The Arctic Circle, the geographic crown of the world, is rich in unspoilt land. Alaska, Canada, Finland, Greenland, Norway and Sweden are part of this area and have some of the best picturesque playgrounds in which to experience dog sledding.
From its humble beginnings thousands of years ago as the only transportation to get over the frozen tundra, dog sledding has evolved into a popular winter activity. It’s not just for professionals who run in such races like the well-known Iditarod in Alaska. It’s for those who can appreciate the excitement of gliding along in nature’s pristine winter wonderland, but can test the physical and mental limits in a hostile terrain and environment.
Huskies bark and howl into the cold air with intense anticipation as they wait impatiently for the last anchor rope to be untied. With sled in tow, the team is unleashed upon the arctic’s snow packed landscape. These beautifully strong, yet collaborative animals have been bred for this activity since their early days of providing pre-Columbian natives with transportation across the vast polar distances.
Hike! Gee! Haw! Easy! Whoa!
These are some of the commands that all the dogs must know, especially the fast running leader of the pack. Where he/she goes, the others must follow. What about Mush? Actually it is considered to be too soft a command word and therefore rarely used.
This activity is not just for the professional Iditarod racer, but something anyone can enjoy. Whether you go for two hours, two days or longer, you can experience the scenery of the Arctic Circle through forests, over frozen lakes and along open terrain surround by mountain peaks as those who have been doing so for centuries. Take your experience up a notch by taking charge of your own team of dogs and go on this adventure between December and February when the Northern Lights and Aurora Borealis are more visible.
Here are a few companies that can provide you with the thrill of mushing your own dog team in the great white north:
- The Alaska Adventure Company (Alaska)
- Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours (Canada)
- Mad Dog and Englishmen Expeditions (Canada)
- Dogsledding Iceland (Iceland)
- Syberiada Adventure (Finland)
- Bear Hill Husky (Finland)
- Birk Husky (Norway)
- Engholm Husky (Norway)
- Sled Dog Tour Sweden (Sweden)