Posted by: Bethany Davis | June 2, 2012

Alaskan Dog Sled Ride

here we go!

Just days before we left for Alaska, I came across a Groupon for a dog sled experience in Seward. With the much-reduced price, we were thrilled to be able to add this to our itinerary.

To save money on the other parts of our trip we split meals, stayed with friends of friends the first night, bought some food for Vera at Wal-Mart (vs. restaurants), and did Anchorage activities that were free to participate in (the downtown festival and Earthquake park).

watching the runway run out beneath us

The Dog Sled trip was quite an experience! First we took a private helicopter ride from the tiny Seward airport to Godwin Glacier. I had heard the best way to see Alaska was from above — and it is definitely true!

We had a chance to appreciate the Alaskan outdoors from a new perspective. We tried to look for bears, but were only able to find some bear tracks.

lots of slobbery doggie kisses

Vera LOVED the dogs! Our guides explained that the Iditarod dogs were basically mutts, bred for endurance and speed. They had lots of energy and didn’t seem content until they were pulling the sled. One of our guide grew up raising Iditarod dogs and the other has actually competed in the junior Iditarod Race (we were impressed!). They live in tents on the glacier and have food (and dvds!) brought in on the planes. Not the job for me, but it was how much they loved the dogs and their jobs. (If you listen on the iphone video below you can hear the Junior Iditarod racer telling some stories from his experiences.)

Most of the dogs at the kennel were related to one another. Each family of dogs was named after a movie (for example, we we had the Matrix characters (Morpheus, Neo, Trinity, etc…). The dogs were paired on the sled and each had different titles (lead, point, wheel, swing, etc…). The balance was harmonious when we started moving. It was amazing to watch these dogs that were seconds ago yapping and barking, now completely silent with only the sound of their breathing and sled moving on top of the snow. I can also see what the guides meant when they said it was addicting.

view of the dog sled camp as our helicopter took us back

After our ride we got to tour the kennel and meet the other dogs. (It started to flurry, making us thankful we were able to fit in this experience since they hadn’t been able to take any tours for the past 3 days due to the weather!) Everything was completely white outside (making depth perception tricky!), except for a few jutting, rocky mountain tops. Simply beautiful and serene.

It was definitely an experience of a lifetime – and I’m so grateful for it!



  1. How come Vera didn’t get headphones?

    • she hates things on her head, and since she didn’t need to hear what the pilot was saying, we didn’t give her any!

  2. Such a great experience. I don’t think I would ever be adventurous enough to try something like this. And I know Bradley wouldn’t be 🙂

    • I have to admit, we both felt a little nervous as we pulled into the airport area! But soon the nerves turned into excitement. 🙂

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