It’s no secret that dogsledding – or dog mushing as it’s also called – is a popular draw for Alaska tourists. This centuries old form of transportation is well known across the country, and isn’t found in too many states outside of Alaska. Many people would be willing to drive miles in their Alaska winter car rentals to find a guide. Fortunately, you don’t have to.
Because of the popularity and commonality of dogsledding there are outing options available in most of the large cities across the state. The dogsledding season varies depending on the tour company that you decide upon. Below we have listed several options for winter tours in the state.
Anchorage dogsledding tours
Anchorage is one of the most common tourist spots, so it’s likely you’ll end up here in your Alaska winter car rentals. Good thing too! There are two winter tour options where you can get a taste of glacier dog sledding.
The season at Salmon Berry Tours Dog Sledding rungs from around November 1 until March 3 each year. The tour will take you through Chugach State Park, where you’ll be able to enjoy a sled dog ride as well as snowshoeing through the trails. Salmon Berry Tours provides on-the-trail s’mores to keep you energized and happy.
Also available near Anchorage is Alpine Air Alaska Glacier Dogsledding. Their season runs year round, and is accessible only by helicopter traveling from Girdwood Forest. What makes this trip so desirable is that you’re offered the chance to lead the sled yourself. Step up to a place at the reigns, or if you’re tired from driving your Alaska winter car rentals, sit back and enjoy the ride.
Dogsledding options in Fairbanks
Cotter’s Sled Dog Kennel is another year-round option to test out this classic sport. This kennel is one of the more affordable tour options, particularly throughout the summer months. You certainly won’t need to break your budget to experience this crucial activity in Alaska’s culture and history.
Running Cotter’s Sled Dog Kennel is the 1987 Yukon Quest Champion, Bill Cotter. He has a wealth of knowledge that he is ready and willing to share. Any questions? Bill Cotter is definitely the one to answer them.
Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race
So Bill Cotter is a Yukon Quest Champion, but what exactly does that mean? Starting on February 6, 2016, you’ll soon find out. Each year, the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race spans 1,000 miles from Fairbanks, Alaska to Whitehorse, Yukon to test the skills and endurance of the world’s best mushers. This year, there are 23 competitors from across the globe, ranging from rookies to seasoned veterans.
The race takes just under two weeks to complete. While of course you’re not going to be following the mushers in your Alaska winter car rentals to see the entire thing play out, there are events you can go to in order to get a sense of the race. On February 3 from 6:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. you can meet the mushers at the Alpine Lodge in Fairbanks. Ask questions, offer encouragement, and learn more about this great sport.
On February 4, the Start and Draw Banquet opens its doors at the Westmark Gold Room in Fairbanks at 5 p.m. Dinner is served at 6 p.m. Two days later on February 6, head down to Chena River at Cushman St. Bridge in Fairbanks to see the Yukon Quest race start. The race begins at 11:00 a.m. sharp, so don’t be late!
If you want to follow this even straight through, you’ll need to take your Alaska winter car rentals down to Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. There your children will be able to get a free mushing ride on February 14 from 1:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Shipyards Park. Four days later on February 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. in Mount MacIntyre Recreation Centre, meet the mushers again to hear about their journey. Finally, the Finish & Awards Banquet starts at 5 p.m. on February 20 in the Yukon Convention Centre to round out the event.
No Alaska experience would be complete without testing out the ancient tradition of dogsledding, but you won’t be able to rely on mushing for transportation. For a way to get to and from your destination when you’re not on the sled, reserve your Alaska winter car rentals from Avis today.