Alaska Dog Sledding

What is dog mushing in Alaska?

Dog sledding, more often referred to as mushing, is a classic Alaskan excursion where you and your vacation party hop on a sled pulled by a team of dogs. This practice originated in the northern parts of modern Canada and Alaska.

Most people's first exposure to mushing comes in the form of movies or TV, but now you can have a chance to meet the dogs yourself! You can even watch pro mushers compete in races if you're interested. Here's everything you need to know about this Alaskan hobby!

Sled Dog Companies

Before you're able to reserve a sled ride, you're going to need to choose a sled dog company first! Fortunately, there is no shortage of mushing experts in central Alaska. Here are some of the highlights.

Dream a Dream Sled Dog Tours 

Address: 9373 N. Rappe Drive, Willow
Hours: Call for availability at 907-495-1197.

With over 25 dogs in its roster, Dream a Dream Sled Dog Tours has an amazing dog sled experience any time of year. While winter tours will seem like the more memorable option, summer tours are still a lot of fun.

Snowhook Adventure Guides of Alaska

Address: 23880 Long Lake Rd, Willow
Hours: 8:30AM - 6:30PM

Another way you can get yourself in the sled. Snowhook Adventure Guides know the best tours near Willow, AK. They even do snowmobile tours, helicopter tours, or ATV tours if you want to keep all your excursions to one place.

Happy Trails Kennel

Address: 19391 W Lakes Blvd, Wasilla
Hours: Call for availability at 907-892-7899.

Dog lovers will love this tour. You'll be able to meet some of the up and coming stars in the dog racing scene. In the summer you can also see baby huskies! Adorable, and worth a small tour.

The Iditarod

Address: 2100 S Knik-Goose Bay Rd, Wasilla
Hours: 9AM - 5PM on Weekdays

The heart of the famous mushing race, the Iditarod is the place to be for all things dog sledding! You can buy tickets to watch mushing races here. It's a great way to warm up by riding the sled yourself.

What to Wear Dog Sledding in Alaska

What you wear depends entirely on the season you decide to go mushing. Palmer, Alaska, never gets particularly warm, and in the summer months will hover around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. It's always better to dress for the cold.

While some sledding companies will rent you the proper attire, it's not always a given. Here are a few examples of proper dog sledding wear (particularly in the winter):
  • Snow Boots
  • Thick pair of socks (with a spare packed somewhere).
  • A warm hat or headband
  • Ski pants
  • Sweater Tops
  • Long underwear
  • Insulated coats (or jackets if it is going to be a little warmer)
  • Mittens or gloves
  • Sunglasses (remember that snow reflects sunlight)
  • Headlamp (for night rides)

Sled Dog Breeds

For those curious about the canine companions, there are several breeds of dogs that are well-suited for sled rides. These dogs are strong, agile, and native to snowy climates.

Siberian Huskies are the most iconic of the sled dogs, and their playful attitude and social nature make for a pup that loves working in teams.

Alaskan Malamutes are another breed that is native to the region. Their strong build is perfect for pulling sleighs, and they are also pretty vocal.

Samoyeds are buckets of fluff that are exceptionally loyal to their trainers and love to play in the snow as well. It's one of the most beautiful breeds of dog you'll find on the Alaskan fjords.

Mushing is an amazing experience that encapsulates everything that Alaska is about. Adventure, adrenaline, nature-focused, and familial. We hope you enjoy making friends with some loyal furballs on your Alaskan trip.