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  • Writer's pictureCoastandCrownTravel

Dog Sledding Adventure

Updated: Sep 19, 2020

The Iditarod is the most known dog sled race, but did you know that the race commemorates a lifesaving relay to Nome, Alaska? In 1925, Nome was threatened by an epidemic of diphtheria. Twenty teams of dogs and mushers relayed lifesaving medication from Nenana to Nome in just five days. Today, their 674-mile route is called the Iditarod Trail. The first race was run in 1973, and the 1,000-mile race included the Iditarod Trail as part of its route as a tribute to the miracle the mushers helped to deliver.




Dogsledding is an important part of Alaska's history. As early as 1732, the Yup'ik and Inupiaq people living in Alaska's Bering Straits used teams of dogs to pull sleds for personal transportation and delivery. Mail, medicine, and people were transported across Alaska by these teams of dogs. Most of us hear dogsledding and think of the Iditarod (the state sport of Alaska), but dogsledding has much more history than that!


Sled dogs have incredible bonds with their mushers. They are very intelligent and well trained dogs. They respond to verbal commands. They work year round practicing even in the summer months by pulling sleds on wheels to keep the dogs in unison.


The Iditarod is the most known dog sled race, but did you know that the race commemorates a lifesaving relay to Nome, Alaska? In 1925, Nome was threatened by an epidemic of diphtheria. Twenty teams of dogs and mushers relayed lifesaving medication from Nenana to Nome in just five days. Today, their 674 mile route is called the Iditarod Trail. The first race was run in 1973, and the 1,000 mile race included the Iditarod Trail as part of its route.


While much of the sled dog's work has been outsourced to people with planes and boats, they still are part of the Alaska culture. The biggest threats to the dogs are wild animals and extreme temperatures. Moose and wolves both pose threats to the safety of the dogs and the extreme, learn about the life of a musher, and experience dog sledding on the glacier. One from Skagway allows you to ride down into the Tongass National Forest, where you will ride in a Unimog to the camp. You'll get the kennel talk about how the dogs are cared for, hear about life as a musher, and play with the puppies, and then experience a dogsledding on wheels! If you want an experience closest to the Iditarod, you will need to visit Anchorage, Seward, or Fairbanks in the winter (from November to March) and experience sledding on snow!


And as part of the Alaska cruise experience, you can choose to do a dogsledding excursion. There are several types of dogsledding excursions depending on where and when you choose to do them. For some, you will helicopter up to Mendenhall Glacier, visit a dog camp, play with the pups, learn about the life of a musher, and experience dogsledding on the glacier. One from Skagway allows you to ride down into the Tongass National Forest, where you will ride in a Unimog to the camp. You'll get the kennel talk about how the dogs are cared for, hear about life as a musher, and play with the puppies, and then experience a dogsledding on wheels! If you want an experirence closest to the Iditarod, you will need to visit Anchorage, Seward, or Fairbanks in the winter (from November to March) and experience sledding on snow!


While much of the sled dog's work has been outsourced to people with planes and boats, they still are part of the Alaska culture. The biggest threats to the dogs are wild animals and extreme temperatures. Moose and wolves both pose threats to the safety of the dogs and the extreme , learn about the life of a musher, and experience dog sledding on the glacier. One from Skagway allows you to ride down into the Tongass National Forest, where you will ride in a Unimog to the camp. You'll get the kennel talk about how the dogs are cared for, hear about life as a musher, and play with the puppies, and then experience a dogsledding on wheels! If you want an experirence closest to the Iditarod, you will need to visit Anchorage, Seward, or Fairbanks in the winter (from November to March) and experience sledding on snow!

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