Snow melt doesn’t mean hanging up the sled

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Did you miss out all the dogsled fun this winter? Well just because the snow is gone doesn’t mean the sport has gone cold.

Head to the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and go on a half-day tour to the Husky Homestead, run by Jeff King, four-time champion of the Iditarod. Like a lot of Alaskans, Jeff moved here in search of adventure. Dog mushing and Alaskan huskies piqued his interest, and in 1992 he went from spare time to full time, winning his first Iditarod the following season. He took the mushing world by storm and has become recognized as the “winningest musher in the world.” You might know about the Iditarod, but come see what it takes to create a professional Iditarod racing team. Meet Jeff and more than 75 friendly, energetic huskies ready to share their enthusiasm for the sport. The adventure can be booked at the tour desk at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge.

If you are going to be on the Kenai Peninsula this summer, meet dog musher Lorraine Temple. She is a strong advocate of Alaska’s official state sport. She’ll share tales of the trail, introduce you to her sled dogs and tell you what it takes to make it through the Iditarod. Get hands-on experience by harnessing the dogs and hooking them into the team. Her tour also includes a video and slideshow that features glaciers, wildlife, activities, wildflowers, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and of course, adorable puppies!

Wrangell-St Elias National Park is considered one of the most spectacular destinations in Alaska and is the largest national park. At the Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge, learn about mushing the best way possible, by actually riding in a sled. See how mushers use wheeled carts to keep their dogs fit for winter races and everyday transportation. Head out to the lodge’s main entrance and instead of hailing a cab, hail a ride with a local musher and his team.

If you’ll be in Fairbanks this summer soaking up the midnight sun, stop by the home and kennels the late Susan Butcher with The Riverboat Discovery Cruise. She was the second woman to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 1986, the second four-time winner in 1990, and the first to win four out of five sequential years. She is commemorated in Alaska every year on Susan Butcher Day, March 1. Susan’s husband Dave Monson, a champion of the Yukon Quest, shares stories of life in the dog yard and on the trails. Book this expedition from the tour desk at the Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge.