Overnight Dog Sledding in the Scandinavian Taiga
Come experience the wonder of mystical Lapland on an epic overnight adventure. You will drive your own team of vivacious Huskies up to 100km across vast frozen lakes and rivers, through the exquisite Boreal ecosystem and supernal Taiga forests. An experience of a lifetime awaits you in sub-arctic Lapland, home to the esoteric Aurora Borealis and land of the dazzling Midnight Sun. Spending the evening in a wonderful Lappish wilderness cabin with a steamy hot sauna, memories like these are seldom made and never forgotten.
Meeting the dogs & learning to drive the sled
Our team will collect you from the Airport, Train station or your Hotel in Kiruna and drive you to the Snowdog basecamp. We will first head to the dressing room and kit you out with quality extreme winter weather gear in preparation for your two days out in the often bitterly cold Arctic environment. After which we will head to the Husky Kennel.
At Snowdog we have a eclectic mix of Alaskan and Siberian Huskies, many of whom come from some of the best dog lines in the world. We also function as an active sprint and distance racing kennel so it is important to us that the bloodlines, temperament and endurance of our furry canine companions are of the highest standard.
When you arrive at the Dog Kennel, you will shown around by one of our experienced guides to meet our super friendly dogs and be introduced to your team, depending on your experience, fitness and size you will handle a team of between 4-6 Huskies, which as you will soon discover, packs a punch of relentless dog power.
Next you will be given a detailed induction course on driving the sled in the varying conditions we expect you will encounter, what to do and what not to do. How to take care, control and command your team effectively. Without our dedicated Husky team we don’t get anywhere fast, so looking after them and their requirements is quintessential for the journey. Love them and they will love you back!
Driving the sled through the wilderness
When we are all prepared and comfortable we will set off, first we will take a 14km loop in order to give you time to acquaint yourself to the sometimes challenging and often changing terrain of Arctic Lapland. On our return from this first excursion we will take five minutes, check all is well with the dogs, the sleds, you guys and then we go... into the wild.
The adventure you are about to embark on is an awe-inspiring and monumental trip. Depending on the time of year, weather and snow/ice conditions we may take a selection of varying trails and arrive at one of the fantastic wilderness cabins. We will ride down the old Poikkijärvi trail, through the old village onto and across the magnificent Torne River past the world famous Ice Hotel. We then drive our dog team through a tunnel which takes us under a road, past The Nutti Sami Reindeer Lodge. We then approach the immense, frozen sahara of lake Sautusjärvi which we will cross, straight through the middle. It is never ending and also part of the Tobacco Trail to Finland which is a Sled Dog race we sometimes participate in. We will eventually reach the most fantastic wilderness cabin, literally in the middle of nowhere. You will love it, we love it. Working as a team, we thank, feed and prepare the dogs for the evening. Meanwhile, we will be lighting the wood fires, candles and warming up the cosy sauna.
The overnight stay
At the wilderness cabin there is no electricity and the water is from an old well, from which we first have to break the ice in order to reach the crystal fresh water below. Once the dogs are taken care of it's time to take care of ourselves, we will cook a lovely 3 or 4 course meal with possibly a refreshing beer or glass of wine, maybe we have some local Suovas (smoked reindeer) or locally caught fish, we can also prepare some lovely vegetarian or vegan dishes. After food, you have the chance to relax in an authentic wood-fired wilderness sauna, maybe a spot of Ice Fishing on the lake and hopefully some Northern Lights to top of the day. The cabin is in an isolated location with no light pollution therefore an ideal location to view The magical Aurora Borealis.
We rise relatively early in the morning around 7am, we have a coffee, water or tea and check on the dogs, it’s time to feed our superhuman four legged friends, as we also prepare a nice warm breakfast to get us ready for the return leg of our journey. We tidy up, kit up in our warm clothes and ready our team to go. The dogs become uproarious as they sense we are about to depart and you can feel the adrenaline pumping as we go. The hardest part sometimes is slowing them down and for the first couple of kilometers that can be a fun but arduous task. We cruise back down The Tobacco Trail towards the great Torne River, crossing over the frozen tundra, lakes and streams through the boreal forest, this time we will travel down the impressively imposing Torne enjoying the astounding 360o winter paradise. Finally, we travel up driving past the oldest standing Sami church in Lapland (1609) and cross the river to join once again the Poikkijärvi trail, this time it’s up hill and your faithful and committed team may need and deserve your assistance on the final few kilometers.
Once back at the Snowdog Base, we release and unharness our wonderful wholehearted huskies and treat them with a big chunk of meat for their amazing endeavours, they deserve every last bite! We then let them return to their cosy houses to get some well deserved rest. We will take a little time to catch our breath and maybe a quick coffee or tea as we relax from our awesome experience.
Points to note
It is a journey, not a race and speed kills the dogs energy. So it is always prudent not to drive too fast. Your guide is an expert at managing ideal speed and rhythms, sometimes a little speed and sometimes a little slow. We will also stop for several breaks to let us and the dogs chill for a short periods of time.
When you are mushing it is a team effort and we will verse you in understanding how, when and why you help your dog team, how to use the brake and control your speed effectively and what to do in the event of a tangle or incident. It’s not just about standing there letting the dogs do all the work. If you are looking for this kind of tour, then we are not for you. We love our dogs, they are our extended family and when they work hard, so do we. But it’s not so hard really... however, whilst you need not be an athlete, a certain degree of fitness is required, if you have any health concerns or medical issues it is your responsibility to make us aware prior to participating on the trip.
We will aim to cover between 70-100km, you will be driving the dog sled for between 3-4 hours on each day, the trail may vary but we will nearly always use the wilderness cabins and trails described here and in the 3 day trip. So please have a read of them both. You will not be disappointed. If for whatever reason we cancel the trip a full refund or alternative tour will be offered to you. Sometimes distances and locations may vary due to weather conditions but generally we always use similar authentic locations and fantastic trails. If you are interested, please email us first and we will send you further information, pictures and detail.
We will also try where possible (there is a lot going on!) to take some nice photographs and video for you to keep. Occasionally we will have one of our Video/Photographer people follow on a snowmobile at a distance and set up cameras to try and collate some quality video and photographs, watch our youtube channel and the videos on the website to see what we can do.
Price & Details
Price Per Person: 9,500 Sek
Tour Times are flexible and can vary but generally we collect you around midday and we return the following day around early afternoon.
Group Size: 2-4 people, we can take more for customised bookings and corporate events, please contact us direct.
Minimum age is 16, although we can take younger but please discuss with us prior to booking.
What should you bring?
We will supply you with extreme cold weather parka and snow pants, boots, hat, neck buff, gloves and a head torch which are suitable for this journey.
- Warm breathable base layer, wool is best, Merino wool is better or synthetic. Consisting of a long sleeved top, preferably with a high neck and long johns. Avoid cotton garments. (2 sets is best)
- Several pairs of warm woolen socks and sock liners
- A thin light warm jacket and 1 or 2 x fleece mid-layer
- Light shoes, Moccasin, sandal or warm slippers for indoors
- Sunglasses (sports type, not glass), Snow goggles if you have sensitive eyes and sunscreen
- A foldable duffle type bag for your personal belongings and another bag to leave at our base with other items/clothes not required for this trip
- Camera, spare sd card, maybe a battery pack
- 2 pairs of thinner inner gloves for working with the dogs
- Insulated water bottle
- A spare warm hat
- One or two winter buffs for your neck
- Spare Head Torch and extra set of batteries (we also supply one)
- Minimal toiletries
- Heat packs
To make your booking, please contact us directly.