5 day DENALI DREAM EXPEDITION
This is an out-and-back trip along the remote and wild Denali Highway.
Connecting Denali National Park with the wilderness of the Wrangell St. Elias Mountains, the highway is closed in winter, snowed in and abandoned to all but the most hardy of winter travelers. The route parallels the majestic Alaska Range — home to North America’s largest mountain, Denali, and its formidable sister peaks, Mt. Deborah and Mt. Hayes. In the afternoon, winter alpenglow turns the mountains into pearly pink glowing gems — a sight to remember. Wildlife is usually abundant on this trip — moose, fox, caribou, and ptarmigan are most often spotted. Wolf packs range freely. We often follow their tracks on a trip that takes us across a high mountain plateau where caribou dot the landscape, and across the vast valley of the mighty Susitna River, carved tens of thousands of years ago during the last Ice Age. Run along ancient eskers and back again on this non-technical trip along one of America’s most remote and beautiful roads.
Accommodations: Hotel room, two nights shared accommodations at a remote camp, two nights at a beautiful wilderness lodge located along the route. Private room upgrade available at hotel and at lodge (+$130/night).
Duration: 5 days, 4 nights. This trip is approximately 100 miles roundtrip (not including road miles) and includes one full day of orientation and mushing lessons before departure.
Price: $3799 per person.
Dates: March 29 - April 2, 2021. Additional dates available upon request.
Availability: Yes. 2 person minimum. Private groups only.
COVID19 Precautions: This is a private tour. We will require proof of a negative COVID19 test within 72 hours of your tour start time. If you are coming from in-state, we will still require a negative COVID test within 72 hours. We will screen for symptoms, and ask that you self report symptoms as well. Social distancing is not always possible on this trip. We share vehicles and common spaces. Masks will be required when social distancing is not possible. Please see our COVID19 response plan & Terms and Conditions page for more details.
available by request
✔ Hotel/airport pickup
✔ Alaskan-inspired meals & snacks
✔ Dog mushing lessons
✔ Drive your own dog team
✔ Use of expedition weight parkas
✔ Cold-weather sleeping bags and pads
is this trip right for me?
Are you an adventurous soul? A dog lover? Do you love winter? Are you desirous of a closer connection to nature? Answer yes to any one of these? Then yes! This trip might be perfect for you!
No previous mushing experience is required. We will teach you everything you need to know to feel comfortable and equipped for your days on the trail. Following the wide open grade of the highway, this is our least technical trip.
That being said, dog mushing is a physical activity...from harnessing dogs to standing on the sled all day, you will need to be reasonably able-bodied in order to fully enjoy this experience. If you are hesitant about your ability to manage a dog team, please contact Lisbet & she will guide you through a series of questions designed to evaluate your abilities. You are probably better suited for this than you think.
You do not need previous experience with cold weather climates, but you will need to equip yourself with a proper set of winter base layers in order to ensure your comfort and safety. Even though it is spring in Alaska, weather and temperatures can still be harsh and unpredictable. We will provide you with a list of suggested gear -- your comfort is our utmost concern !
will i drive my own dog team?
Yes. You will drive and be responsible for your own small team of 4-6 dogs. You are accompanied at all times by a professional dog sledding guide who oversees the whole experience, allowing you to relax and enjoy the thrill of driving your own dog team. On orientation day, your guide will introduce you to your team, give you a lesson on how to drive the sled, and take you out on a short trip to practice your new mushing skills. You will learn how to harness a sled dog, and how to slow and stop your team. Your guide drives their own team just ahead of you, keeping an eye on the dogs, the trail, and your progress. You will drive a dog sled all five days -- you will not have the option of sitting in the sled as there is only one person per sled/team.
why is march the best time to see the aurora?
Although the northern lights can be viewed in Fairbanks from August through April even at Kp0,* your chance of seeing the lights in increased when the skies are clear. March is historically the driest month all year in Fairbanks, meaning clear skies and good chances of spotting the aurora. Additionally, spring equinox occurs during March. The northern lights are caused by charged particles from the sun (solar wind) hitting the Earth’s magnetosphere. Around the equinoxes (fall and spring), the Earth’s axis is side-on to the sun, which happens to sync with the magnetic field of the solar wind. That means that during the equinox, charged particles are more likely to be accelerated down the field lines of Earth’s magnetosphere, therefore allowing us to see the northern lights.
*Kp is used to measure aurora strength.