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Winter Dog Sledding in Alaska

Amazing tales revolve around the relationship between mushers and their dogs, and together they have saved cities, inspired untold millions and carved out a permanent niche in Alaska’s history.

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Ride with dog sled team across an Alaska meadow.
Ride with dog sled team across an Alaska meadow. ©Nicole Geils

A reliable dog team and well-crafted sled were vital for Alaska’s indigenous people and gold-seeking sourdoughs. Once a necessity for travel, dog sledding has evolved into Alaska’s premier winter sport and summer adventure.

Owning dogs and sleds is no longer a prerequisite as many kennel owners offer rides, tours, demonstrations and a chance to snuggle with the cute little sled dog puppies. Others create custom overnight and multi-day tours that allow visitors to become the driver.

The opportunities to experience the thrill of mushing are endless and not limited to season. In summer, dogsled along well-traveled trails on wheels or helicopter to a glacier where you can mush your own sled.

Run with the Big Dogs

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race® is 1,049 miles of pure adrenaline. This annual clash of the canines pits mushers and dog teams against the roughest, most beautiful terrain Mother Nature has to offer. The ceremonial start takes place in downtown Anchorage on the first Saturday in March, when more than 60 mushers and their dog teams rush down Fourth Avenue. The scene is electric, as more than a thousand dogs leap and bark in anticipation.