In the 1930’s dog sledding was a popular family getaway. Today, your kids will be hard pressed to find many classmates who have jumped in the basket and mushed a team of dogs. But there are a handful of vacation destinations that are all about the dogs. You can attend for just a few hours and enjoy the ride or stay for a few days and learn about dog sled camping or wilderness skills. Some outfits offer father-daughter or mother-daughter type adventures, and most will customize a trip to suit your family’s skill level and ages.
At Skytop Lodge in the Pocono’s, guests learn mushing commands and actually take turns driving the team. The lodge also offers tours of the kennel, including information on the history of the Husky breed, nutritional needs, exercise and lots of dog petting. The dog sledding package can be added on to a stay at the lodge, which offers many winter sporting activities and a family package special.
Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge, in Ely Minnesota, has a wide variety of family and couples packages. Families can choose to stay at the lodge or go out on the trail with the dogs for several days and “dogsled camp”.
If you’re planning an Alaska trip, check out Alaska Dog Sledding. Run by Jerry and Clara Austin, this is the real deal. Jerry has completed the Iditarod 18 times and is a master guide. Clara is a Yupik Eskimo and was born and raised in the area. The Austins say that families have flown in from all over the world just to have the experience of mushing in the authentic setting. They also have a trip that coincides with the finishing of the Iditarod. Spend Saturday and Sunday night in Nome, attending the Finishers Banquet, meeting the racers and their dogs and enjoying Nome.
Costs for these trips range from $70 per adult/$30 per child for an outing of a couple of hours to $1500 or more per person for multi-day trips. You can also read more here.
How cool! I miss my dog whenever I leave California (which is, well, a lot), so the idea of vacationing with dogs is just brilliant. I’m thinking some Alaska small-ship action on the Inner Passage, a little drive through Denali and some dogsled-age on the tundra w/ a side helping of Iditarod might just be the perfect vacation…
I was really impressed with the Alaska adventure options. There was a lot of variety and you could mix one of them with a really romantic trip up like you suggested. Camping in the middle of nowhere would have to be very cool too. I really want to do this as a family, my daughter would never forget it, she wants to be a vet and is NUTS about animals. But Alaska would be the icing on that cake!!