own sled team while learning the tricks of the trade from seasoned veterans of the legendary Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. If you’re up for even more adventure, take a helicopter flight to mush on a glacier or venture out into the wilderness with a team of dogs for a few hours—or even days! Any way you do it, you can master the all-important commands of Hike! Gee! and Haw! And these eight tours will let you experience the unique thrill of zipping along behind a team of powerful and excited huskies.

Anchorage
Winners of both the Yukon Quest and Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race (2012 Iditarod Champion Dallas Seavey), join the Seaveys for an adventure. Hop aboard a helicopter for a scenic ride to a glacier where the dogs await for summer mushing. Six departures daily between 8:30 a.m. and 5:15 p.m.; adults $459, children $429. 907.224.8607.

Western/The Bush
Nestled in the Alaska Range at Mile 198 of the Iditarod Trail, Winterlake Lodge offers a 4-day intensive dog mushing school for winter visitors. Learn the basics, then test yourself on part of the actual Iditarod Trail. Winter adventure activities (the dog mushing school plus backcountry skiing and snowmachining) are offered Feb. 1 to April 15; fly-in by ski plane. Booking and inquiries for rates: 907.274.2710.

Iditarod musher Sven Haltmann offers short tours, day tours and overnight excursions by dog sled into the Brooks Range from Bettles Lodge. Overnight tour options range from 1 to 4 nights on the trail. Contact for rates and inquiries: 907.479.7018.

Kenai Peninsula
The Seavey family’s most popular summer tour, the Ididaride, is a must-do activity for visitors to Seward. Take a wild ride behind a dog team in a modified golf cart. Experience the thrill of dog mushing without the snow and cold. Six tours daily between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. (reservations recommended); adults $69, children $34.50.
Between December and March, the Seaveys offer two dog sled adventures (weather permitting): the 1.5-hour Box Canyon by Dog Team and the 3.5-hour Exit Glacier by Dog Team. Both tours by reservation only. Box Canyon Tour: Adults $119, children $79; Exit Glacier Tour: Adults $249, children $199. 907.224.8607.

Godwin Glacier Dog Sled Tours is the only helicopter dog mushing operation in Seward. Guests are transported to the glacier where 80 Alaskan husky dogs wait with their experienced guides to take you on the adventure of a lifetime. Tours start at 8 a.m. and depart every hour until 6 p.m. from June 1 to Sept. 1 (weather permitting). By reservation; Adults $450, children $420; 888.989.8239 or 907.224.8239.

Southeast
Take a ride in a helicopter over rainforest and glaciers around Juneau or Skagway and land on a glacier, where a kennel of more than 100 sled dogs awaits. Take a ride with an experienced musher at Dolly Varden or drive your own team across the frozen landscape. May-Sept.: by reservation; under 250 pounds $489 + 2.5 percent, more than 250 pounds $734 + 2.5 percent.

Mat-Su/Copper River Valley
Crazy Dog Kennels and Denali Tours and Cabins on the Denali Highway offer summer or winter dog-sled tours with an Iditarod sled dog team. Operated by Iditarod and Yukon Quest racers Zoya Denure and John Schandelmeier. Summer and winter by reservation. Overnight trip $350. Five-day Iditarod and Yukon Quest tours from $1,995. 907.822.5424.

Beth Daddono
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