We are at Birk Husky , a little over an hour drive from Kirkenes. Spinx is welcomed by 50 happy barking Alaskan huskies and two enormous guard dogs that protect them from the bears. But the bears are only around in summer. They hibernate all winter.
If you think the wolf-like Alaskan huskies are frightening, you have to think again. They are very friendly, social and playful dogs, and they love to run. Run fast. Run far. The owners use them in dog sledging competitions. With the steady flow of visitors, they get to run every day.
There are several trips for you to choose among at Birk Husky, and all suggestions include transportation to and from Kirkenes:
A good taste
The perfect introduction to dog sledging for individuals with limited time and/or budget. You will get a short briefing in the mastery of dog sledging. You get to know the dogs while you help get the sledges ready for the trip. The trip starts out in the woods or along the Norwegian-Russian border river. There will be two persons per sled, one sitting and one driving. There will be a stop during the trip and you will be served coffee or tea with a little snack.
A day at the dog sled
A longer tour for those wanting a real taste of dog sledging. You get a short briefing in the mastery of dog sledging. You get to know the dogs while you help get the sledges ready for the trip. There will be a stop to make a bonfire and prepare a hot meal based on local ingredients. This trip lasts about six to eight hours.
This is the musher's ABC. Dog sledging and sleep over in a hut or Sámi lavvo. Good food and a lot of good stories. On these trips you will get the real experience of the life with a dog team. You participate in all the work, from getting the dogs ready, feeding them, making the camp, keep the fire running and so on. This is an authentic experience in the Arctic environment.
Large groups of people should choose the "Roundabout" taste of dog sledging on offer at Birk Husky. There will be several sledges ready for you and give you a taste of dog sledging during a short round of about one to two kilometres. You will sit in the sled or try to drive it yourself. In combination with food in the lavvo, this is the good offer for groups with more than 12 people.
Other places to try dog sledging in Finnmark.
Other places to try dog sledging in Norway.
The owners will pick you up in Kirkenes, and return you there when you are finished.
Getting to Kirkenes
SAS and Norwegian have direct flights from Oslo to Kirkenes daily. The flight is about two hours. There are flights to and from other destinations in Northern Norway with Widerøe.
Where to stay
Spinx stayed at Rica Hotel Kirkenes. It is possible to find cabins to rent close to Birk Husky. Find other places to stay in Kirkenes.
The small town of Kirkenes is located north east in Northern Norway, close to the Russian border. Kirkenes is known as the capital of the Barents Region and the gateway to the east. Kirkenes is situated between two time zones; Helsinki and Moscow. In Kirkenes, which lies in the municipality of Sør-Varanger, people speak Norwegian, Sami, Finnish and Russian. The small mining town has approximately 3,300 inhabitants.