Winter’s Most Enchanting Adventure
Guide to dog sledding
Venturing into the heart of winter aboard a dog sled offers an exhilarating blend of adventure and connection with nature. Imagine gliding through pristine snowy landscapes, guided by the power of huskies, where the silence of the wilderness speaks volumes.
Dog sledding season typically spans from late November to April, offering a window to explore snow-clad terrains in their full glory. The activity isn’t just about the ride; it’s a chance to bond with the dogs, each with its unique personality, adding depth to your journey. Most operators provide essential winter gear and instruct on sled maneuvering, ensuring a safe and comfortable experience for all skill levels.
The key to enjoying this frosty adventure is preparation. Dressing in warm, layered clothing, coupled with waterproof outerwear and insulated boots, is crucial for comfort against the cold. In destinations like Lapland and parts of Canada, these tours also bring the magical chance of witnessing the Northern Lights, adding an ethereal dimension to your adventure.
Dog sledding in different countries
Dog sledding transcends being a mere winter activity; from the Canadian Rockies’ majestic expanse to Greenland’s remote wilderness and Sweden’s serene beauty. Each destination offers its unique charm, making dog sledding a must-try experience for anyone who wishes to witness the winter world in its most authentic form.
Kingmik Dog Sled Tours (Banff National Park, Alberta) Kingmik Dog Sled Tours, located in the breathtaking Banff National Park, provides a truly Canadian winter experience. Their tours are led by experienced mushers with a wealth of knowledge and stories, ensuring safety and enjoyment. What sets Kingmik apart is their deep care for the dogs, treating each one as a treasured member of their family. Their tours allow you to get up close and personal with these beautiful animals, learn about their unique personalities, and explore the stunning scenery of the Canadian Rockies. Customers have praised the passionate guides and the unforgettable journey through this beautiful landscape.
Howling Dog Tours (Canmore and Banff, Alberta) Howling Dog Tours specializes in dog sledding adventures near Canmore and Banff in the Canadian Rockies. They cater to a wide range of interests, from romantic escapades to thrilling adventures, making their tours suitable for everyone. What makes Howling Dog Tours unique is their emphasis on sled dog racing experience, which adds an exciting dimension to their tours. They offer a personal guide for each sled, ensuring a safe and memorable experience through the picturesque landscapes of the Canadian Rockies. Their tours are known for the combination of excitement, safety, and beautiful scenery. Each of these companies offers a unique way to experience the Canadian wilderness, combining the thrill of dog sledding with the serenity of nature. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful journey through snowy forests or an adventurous ride led by a team of spirited huskies, these tours provide an unforgettable experience.
Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours (Canmore, Alberta) Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours, operating in Canmore, Alberta, offers both winter and summer sled dog experiences. Their tours take you through the magnificent forests and frozen lakes of the Canadian Rockies, offering a thrilling yet serene adventure. A highlight of Snowy Owl is the opportunity to drive your own dog team, adding an exhilarating personal touch to the experience. The company is also known for its exceptional care of the dogs and offers educational kennel tours. Reviewers have described their experiences with Snowy Owl as fantastic, praising the knowledgeable guides and well-cared-for dogs.
Read even more about Canada: Visit Canada – Why you should visit and how to get there – Travel Bucket list
World of Greenland offers an authentic dog sledding experience in Ilulissat. This tour is operated by Dogsled Academy, led by Jørgen Kristensen, a renowned local musher. Jørgen’s deep connection with his dogs and expertise in dog sledding make this experience special. The tours vary in duration and difficulty, catering to different levels of adventure seekers. During these tours, you’ll glide through stunning landscapes, experience Inuit culture, and possibly witness the Northern Lights. The tours support local employment and help keep this unique tradition alive, making your journey not just an adventure but also a culturally enriching experience
One other notable dog sledding tour company in Greenland is Pirhuk, which offers unique Inuit Dog Sled Expeditions in the remote and stunning landscapes of East Greenland. The tours provide an authentic and immersive experience, allowing travelers to journey through vast white wildernesses and learn about the culture and history of the region and its people. Pirhuk ensures that travelers are well-equipped for the arctic conditions, providing warm snowsuits, down jackets, mittens, thick sleeping bags, and mats. The company also offers detailed guidance on additional equipment to prepare for the journey. The tours are accessible from Keflavik, Iceland, with a short flight to Kulusuk, East Greenland. This makes it convenient for travelers from North America and Europe. Besides the breathtaking dog sledding experience, the tours offer the opportunity to meet local Inuit and learn about their way of life. Travelers have praised the well-organized trips, perfect equipment, and the informative and safety-conscious guides. Pirhuk’s expeditions are not just about the thrill of dog sledding; they are also a profound way to connect with the deep rhythms of the arctic environment and the culture of its people. The journeys offer an unparalleled experience of traveling on sea ice and exploring the unique landscapes of Greenland.
Dog Sledding Iceland Located near Reykjavik, Dog Sledding Iceland operates year-round, offering a unique way to explore the stunning Icelandic landscape. They provide various tours lasting 60-90 minutes, allowing you to experience the joy of gliding through the countryside pulled by a team of dogs. In summer, they adapt with “dog sledding on wheels,” ensuring the adventure continues regardless of the season. Their tours provide an opportunity to interact with the dogs, learn about dog sledding, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. The tours can be experienced with or without a transfer from Reykjavik, making them accessible and flexible for travelers.
goHusky is a family-owned company based in North Iceland, near Akureyri. This small enterprise began with a single Alaskan husky and has now grown to a team of 21 dogs. goHusky offers various dog sledding experiences, including winter tours on snow, “Fun runs” where you can be the musher, and unique hiking adventures with a husky. They also provide opportunities to visit their home, meet the huskies, and learn more about these incredible animals. Their tours offer a blend of adventure and intimate interaction with the dogs, set against the backdrop of North Iceland’s breathtaking landscape. Both companies offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience, blending the excitement of dog sledding with the opportunity to connect with nature and these remarkable animals in the stunning Icelandic countryside. Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline-filled adventure or a peaceful journey through snow-covered landscapes, these tours provide an unforgettable addition to any Icelandic itinerary.
Wild Lapland is a nature guiding company located in Lycksele, Sweden, that offers a unique blend of outdoor activities to immerse visitors in the natural beauty of Lapland. In winter, they specialize in dogsled tours and snowshoe hikes, providing an exhilarating way to explore the snowy landscapes. During summer, the focus shifts to kayaking, canoeing, and hiking, allowing guests to experience the serene beauty of Lapland’s rivers and forests. They also welcome guests to their kennel, offering a chance to meet their Alaskan Huskies. When autumn arrives, Wild Lapland takes advantage of the cooler air to bring out the dogs with wagons, offering a different yet equally enchanting experience. Their small-scale, personalized approach ensures an intimate connection with nature and a truly memorable visit to the heart of Swedish Lapland. Book your dog sledding experience in Sweden
Active Lapland Offering an “Aurora Ride” dog sledding tour, Active Lapland in Kiruna provides a chance to sled under the Northern Lights. During this evening trip, you ride as a passenger in a dog sled through the silent Lapland wilderness, illuminated by the moon, stars, and possibly the Northern Lights. The tour travels across the ice of the Torne River, through snowy pine forests to locations ideal for night sky viewing. This fairytale ride is marked by the silence of the wilderness, broken only by the panting of the huskies and the whooshing sound of the sled runners on snow.
All these tours offer a unique blend of adventure, set against the stunning backdrop of Swedish Lapland’s pristine landscapes and the possibility of witnessing the magical Northern Lights. These experiences are not just about dog sledding; they are about connecting with nature, learning about local traditions, and embracing the spirit of the Arctic.
In Sweden, dog sledding tours offer a unique and mesmerizing way to explore the breathtaking landscapes, especially with the added allure of the Northern Lights. Here are a couple of companies that provide such experiences:
Aurora Borealis Adventures Located in Vindeln, Aurora Borealis Adventures offers a variety of dog sledding tours and paddle board tours. Their most popular experiences include the Northern Lights Tour and the Aurora Tepee Tour. These tours provide an opportunity to see the mesmerizing Aurora Borealis, interact with sled dogs, and enjoy the serenity of nature. With options like staying overnight in an Aurora tepee and enjoying a sauna post-tour, these adventures combine the thrill of dog sledding with the awe-inspiring beauty of the Northern Lights.
Arctic Dogsled Based near Kiruna and Jukkasjärvi, Arctic Dogsled offers a Northern Light Dog Sled Tour, which is about 3.5 hours long, including a transfer. This tour takes you on an enchanting journey through the Arctic night, providing an opportunity to potentially witness the Northern Lights. The experience includes a break at an open fire at the kennel, where you can enjoy hot soup and a sandwich while discussing the surrounding nature. In the absence of snow, the tour is conducted with a cart on wheels pulled by huskies, ensuring a year-round adventure.
Lapland Wilderness Tours, operated by Taisto Thorneus, a native of northern Scandinavia with over 35 years of professional guiding experience, offers an enchanting array of dog sledding adventures in the Arctic Lapland. Their tours range from short experiences to multi-day musher courses. These tours give you the opportunity to drive your own team of Huskies through moonlit forests and frozen lakes, often under the dazzling Aurora Borealis. The company also provides accommodations in wilderness cabins, where guests can enjoy local cuisine and the captivating Northern Lights.
In Finland, dog sledding tours provide an exceptional way to explore the snowy landscapes, often coupled with the mystical experience of viewing the Northern Lights. Here’s a look at a couple of companies offering these magical experiences:
Hetta Huskies Located in Finnish Lapland, Hetta Huskies offers Northern Lights Husky Tours where you can journey into the wilderness to experience the best of the Northern Lights. These tours use a 6 km ‘silent landscapes’ track and are classified as intermediate due to the added challenge of sledding at night with reduced visibility. Night-time safaris with Hetta Huskies are described as magical, riding under a star-filled sky with the potential of the Northern Lights running through the heavens above. The experience is enhanced with head-torches and the natural light reflecting off the snowy marshes and starry skies. These tours are slightly more expensive than daytime counterparts due to the higher guide to client ratio and extensive safety checks.
HeyHusky offers a range of dog sledding tours in Finnish Lapland, combining modern luxury with rustic tradition. These tours, suitable for beginners and experienced mushers alike, allow you to glide through snow-covered landscapes and enjoy the serene beauty of the Finnish wilderness. The tours offer a perfect balance between natural recreation, surrounded by fascinating animals, and participation in traditional farm life. These adventures provide a unique opportunity to experience the enchanting Northern Lights in Finland’s vast wilderness. Both Hetta Huskies and HeyHusky provide an opportunity to immerse yourself in the enchanting world of dog sledding under the awe-inspiring Northern Lights.
In Japan, Mushing Works Sled Dog Tours offers a unique and exciting dog sledding experience in Tokachi, East Hokkaido. The tours are private and limited to one group at a time, ensuring an intimate and personalized adventure. They feature an original two-seater dog sled, allowing everyone, regardless of experience, to fully enjoy the exhilaration of mushing. The tours run on a 12km long course over the snowy fields of the Tokachi Plain, providing a serene and beautiful backdrop. Mushing Works uses Alaskan Huskies, known for their strength and speed, enhancing the overall experience. While the Northern Lights aren’t typically visible in Japan, the tour’s nighttime rides under star-filled skies offer their own magical experience.
Looking for more? Read other inspiring articles here.