Location: The foothills of the alaska range mountains
Activities: Dog MusHing, Snowshoeing, ice fishing, cross country skiing
Duration: 6 days, 5 nights
Capacity: 4 people
Time Window: March 24-29 2018
Start and End location: Fairbanks, AK
See full trip description at Arctic Wild's Website: https://arcticwild.com/trip/base-camp/alaska-range-dog-sledding/
Dog sledding is a tradition from the earliest human times in Alaska and the quintessential way to experience winter in the Alaskan Interior. Join us for a week in the heart of the Alaska Range where you will experience the profound quiet of wilderness, the thrill of running a dog team, and the awe of watching the Northern Lights dance above the snowy peaks. Discover why Alaskans think of March as the perfect time to play outside.
Day 1: The adventure begins. We’ll pick you up from your hotel bright and early and drive for a few hours, stopping to take in the view of where we’re headed. At the trailhead we’ll meet the dogs and go over mushing basics. After a quick lunch we’ll hit the trail, traveling by dogsled to our basecamp. The trail is wide and easy on the way there, after a couple hours you arrive at camp which has already been set up.
Day 2-5: Each day brings its own adventure and surprises. Your desires and the weather will dictate the schedule. Wildlife sightings quicken the pulse and the process of learning to work with the dogs is immensely rewarding. Tents are kept warm and there is ample and delicious 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 one new vista after the next we are delighted to take you over the horizon. We’ll make warm fires and enjoy picnic lunches on the trial. You can also try your luck at ice fishing, explore some different terrain on snowshoes, learn more about the natural history of the Alaska Range by following animal tracks with experienced guides, take some incredible pictures, and soak in the spring sun. If primitive skills interest you, we can work together on fire making, snow shelters and other bushcraft skills. When the day’s adventures are done we have excellent chances to see the Aurora dancing green and red above the mountains while the dogs howl in the twilight.
Days 6: Our final morning in camp and time to say goodbye to the trails and vistas you have grown to love. Then it is back on the sled for the run back to the road. Kiss your favorite dog goodbye and then head back to Fairbanks for a well-deserved shower.
In Alaska’s Interior, sled dogs are still a way of life. Your guides use their team of hardy Alaska Huskies to haul wood, water, and people. March is a time time of deep fluffy snow and dazzlingly bright days. The grip of winter relaxes, and it is the perfect time to travel the frozen landscape.
In addition to the aesthetic joys of spring in Alaska, this trip is an opportunity to learn the skills and lore of winter camping. And, of course, how to mush a team of dogs. Our Alaskan huskies are big-hearted, hard working, friendly animals and their enthusiasm for the snowy landscape is contagious. We will have a team of enthusiastic sled-dogs, allowing you to learn to work with the dogs in a safe and controlled situation. As you gain rapport with the dogs and sled handling skills, we can venture further and further from our camp on our daily forays. When not enjoying the dogs, there is lots to do. We will provide snowshoes for making new dog-trails and exploring on foot.
When not exploring, photographing, or lounging, there is plenty of diversion in a winter camp. Wood needs to be cut, snow needs to be melted for cooking, dogs need tending, and the skills and lore of a wall tent camp can be learned and savored. Your guides are happy to do the work but people often really enjoy the rhythm and exercise of joining in to make a truly comfortable camp in such a remote environment.
Wildlife is always unpredictable, but our camp will be at the junction of the moose and wolf-rich Tanana flats and the foothills of the Alaska Range. We can explore in either direction, winding into the mountains or gliding over frozen rivers into the flats country. In both directions we’ll read stories in the snow from local snowshoe hares, moose, coyotes, wolves, lynx, marten and more.
We will set up a solid and comfortable camp sheltered from the wind in an area with abundant firewood. A large communal home made wall tent with a roaring fire and plenty of good food and drink provides a cozy oasis. Sleeping arrangements will be in wood-heated “Arctic Oven” tents designed here in Fairbanks specifically for cold weather camping and each tent is outfitted with a wood-stove to keep it comfortably warm.
Included: Transportation from Fairbanks to and from camp, all food, all gear including tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, parka (bring your own if you like), boots, warm mitts, snowshoes, fishing gear.
Not Included: Flights to Fairbanks, Alaska, lodging in Fairbanks for the night before you fly in and day you get back. Skis, boots, poles for optional cross-country skiing (you can rent skis from University of Alaska Fairbanks if you like). Bring your own alcohol if you like.