There is no better place to run a team of sled dogs than along the historic Iditarod Trail. The majestic landscape provides the ideal backdrop for a real Alaskan dog sledding adventure. This is a 7-day dogsled tour (special 14-day and 21-day tours are also available with extended itineraries, as well as day trips) taking you through some of Alaska’s most beautiful natural landscapes, including the Official Iditarod Checkpoints of McGrath, Takotna, Ophir. Nikolai and Rohn… just on the inside of the mighty Alaska Range. America’s tallest peak, Denali, will be in view for much of your tour.
You’ll quickly learn the basic commands necessary to take control of your team. Your dogsled adventure begins at the kennels, where you will become familiar with the dogs and dog sledding equipment. Here you will learn how to handle the sled and dogs before heading out into the wilderness for six days of dog sledding in command of your own team of four to eight sled dogs. Your dogsled tour takes you through spectacular tundra, river and mountain scenery.
Each night you will stop at one of the cabins along the way, a heated Arctic Oven tent camp or will be hosted by a family in a checkpoint village, which offer simple but comfortable & cozy accommodations. At the beginning and end of your trip, you will be staying at Hotel McGrath.
After seeing to the needs of the dogs each evening, you will retire to the warmth of the cabin or tent for dinner and a chance to reflect on the day’s dog sledding adventures. You will find that you quickly gain confidence in handling the sled as your mushing skills develop. You will be working very closely with your team of sled dogs as you journey through the wilderness together, and should find that you have made some firm friends by the end of your time dog sledding along the Iditarod Trail.
This tour is a tremendously exciting dog sledding adventure. It is a challenging but immensely rewarding experience to mush your own dogsled team through the Alaskan winter landscape. As an authentic dog sledding expedition, some aspects of the route can be physically demanding and will be greatly influenced by weather and trail conditions. Participants should be prepared for a challenging adventure. This tour is suitable for adult participants with a good level of health and fitness who love the outdoors and the unique beauty of Alaska’s winter wonderland. We will make adjustments to this tour if you would like to bring your children (at no additional cost other than transportation between McGrath and Anchorage).
On this tour, you will be travelling far away from sources of light pollution, offering very good possibilities to see the Northern Lights. Displays are typically visible between each August and April.
A Quintessentially Alaskan Adventure
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
Arrive at the Iditarod Checkpoint of McGrath, a small village located along the Kuskokwim River. Here, you’ll stay at Hotel McGrath for the first evening where you’ll have the opportunity to explore the friendly village and culture. Your guide will host a pre-trip meeting and gear check in the afternoon, followed by dinner at the hotel.
The adventure continues! Your second day will be spent at the kennel, where you will meet your team of enthusiastic sled dogs. Your guide will help you become familiar with the commands and equipment you’ll be using. Once you feel comfortable, you’ll head out on the trail for an evening run with your team. This experience will help to prepare you for the days ahead. You’ll return to the hotel for dinner and a good night’s rest.
DAYS 3 – 5
This is when the real magic happens! To a great deal, your desires and the ever-changing Alaskan weather will dictate each day’s adventures. Wildlife sightings are abundant and the process of learning to work with the dogs is incredibly rewarding. Tents are kept warm where there is plenty of delicious and hearty food. If you prefer to relax in camp and watch the snowy landscape from the comfort of a warm tent, enjoy! If you prefer to spend the whole day on the trail discovering the wonder of Alaska’s great wilderness, we are thrilled to take you over the horizon. With each starry night, we have excellent chances to see the Aurora dancing above the mountains while the dogs howl in the Alaskan twilight.
The last morning on the tour and time to bid farewell to the trails and wilderness you have grown to love. Then it is back on the sled for your final run back to McGrath. Kiss your favorite dog goodbye before heading to Hotel McGrath for the night. This time you will have your own stories to share with our hosts who’s father raced in the Iditarod’s earliest years.
You’ll catch the flight to what will feel like a big, ultra-urban metropolis, Anchorage. Catch a connecting flight home or spend a day or two exploring Alaska’s biggest city.