History of Dog Sledding/Mushing:
Dog Sledding Tours USA – Dog sledding or Mushing trips, as it is also known has been around for generations! Where the earliest recorded dog sledding dated back to 1000 AD.
The power of mans best friend has always been vital in transporting supplies such as food, furs, mail, gold and even Medicine in the infamous 1925 Alaskan Serum Run! (Read More about this further down).
The powerful dogs with their sturdy dog harnesses were found particularly helpful during harsh winters & in arctic climates.For example, during the 1925 serum in Alaska 20 mushers & 150 sled dogs traveled over 1000km (674miles) in just 5.5 days to the small town of Nome, to bring cures which prevented a Diphtheria Epidemic!
For more on this and the Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race (1,150 mile race!) check out this great article on National Historic Trails.
Dog Sledding Tours U.S.A, near me!
These days the Dog Sledding or Mushing is done for more fun & recreational reasons. As dashing through the snow on a 8 dog open sled is a bucket-list experience of a lifetime. Full of adrenaline, thrills and a great way to experience nature and maybe even feel like a true pioneer or adventurer like those on the 1925 Serum Run!
Dog Sledding can give you access to the wilderness like no other form of activity, from sledding across frozen lakes, to off the beaten track Alpine wooded trails and of course sledding through mountainous snowy terrain!Dog sled tour operators offer a variety of ways to take the dog sled out for a spin, from one day tours to multi day excursions there is something for everyone. Some even will teach you the native skills of driving & handled a team of sled dogs.
Now although Alaska is the United States, hub of dog mushing/sledding due to it deep rooted history & only 1000 miles of highway to it’s half a million square miles of land! There are so many other great dog sledding tours across the lower 48 states.
In this list I will outline 17 great U.S states & 50 most instagrammable & exciting Dog sled tours across them…so you will really have an opportunity to try this great activity!
16 Epic Dog Sledding Destinations:
As the mecca of Dog Sledding, Alaska vast arctic terrain makes it the perfect place to try Dog Sledding and really have that historical Pioneering experience. With miles of picturesque glaciers, millions of tonnes of snow and subarctic terrain, Alaska’s wilderness is a true gem!
With Dog Sled Races a popular activity here, it’s the perfect opportunity to go an experience the barking mad thrills! Probably the most popular Dog Racing event in the United States is the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, this annual race runs from Anchorage to Nome and dates back generations!
Popular Alaska Dog Sled Tours:
This is a great Dog Sled operator to try out in the summer! Ran by the world renowned musher Mary Shields who has been doing dog sled tours since 1984!
She offers her personal home for avid dog sled visitors who wish to experience the majesty of mushing! The one is best for small groups only, as Mary like to give personal attention to the guests and her sled dogs!
A great Dog sled operator which allows you to experience the completely remote Alskan wilderness north of Yukon River. With great mountainous terrain on offer you won’t be disappointed.
Location: Charlie Campbell, Tanana, Alaska, USA
This tour company offers dog sled expeditions around the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Fairbanks area.Alaskan Skijoring AdventuresSkijoring adventures offers jaw dropping views of Mt McKinleys and a stunning landscape for dog sledding across. Location: Trapper Creek, Alaska USAAlaska Icefield ExpeditionsIf summer is coming up then head down to Juneau Icefiled. As Alaks Icefield Expeditions offers a great summer tour with helicopter sightseeing & of course some fun packing Dog sledding. Location: Juneau, Alaska, USA
The Rocky Mountains just outside of Denver make for the perfect location to try a Dog Sledding experience, especially if you don’t want to head up all the way to Alaska!
Popular Colorado Dog Sled Tours:
Snow Buddy Dog Sled tours based in Oak Creek has a cool expedition through Dunckley Pass to little flat tops. You have the option to take this one self driven or guided.
Based in Fraser does alot of daily tours, so is a good one for a last minute booking!
Goodtimes Adventures based in Breckenridge offers, a fantastic 6 mile trail through Swam River valley.
Location: Vail Valley, Colorado
If your looking for a scenic private dog sled trail by a well established company, then Mountain Musher is one of the best. They run an awesome Dog Sled Expedition which will take you through aspen forests and real wilderness routes! Don’t expect to see any annoying snow mobiles on this trip…but keep your eyes peeled for plenty of wildlife, from Coyotes to deer.
Mountain Musher runs two trips per day in the morning/afternoon which take approximately two hours each run over 6 miles.
The cost for a trip with these guys is around $175pp
Sledding solo costs double that $350.
This may seem steep but prices get even higher during holidays so avoid close to Christmas and Valentine day! They also have a strict no cancel policy so make sure your fully ready to go.
Another option in Telluride, is Wintermoon Sled Dog Adventures , these offer a fantastic Dog sledding trip which takes you through San Juan and Uncompahgre National Forests, in a thrilling ride.
White Wilderness located in Ely, Minnesota. Offers a vast number of Dog Sledding expeditions from single day trips to four night tours. The four nighter is a real bear grills experience which takes you deep inside the Boundary Waters wilderness giving you a great opportunity to explore the entire Gabbro Lakes area.
Open December till March, this is one of the best for an all encompassing experience, with accommodation and meals provided for multi day excursion.
However, all this does come with a price tag at $345 for the Solo Dog Sled trips pp (weekend) and $1575 for the 4 night package.
Season: Open December to March.
An alternative provider is Lodge of Whispering Pines which provide Full Service resort open ALL SEASONS! Located just north of Ely on the Echo Trail.
This Dog Sled operator starts it tours at it’s quaint log lodge been taking you through the Superior National forest. Accompanied by a veteran musher & wilderness guide, you will be in safe hands on your journey.
Season: All Seasons
If a learning experience is what your after then Boundary Country Trekking is the one for you. They will teach you everything from driving your own sled to and mushing your own Dog team! This is a real you & the dogs trip where you will learn the historic art of Dog Sledding.
Season: Open December to March.
They offer weekly trip and provide a selection of lodging from log cabins to quirky yurts & heated tents.
The hilariously named “Chilly Dogs” is a real fun & adventurous FAMILY dog sledding tour operator. Located in the Dog Sledding hot spot of Ely, you will not be short of choice with a variety of half day, full day and overnight camping trips on offer.
Their dog sledding tours take you through a quiet winter trail through an army of pine and birch and across frozen lakes and rivers.
Top tip: Best for families.
Wintermoon has some of the happiest Huskies i’ve ever seen! Full of energy and life they really make you excited about taking a trip. Located 50 miles north if Duluth, there Dog sled trails take you through Superior National Forest and include lodging, meals and teaching.
Big Sky Country is one of the most epic places to take a Dog Sled ride through! With world famous national parks such as Yellowstone and Glacier you will not be short of terrain & a adrenaline pumping experience!
Top Tip: Head down the first week of December when the wilderness trails are compacted with snow and ready to be bursted through on your Dog Sled!
Popular Minnesota Dog Sled Tours:
Located in Emigrant, Montana, this is the ultimate Yellowstone experience! Dog Sled adventures strong huskies will power you through varied terrain and across frozen rivers battling to pull you across every slope and through the scenic National Park.
Top Tip: Take a small group tour to get better access to the more scenic off the beaten track Dog Sledding routes.
They offer a variety of Dog Sledding experiences from a short one hour burst to a half day.
Best Value: Sample for $95 or “Learn to Mush” half-day experience for $195.
Kids rates are $45 and $150. Most people opt for the half day as it gives you more time to better get to know the dogs.
Be warned: At Yellowstone even the lowest points are about a mile high so be aware of the high altitude & thin air. So if your sensitive to this or have pre existing health conditions I would probably opt for a lower altitude dog sled experience.
As home to the first Olympic Dog Sled race and even a few of its own, Adirondacks a fantastic place to get dog sledding! Winter in Adirondacks is a magical time with many quaint little towns it’s not unheard of to see some local residents using the dog sleds as transportation!
Lake Placid area has to be my favourite sleepy town which is perfect in the winter. Watch as Mirror lake turns into a frozen winter playground and local Dog Sled drivers at parked up all along main street offering tourists a ride across the lake. Afterwards warm up in one of the cozy coffee shops or breweries.
Notable places to dog sled include: Golden Arrow Dogsled Rides and Thunder Mountain Dog Sled Tours.
Thunder Mountain doesn’t require reservations and operate from mid morning to early evening giving tourists a chance to loop round Mirror lake and take an Adirondack wilderness tour.
Fun Fact: Alot of the Sleds you will see in Adirondacks sleds are made by Local craftsmen from the durable and lightweight ash trees, which are native to the Adirondack region.
Thunder Mountain Dog Sled Tours is located across the street from High Peaks Resort on Mirror Lake. Just behind Players Sports Bar/Top of the Park on Main Street in Lake Placid.
Head to Maines western and northern woods during the winter & you will find a snow covered winter wonderland!
Many Dog Sled operators take full advantage of this offering, a variety of exciting dog sledding packages & even overnight camping in the woods.
Popular Maine Dog Sled Tours:
New England Dogsledding offers a real immersive experience where avid dog sledders can learn how to handle & drive an entire team of dogs!
This hands on trip is made even better by the wondrous White Mountain National Forest as it’s playground!
For a more package based resort style experience head down to Grafton Notch, Maine.
Surrounded by Maines magical Umbagog Lake and the towering Mahoosuc Mountains, you can take an adrenaline pumping ride through scenic trails which are of the beaten track!
With a variety of packages on offer Mahoosuc Guide Service is a “full service’ dog sledding experience.
Although, it can be physically challenging if your used to cross country skiing you shouldn’t have a problem. Prices are $595pp. They alos offer a three day tour.
With an interior of forests surrounded by the coastlines of the 2 Great Lakes (Michigan and Superior), a variety of landscapes makes this mid western state an easily accessible place to try dog sledding.
A popular Dog Sledding Tour here is Wolfsong Adventures in Mushing in Bayfield, Wisconsin.
View this post on Instagram
Ran by John & Mary Thiel they pride themselves on a hands on experience. Here you can train to be a musher of 35 beautiful & friendly Siberian huskies, in one of their 2-4 hours dog sled adventures.
As the 2nd most sparsely populated state in the country! You can be sure to find some remoteness & really get back in touch with nature in Wyoming.
Highlights include Grand Teton National park, Old Faithful (erupting geyser) and even Devils Tower National Monument. What better way to explore these then through an epic Dog sledding tour.Jackson Hole’s Continental Divide Dog Sled Adventures Located in Dubois, Wyoming. Jacksons hole is ran by Iditarod Race Legend Billy Snodgrass who will take you through the pristine forrest and mountain side trials of the Wyoming wilderness. With expert knowledge on hand, it’s great to be taught by someone who is truly passionate about their 170 Alaskan Sled dogs.Popular Dog Sledding tours include ones which go through Granite Creek Canyon & Bridger-Teton National Forest. Keep your eyes open as you may catch some rare glimpses of Bald Eagles, big horn sheep and as you would expect moose, deer and elks! A variety of Dog sled tours are on offer from half day ($248) overnight to multi day experiences. A full day (dog sledding/snowshoe) mix is $355.
A Surprising one on the list! As opposite to Alaska as you can get Californias amazing outback provides a surprisingly epic landscape to go on a Dog Sledding adventure. With the Lake Tahoe Region being a major highlight. A popular tour provider here is Wilderness Adventures Dog Sled Tours located in Olympic Valley, California.They provide some fantastic trails through the Lake Tahoe regions wooded playground of trails. With ample wildlife expected keep your eyes peeled for those pesky Porcupines and even the odd coyote! Check out this great article for a list of the most epic California State Parks!Top Tip: Book a one hour trip on a weekday for just $110!
Washington the North western state most famous for such scenic nature as the Olympic National park and Mount Rainer National Park, its a fantastic place to have some great adventures especially if your struggling for choices on the west coast!A popular Dog sled Tour here is Northwest Dogsled AdventuresLocated in Cle Elum, Washington. They offer some great winter tours…with there pack the “flying furs”.
16. New Hampshire
Popular New Hampshire Dog Sled Tours:
Seal Cove Journey’s
Located in Canaan, the Upper Connecticut river valley of New Hampshire, it’s a scenic area with nature surrounding. Seals Cove offers a selection of dog sledding & learning packages which can be tailored to your needs.