Fancy trying your hand as a musher? Then try dog sledding during your stay in Norway. Operators up and down the country offer tours of varying length and difficulty. Choose from being a passenger on a one-day trip, or steering your own pack of dogs for several days – the choice is yours.
Where to try dog sledding
Finnmark is a popular place to try dog sledding. This far north in winter you will find a white desert stretching as far as the eye can see, and only stars above your head (or the northern lights should you be lucky) courtesy of the long Arctic night. Many local suppliers, most of them small family businesses, offer a range of set and tailor-made dog sledding tours in Finnmark. Among them are BIRK Husky in Kirkenes; Engholm Husky in Karasjok; Holmen Husky and Northern Lights Husky in Alta.
Svalbard also offers many opportunities, with trips arranged by operators like Svalbard Villmarkssenter and Basecamp Explorer among others. The latter even offer a three-day trip that will take you to Tempelfjorden, where Noorderlicht, a schooner built in 1909, stands frozen in the Arctic ice. The ship doubles up as a hotel – you won't get much closer to experiencing life as a polar explorer than this.
If you are heading north, but not as far north as Finnmark or Svalbard, several operators near Narvik, among them Stall Meyer (email: email@example.com) in Hamnvik and Huskyfarm Innset in Bardu all offer dog sledding.
But dog sledging tours are also available in other parts of Norway. Check out Alaskan Husky Tours and Røros Husky in Røros for example, a popular area for dog sledding, or Spydspissen Villmarksopplevelser in the Rendalen Valley and Dahlen Husky in Dalholen, some 100 kilometres to the south and east respectively.
Several companies in or around the Hallingdal Valley offer trips of varying duration. Try Geilo Dog Sledding or Høve Støtt in Geilo, or Hemsedal Huskies in Hemsedal for example. Dog sledding is also available in Ål, Nesbyen and Hønefoss.
Elsewhere in the east of the country you could try your luck with; Gålå Event in Gålå; in Trysil with Aktiv Fritid Trysil; and in Beitostølen with Beito Husky Tours.
In the south you will also find tours on offer in mountainous Telemark, in both Sirdal with Sirdal Husky Farm and Rauland with Tjønndalen Villmarksturer, as well as in Bykle near Hovden with Hundespann.
Bonding with huskies
Huskies, the breed commonly used for dog sledding, are strong dogs. On a typical dog sledding trip they will pull you at high speed across the Norwegian wilderness, and as the wind slaps you face, you will get a taste of what life was like in the old days, when dog sledding was a much more common mode of transportation for many.
Joining a dog sledding tour is also a great opportunity to feel the strong bond between man and dog. Here you will often get the chance to feed and look after the huskies yourself – something that will appeal to dog lovers everywhere.
Sled dog races are fun to watch. Each year Norway hosts two world-famous races - Femundløpet, the world's biggest race starting in the cosy mining town of Røros, and Finnmarksløpet, Europe’s longest and northernmost sledge dog race. Both are World Cup events in the same league as the Iditarod race in Alaska.
Dog sledding on wheels
Got addicted and want to go dog sledding year round? Or want to try something a bit different? Dog sledding on wheels is available in summer on Svalbard.
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