A dogsled tour at the top of Norway with a choice of challenge levels and unique accommodation
The Finnmark region of northern Norway is ideal for husky sledding, with vast expanses of wilderness and a long winter season. Choose between the magical deep midwinter of December and January, the lengthening days and thick snows of February or the uplifting "spring winter" of March and April, with longer hours of daylight and typically milder temperatures.
You will be fully instructed in mushing skills before setting off. You will normally use teams of 4 huskies when driving solo and 8 when driving tandem, typically sledding approx. 25-40km/day.
For nights at the kennels, accommodation is in beautiful, hand-crafted cabins. Photo: EH.
Begin with tandem sleds to build confidence
Depending on the previous experience of guests (the most suitable option being decided in consultation with the guide at the start), the most common arrangement is to begin with driving tandem sled for the first day or two. This is done by tethering two sleds to a larger team of 8 huskies, and allows two persons to share the tasks of driving, braking and working with the teams.
This gives greater control and security, both for guests and dogs, during the first part of the tour as you are gaining confidence in sledding in the open Finnmark landscape. When sledding in tandem, one person is always able to stay with the sled if necessary while the other fixes an issue such as tangled lines - or pulls themselves out of a snowdrift!
The tandem sleds can be easily de-coupled as required to make two single sleds. Participants who do not wish to drive their own sled can opt to continue to use tandem sled with travel partner or sled connected behind your guide's sled.
We can almost guarantee you won't have stayed in cabins (or worn winter clothes) like these before!
For all the dogsled tour options, a night spent at the kennels is an experience in itself, with overnight accommodation in unique, traditional cabins at the kennels. Almost everything in the cabins has been handmade from local materials - the beds you will sleep on, the chairs you will sit on and swing in, the bathroom mirror, even the lampshades!
Hand-made winter outer clothing is another unique feature of the tour. Photo: Patricia Brown.
Parts of the specialist winter outer clothing provided are also hand-made from local materials. Instead of the modern snowmobile suit or winter jacket usually used for tours of this kind, the outer layer worn on your upper body is made from soft reindeer leather - a material naturally adapted for the Arctic winter.
Option 1: 5-day tour
The Aurora Husky Adventure in Finnmark 5-day tour combines 2 nights' comfortable accommodation in hand-crafted cabins at the Husky Lodge, skilfully designed and lovingly built by the head dogsled guide himself over a period of 40 years, with 3 days/2 nights of adventure out in the wilderness, when accommodation will be normally be in mountain cabin just below the treeline on the Finnmark Plateau.
The tour runs in a region used for reindeer grazing, giving you good chances to see reindeer and perhaps even moose during the tour - you will most likely spot the tell-tale deep tracks left by moose in the snow as you sled through the landscape.
Being far from sources of light pollution also gives you excellent chances for a spectacular display of the Northern Lights during your tour.
The Finnmark Plateau is a wild and beautiful region of Arctic tundra. Photo: EH.
The Aurora Husky Adventure in Finnmark 5-day tour is a moderately challenging but accessible husky tour suitable for adults with a love of the outdoors (and dogs of course!), with the added bonus of very good chances to see the Northern Lights during your tour and a unique accommodation experience at the start and end of your trip in the Husky Lodge.
Option 2: 5-day tour + 3-day extension
An 8-day variation on this experience is also available, giving an additional 3 days/2 nights at the Husky Lodge before your multi-day dogsled tour begins - an ideal way to sharpen your dog sledding skills before your main tour and to relax into your stay in the far north.
Spending these additional days in the area will also of course give greater chances to see the Northern Lights. In addition to the multi-day dogsled tour featured in the 5-day itinerary, the 8-day variation includes a day on which you are transported by snowmobile to spend a day with a local Sami reindeer herding family and learn something of Sami culture and the importance of the reindeer. Two days are set aside for flexible self-guided or additional guided activities.
Option 3: 8-day Expedition tour
This 8-day itinerary (2 nights in cabin at the kennels + 6 days' dog sledding) is a dogsled expedition taking you through the heart of Sami country and the tundra. The Arctic Tundra is a magical landscape - a world of huge skies and wide horizons, where the thick forests give way to the open mountain plateau.
The Sami are the indigenous people of northern Scandinavia and still practise reindeer herding and fishing in the area today. As an 8-day experience far from sources of light pollution, you also have very good chances to see the Northern Lights during your tour.
As an extended version of the 5-day tour, you will also be driving teams of 4 (solo) or 8 huskies (tandem), typically sledding around 25-40km per day. Choosing a longer husky tour of this kind gives you the opportunity to discover a larger area of this beautiful region, travelling through a landscape which varies from pine forests to frozen lakes and marshes to the seemingly limitless expanse of the tundra itself.
You will be working closely with your dogsled team and forge a real bond of friendship and trust by the end of the tour.
No previous dogsled experience is required - only a general good level of fitness and willingness to participate - but by the end of the tour you should find you feel like a real musher, with greater confidence and skill at handling your sled than you could have imagined!
Accommodation when out sledding during the tour is in simple but comfortable mountain cabins along the route, offering a warm and welcoming shelter from the surrounding wilderness at the end of a day's mushing on the trail. After six days' sledding in the wild, your tour ends back at the Husky Lodge with traditional wood-fired sauna.
During your tour you may encounter one of the large herds of reindeer that graze in this region during wintertime. On one day of the tour you will spend a day with a local Sami herder, taking part in their daily life and learning something of what is involved in reindeer husbandry.
The Expedition runs between February and April, and each part of the season offers its own special charm. February and March, when hours of darkness are longer, may give the best chances to see the spectacular Northern Lights (though displays can be seen until around mid-April), while the "spring winter" of April offers longer hours of daylight and a real taste of spring in the air.
To see the Northern Lights requires darkness. Displays are therefore typically visible until around mid-April, after which hours of darkness quickly become shorter. This tour takes place in an excellent location for seeing the Northern Lights, offering very good chances of a display during your tour.
It is important to bear in mind that the Aurora is a natural phenomenon, dependent on a number of factors such as solar activity and weather conditions, so sightings can of course never be guaranteed in any location - it is not possible to search for a display. We always recommend that the adventure and excitement of dog sledding and the very special atmosphere of the Arctic winter should be the main motivations for travelling.
As with all our dogsled tours, you will be involved in all aspects of the trip, and this is very much part of the experience. You will assist with caring for your dog team, including harnessing, feeding (and, yes, picking up poo!), as well as tasks around camp such as fetching water, chopping wood, preparing food, washing up, etc.
Option 1: 5-day tour - Itinerary
You are welcome to arrive anytime from 14.00 onwards. Local transfer from Karasjok in northern Norway to the kennnels. Here you will settle into a unique, traditionally-crafted cabin at the Husky Lodge, before meeting your dogsled guide and other participants for dinner to discuss the coming husky adventure.
You will be issued with your specialist winter clothing before beginning preparations for the start of your husky tour. You will be shown how to harness and organise your teams and how to handle the sled. When ready, your dog sledding tour departs directly from the kennels into the surrounding wilderness, taking you initially through a landscape of slightly hilly terrain over frozen lakes and marshes and through low forests of slow-growing mountain birch.
Exact itinerary and accommodation used during the tour may depend on temperatures/weather conditions and other logistical considerations during the time you are travelling, but normally your overnight accommodation for Day 2 and Day 3 will be in simple cabin at Ravnastua Fjellstue, one of the overnight stages for crossing the Finnmark Plateau.
The first day of sledding takes you around 24km from the kennels up to the cabins, through relatively easy terrain, a great way to gain your confidence as a musher and enjoy the beauty of the Finnmark wilderness. You make a stop for lunch around the campfire along the way.
Normally you will do a day tour from the cabin on Day 3, giving the opportunity to run your dogsled team fast and light with less packing to carry, heading up above the treeline to experience the vast expanse of the Finnmark Plateau, with the wilderness stretching to the horizon in all directions. Distance on this day normally around 30km, making a stop for lunch outdoors before returning to the cabin.
Day 4 is your third and final day of sledding, but one of the most varied. Following a different route back towards the kennels, the trail is in places more technical, taking you through descending and level terrain through the birch forest and across frozen lakes. You make a stop to enjoy your last lunch of the tour around the campfire before continuing to the kennels. Distance this day around 34km.
Your dogsled experience ends in relaxation and rustic style, with a wood-fired sauna (perhaps with a roll in the snow if you're feeling brave!) back at the Husky Lodge. If you would like to stay longer at the Lodge before departure, additional nights can be added as an optional extra, giving you time explore the silent forests by snowshoes or simply relax and enjoy the winter beauty and daily life at the dogyard.
If you have not chosen to extend your stay with additional nights, it is time to bid farewell to your new friends (four-legged and two-legged!) before transfer back to Karasjok for departure.
Please note that the above itinerary can be subject to change due to weather conditions.
Option 2: 5-day tour + 3-day extension - Itinerary
NB: On some dates, order of activities may change, beginning with 5-day itinerary followed by activities from Husky Lodge.
As Day 1 for Option 1.
The region in which you are staying is rich in Sami culture, the indigenous people of the far north. This day you will be transported by snowmobile to spend a day in the company of a local Sami reindeer-herding family, a rare opportunity to experience Sami life first-hand. Dinner and overnight accommodation at the Husky Lodge.
Two days to enjoy the surroundings of the Husky Lodge with a choice of additional activities. There is always plenty going on at the kennels (playing with the puppies is always a popular choice!), or alternatively there are a range of activities to arrange locally:
- Self-guided tours by snowshoes, cross-country skis, kick-sled or winter walking.
- Guided activities: day dogsled tour 4-5 hours, guided snowshoe Northern Lights safari 3-4 hours, introduction to cross cross country skiing 4 hours, snowshoeing and ice fishing 4 hours, snowshoeing on the Finnmark plateau 2 or 5 hours.
As per Option 1 itinerary Days 2-5.
Please note that the above itinerary can be subject to change due to weather conditions.
Option 3: 8-day tour - Itinerary
As Day 1 for Option 1.
After collecting your winter clothing for the tour, your dogsled guide will instruct you in harnessing your dog team and handling the sleds. When ready, you begin your husky expedition directly from the kennels, climbing up towards the mountain plateau, sledding through a relatively hilly landscape of frozen marshes and lakes to Ravnastua mountain cabin, your first overnight stop.
You sled out onto the Arctic tundra, a wild and starkly beautiful landscape of huge skies and endless views. You reach Mollisjok mountain cabin in the afternoon, a beautiful and remote location in the middle of the plateau.
You take your team south, along a frozen river, where you will pass two remote settlements of the local Sami people, the indigenous people of the Scandinavian north, who subsist mainly from fishing in this region. Your day's dog sledding takes you to Soussjavre mountain cabin for this night.
Today may give good chances to see large herds of reindeer, as this area is a winter grazing ground for the reindeer herds. Baeivasgiedde wilderness cabin is your accommodation for the night, beautifully situated in pine forest beside the river. Here you will spend two nights.
A memorable day, taking a day tour by dogsled to a winter settlement of one of the local Sami reindeer herders. You will spend the day together with the herder, becoming part of their daily life and providing a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the traditional yet vibrant and modern culture of the Sami people and learn about the reindeer, the heart of Sami culture.
A long day's dog sledding brings you back to the kennels. You will be following the river, through an area giving very good chances to see moose, which stay in the valley areas during wintertime. Once back, you will unharness and take care of the dogs before retiring to the welcoming warmth of the Husky Lodge. A wood-fired sauna provides the perfect end to your Arctic adventure.
Breakfast and farewell before transfer to Karasjok for departure (if you have not chosen to extend your stay with additional nights).
Please note that the above itinerary can be subject to change due to weather conditions.
Dates & Prices»
Option 1: 5-day tour
Possible from mid-December to early May. Extra public tours in addition to those listed below may be possible on other dates on request from min. 2 persons - please contact us for details.
- January: 04.01-08.01.24, 11.01-15.01.24, 22.01-26.01.24
- February: 04.02-08.02.24, 12.02-16.02.24
- March: 04.03-08.03.24, 11.03-15.03.24, 18.03-22.03.24
- April: 01.04-05.04.24, 15.04-19.04.24, 29.04-03.05.24
Note that available travel connections can be very limited around the Christmas/New Year period and it may be necessary to spend extra nights in the area before/after your tour.
Option 2: 5-day tour + 3-day extension
- January: 02.01-09.01.24, 11.01-18.01.24, 19.01-26.01.24
- March: 01.03-08.03.24
- Other tour dates are offered on request from min. 2 persons between December and April (normally Monday-Monday) - please contact us for details.
Option 3: 8-day tour
- April: 01.04-08.04.24
- Other tour dates are offered on request from min. 2 persons between mid-February and April (normally Monday-Monday) - please contact us for details.
*The Northern Lights are visible from around September to early/mid April. The deep midwinter period of November-January offers the longest hours of darkness, which is of course required for the Northern Lights to be visible, while the "spring winter" of March and April offers longer hours of daylight and typically milder temperatures. The Northern Lights can be visible at any time during this period, including during March to mid-April. While March and April have shorter nights, on the other hand these months can also have a greater incidence of clear skies.
Private tours at standard prices for groups of min. 5 are also possible on other dates by arrangement. Private tours for smaller groups also possible for additional supplement.
Prices include local transfers from Karasjok and winter sleeping bag.
|Option 1 (Christmas tour)/person||GBP TBC|
|Option 2 (New Year tour)/person||GBP TBC|
Dog sledding for families
Aurora Husky Adventure in Finnmark is suitable both for adults and children aged 13 and over. Depending on size and strength, children will either drive their own sled with own dogsled team or drive a sled connected to the guide's sled. Safety is of the highest priority and your guide will decide on the most appropriate option when you begin your tour.
- Extra nights: You are welcome to extend your stay at the kennels with additional nights in cabins before and/or after your main tour. Price for extra nights includes: Full board (breakfast, packed lunch and dinner), bedding and towels, free use of snowshoes, bicycle, kicksled and other day tour equipment. Depending on availability, there are options for single or double room in shared or private cabins with shared or private WC/bathroom. Please contact us for details and prices for your chosen dates.
Guests staying additional nights and travelling together are always accommodated in private cabin. Solo travellers or couples should therefore choose the private cabin options. Guests travelling, for example, as two friends or as a group of three or four persons can opt either for private cabin or private room in 2-person cabin.
What's Included »
- Accommodation in traditional, hand-built cabins at the Husky Lodge (2 nights for Option 1 and Option 3, 5 nights for Option 2). Free wi-fi. Cabins sleep up to 4 persons in 1 or 2 x 2-person rooms. Shared WC/shower facilities are located close to the cabins.*
- Two nights (Option 1 and Option 2) or five nights (Option 3) along the route in mountain cabin(s) (depending on tour option chosen, time of year, weather conditions and logistical considerations). Sleeping accommodation in the cabins (in bunk beds) is shared*. For cabins along the route, exactly which cabins are used on a particular tour may vary depending on weather conditions and may not be set until the start of the tour. Accommodation is simple standard with no running water and outside toilet. Many of the cabins have no electricity, though some do have electricity (for example, the location normally used for the 5-day tour has a small hydro facility which provides enough power to provide lighting and to charge electronic devices). If you wish, check with the guide at the start of the tour before leaving the kennels if you will be able to use chargers, etc, at any of the cabins during your tour.
- Everyone normally assists in activities such as feeding the dogs and tasks around the cabins such as chopping wood, fetching water, etc, and these activities are a central part of the experience.
- Sauna: One use of sauna (normally on Day 4 for 5-day tours or Day 7 for 8-day tours) is included.
Accommodation at the Husky Lodge
*Where possible (subject to available space), solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms and couples in own cabins during nights at the Husky Lodge at no additional charge. However, if you would like to guarantee single occupancy/private cabin for these nights in advance, an advance supplement applies - please contact us for details. Note that sleeping accommodation on Day 2 and Day 3 of the tour is normally shared. However, when accommodation during the tour is in cabins and where space permits, a supplement can be paid locally if desired for those who would like private accommodation for Day 2 and Day 3.
All meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day (breakfast, lunch, dinner + coffee/snacks, etc). Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements.
Notes on meals for this experience:
- Typically at the kennels and during the tour, over the course of a week it would be normal for 1 vegetarian, 2-3 fish and 2-4 meat meals to be served.
- Due to the nature of the location and available resources, guests requiring vegetarian diet are very welcome, but please note that particular vegetarian menus can unfortunately not be offered. Vegetarian guests will have the same meals as other guests, but without the fish/meat components (which will be kept separate from other ingredients), so vegetarian meals may be rather simple.
- It is possible to cater for guests with common allergies or requiring lactose-free or gluten-free diets, as then meals for the whole group will be planned to take account of these needs.
- This experience has a strong focus on locally sourced and sustainable ingredients - no farmed meat or fish, only wild fish from the sea, rivers and lakes that the local hosts themselves have caught, or wild moose that have been hunted or reindeer and sheep meat from local herders, from animals that have grazed wild on the plateau. The meat and fish served is the best energy source and most environmentally friendly source of food available - many vegetables will generally need to have been brought in from further afield and with a higher environmental footprint. The kennels are self-sufficient in meat and fish, and also all the blueberries, lingonberries, cloudberries and almost all the mushrooms that are served are picked wild, and all the potatoes used are grown there. There is also a vegetable garden and greenhouse which supplies additional herbs and vegetables, but only for meals in summertime.
Equipment and Clothing:
- Husky sledding equipment including sled dog team and services of local guide. Tours normally begin by using tandem sleds with teams of 8 dogs, which can be de-coupled as appropriate to make single sleds with teams of 4 dogs as the tour progresses.
- Warm winter outer clothing: windproof, thermal outer layer (hand-made traditional reindeer leather poncho for upper body, insulated ski bib for lower body), winter boots, windproof Arctic cap, mittens.
- Warm winter sleeping bag, liner and sleeping mat/reindeer skin.
Traditional winter clothing provided as standard (1). Photos: Nature Travels.
Traditional winter clothing provided as standard (2). Photos: Nature Travels.
- Instruction in harnessing and sled handling.
- Services of local guide.
- Return transfer between Karasjok and the kennels.
- Travel: We do not arrange flights or domestic travel, but are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey. See under "Getting There" for general travel information.
- Alcoholic drinks.
- Hot tub: There is a hot tub at the Husky Lodge available for booking locally on request for groups.
Good To Know »
General good level of fitness and sense of balance. You should enjoy the outdoors in wintertime and be comfortable living in close proximity with others. Minimum age 13. Max. participant weight 100kg.
No previous dog sledding experience is required. Dog sledding can be physically demanding.
Dog sledding for children:
Depending on the weight/strength of the child, children aged 13 and over will either drive their own dogsled with own husky team, drive their own sled fastened behind the guide's sled, or travel as a passenger on the guide's sled. Your local guide will advise on the most suitable option on arrival. Note that safety considerations are of the upmost importance and your guide is responsible for deciding what is most appropriate.
Families with children under 13 may arrange private tours on other dates, on which the needs of younger children can be accommodated. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
What makes this "Medium"?
Option 1 and Option 3 feature comfortable accommodation at the kennels at the start/end of the tour and for additional nights during the Option 2 itinerary, combined with simple wilderness cabin/camp accommodation during the multi-day tour component. You will be sledding in an undulating landscape without significant height loss/gain. As with any winter experience, weather and temperature conditions can greatly influence the level of challenge of a tour. Dog sledding on hard-packed trails in good weather will be significantly less demanding than sledding in soft, deep snow or in challenging weather.
Option 3 has a "Medium+" level of challenge. As a longer tour with 6 days' sledding, Option 3 will normally be more demanding. Sledding is an undulating landscape so less assistance will be required with sleds on uphill sections compared to a tour of similar duration in mountain terrain, but depending on weather and snow conditions, participants may experience the tour as challenging.
NB: Perception of difficulty is very subjective. What is hard to one person may be easy for another and vice versa, depending on factors including level of fitness, age and previous experience. Weather conditions/temperatures can also dramatically affect the actual level of challenge encountered.
For information on any equipment and/or clothing included as standard for this experience, please see under "What's Included".
A detailed recommended packing list for personal items to bring will be sent with your booking documentation.
NB: We advise you not to buy equipment or clothes for your trip or to incur other non-refundable expenses such as flights until you have received confirmation of your booking from us in writing. Note of course that the most appropriate clothing to use as well as the level of challenge experienced during any outdoor activity may vary significantly depending on factors such as the time of year and the particular weather/temperature conditions during your trip.
Preparing for your trip:
For further reading, we also have a number of general information articles to get you ready for your trip, covering a wide variety of topics from what to do on a city break before/after your tour, advice on packing, eyewear for winter and considerations for female travellers.
This experience has no minimum. Scheduled tours are guaranteed to run from the first booking.
Maximum group size 6 persons.
There may also be other persons staying at mountain cabins used during the tour.
This experience is also available as a private experience for groups or families with younger children. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
This provider has a detailed environmental policy.
The cabins and interior furnishings at the kennels, from the beds to the lampshades, are all lovingly hand-crafted by your local host using local materials, making a stay not only a sound environmental choice but also a unique design experience!
Even the clothing provided for the tour is made from local animal products such as wool and reindeer fur - see under "Dates and Prices > Included" for more information.
Will I see the Northern Lights?
This experience is located in the far north of Norway, one of the world's best locations for seeing the Northern Lights, and offers good chances to see a display during your tour. Wonderful displays are regularly seen on the tours. However, it is important to bear in mind that the Aurora is a natural phenomenon and sightings can never be guaranteed in any location - it is not possible to search for a display. The skies may be cloudy, there may be no activity, or you may be fast asleep after a day of adventure on the trail!
Getting There »
See below for a summary of travel options. To learn more about how to travel to this experience, please get in touch!
Detailed information on travel will be provided in response to your enquiry. We are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey.
NB: Please ensure that you make a booking with us first and wait for confirmation that your spaces are reserved before making any travel arrangements.
Fly to Oslo for domestic flight to Lakselv or Alta or fly to Ivalo (direct or via Helsinki), followed by public bus (travel time 1-4 hours depending on destination airport) to Karasjok. Local transfer to/from Karasjok is included.