Sled between cabins along Sweden's most famous mountain trail
The mountains of Swedish Lapland are a spectacular area for dog sledding - the majestic landscape provides the ideal backdrop for a real Arctic dogsled adventure.
Husky Mountain Expedition in Lapland is an 8-day dog sledding tour (special 10-day and 14-day tours are also available) taking you through some of Sweden's most beautiful natural areas, from Abisko and up into the mountains along the King's Trail towards the mighty Kebnekaise, Sweden's highest peak. It is a challenging but immensely rewarding experience to mush your own dog team through such a landscape.
The descent into the Tjäktja valley can be a thrilling ride! Photo: Kayleigh McMillan.
From Abisko over the Tjäktja Pass to Nikkaluokta
Your adventure begins at the kennels, where you will load the dogs and equipment for transfer to Abisko, the start point of your tour.
Here you will learn how to handle the sled and dogs before heading out into the wilderness for six days of dog sledding in command of your own team of four Siberian Huskies.
Your tour takes you through spectacular mountain scenery, up through the treeline towards the challenging Tjäktja Pass, the highest point on the trail at 1100m. From here you descend through a stunning mountain world towards Kebnekaise to end at Nikkaluokta, where you will be met for return transfer to the kennels.
You will be sledding on the world-famous Kungsleden, or King's Trail. The King's Trail is one of Sweden's best-known long-distance hiking trails in summer and is also ideal for dog sledding and ski touring in the winter.
Mountain cabins and wood-fired saunas along the route
Each night you will stop at one of the cabins along the way, which offer accommodation of simple but comfortable and cosy standard. After seeing to the needs of the dogs each evening, you retire to the warmth of the cabins for dinner and a chance to reflect on the day's mushing adventures. There are also wood-fired sauna facilities at some of the overnight stops - a wonderful way to relax after a hard day on the trail!
Mountain cabin life along the trail is very much part of the experience. Photo: Alice Courvoisier.
Work together with your dog team to meet the challenge
You will find that you quickly gain confidence in handling the sled as your mushing skills develop. You will be working very closely with your team of Siberian Huskies as you journey through the wilderness together, and should find that you have made some firm friends by the end of your time in the mountains.
As a mountain tour, some aspects of the route can be physically demanding and the level of challenge will also be greatly influenced by weather and trail conditions. This husky tour is suitable for adults with general good level of health and fitness who love the outdoors and the unique beauty of the Arctic winter world.
With the world-famous Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi located just 15 minutes from the kennels, it is a popular option to arrange a visit there on your arrival or departure day (entrance charge payable locally). Transfer from the Ice Hotel on arrival day or to the Ice Hotel on departure day can be offered as an alternative to transfers from/to Kiruna.
On this tour you will be travelling far away from sources of light pollution, offering very good possibilities to see the Northern Lights. Displays are typically visible until around early April.
Snowmobile tours (daytime or evening) are available to add as optional extra activities on your arrival/departure days.
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.
Arrival time is flexible depending on your travel plans - transfer (approx. 20 mins) is included from Kiruna airport or train station, from accommodation in Kiruna if staying locally before your tour, from the Reindeer Encounter experience mentioned below, or from the Ice Hotel if you are visiting there before going to the kennels.
Guests will normally arrive at the kennels anytime from early afternoon onwards.
If you are arriving in Kiruna early in the day (for example with the night train from Stockholm), there are a number of ways to spend time in the area before having transfer to the kennels:
- Reindeer Encounter and Sámi Experience in Lapland is just nearby and makes an excellent option for an afternoon activity on your arrival day. Tours start with pick up from local accommodation in Kiruna or the Tourist Information Office at 13.10, or from the Ice Hotel at 13.30 and your dogsled hosts will collect you from the Reindeer Encounter for transfer to the kennels.
- Visit the Ice Hotel or spend some time in Kiruna town. More information on these options will be provided in booking documentation.
Once at the kennels:
- There are no organised activities as part of the tour this day (sledding begins on Day 2), but cross-country ski equipment and snowshoes are available to borrow free of charge for self-guided activities in the surrounding forest. Please ask your local hosts on arrival if you would like to borrow equipment.
- Evening snowmobile tours are available to add as optional extras in connection with the start day of your dogsled tour. Morning snowmobile tours also make a very good choice for an activity on your departure day. See under "Prices > Optional Extras" for details.
Please note that the below is a preliminary itinerary for standard 8-day tours and may vary due to factors such as weather conditions, access to trails, seasonal changes and local reindeer herding activities. For example, if weather conditions are unsuitable for crossing the Tjäkta pass, an alternative route is available via Vistasdalen.
- Special 10-day tour: The 10-day tour features is based on the 8-day itinerary below but features an extended route with 8 days' dog sledding. A number of options in the mountains are available to extend the standard route, for example sledding via the cabins at Hukejaure or Nallo/Vistas.
- Special 14-day tour: The 14-day tour has a higher level of challenge and will use a combination of cabins and winter camping along the route. You will typically use 6 huskies per team for this tour, covering around 400km beginning from and returning to the kennels, with approx. 150km of the tour running on the King's Trail.
After breakfast, you will load the dogs and equipment for your drive to Abisko (approx. 1.5 hours), where your tour begins.
On arrival at Abisko, you will gather your team and prepare the sleds for the tour. Your guide will show you how to harness your dog team and handle your dogsled before setting off through the forest. You begin dogsledding directly into the National Park along the King's Trail (or "Kungsleden"), one of Sweden's most famous long distance trails, which you will be following for the coming days. The sled dogs used are Siberian Huskies, powerful dogs well-suited to dog sledding in an Arctic environment. You will be driving your own dogsled with own team of four dogs.
Your goal for today is the cabin at Abiskojaure, approx. 13km away, giving you the opportunity to get a feel for handling the sled and using the brakes before heading deeper into the mountains the following day. Over the coming days you will quickly gain confidence in working with your team and become more comfortable in the wilderness. You will also begin to recognise the individual personalities of your dogs.
On arrival at the cabins, everyone assists in taking care of the dogs and duties around the camp, including feeding the dogs, chopping firewood and fetching water. Cabins are simple but comfortable, with shared sleeping accommodation and heated by wood-burning stove with no electricity or running water. Water is fetched from the lake and the cabins have dry outside toilet facilities. Some of the cabins have sauna facilities and you will have an opportunity to have sauna on at least one of your nights along the route.
Today you enter the real mountain world of the King's Trail, rising up through the tree line. The route soon begins to include some uphill sections, where you will need to assist your team by "scooting" with one foot or walking/running behind the sled for short periods.
Over the coming days, you will be dog sledding along the King's Trail towards your end point at Nikkaluokta, overnighting in cabins along the way. You will normally follow the route to Alesjaure, over the Tjäktja pass to Sälka, to the cabins at Singi and on to your end point at Nikkaluokta, near Sweden's highest mountain, Kebnekaise, with sledding distances between 25-35km per day.
Each day will take on its own special character as you journey through the unique silence of the Lapland landscape, and in the ever-changing mountains, no two Husky Mountain Expeditions will ever be quite the same - each is a unique adventure.
The cabins at Alesjaure are known for their beautiful natural setting, where you can end the day with a relaxing wood-fired sauna before dinner. Crossing Tjäktja is one of the toughest days of the tour, with a long uphill climb through the Tjäktja pass, at 1100m above sea level the highest point on the route. In clear weather you will be rewarded with stunning mountain views from the top of the pass before an exciting descent into the valley to reach the cabins at Sälka, which also has a lovely wood-fired sauna to relax your muscles after a hard day in the mountains!
The King's Trail route continues along the beautiful valley towards the cabins at Singi before turning past Kebnekaise Mountain Station and the end point at Nikkaluokta.
Variations to the basic route are possible depending on trail and weather conditions, and the standard itinerary includes a day "in hand" to allow for the changeable mountain environment, which can be used in a number of ways. You may stay two nights at one location and take the opportunity to explore the area on a day tour from fixed base, for example to visit the cabins at Kaitumjaure or Hukejaure, a thrilling opportunity to mush with lighter and faster sleds. Alternative routes via Nallo are also possible.
The tour runs for much of its route in an area forbidden to snowmobiles, and following fresh snowfall you may find that you are doing some real "trail-blazing"! Weather and snow conditions can greatly affect the level of challenge on your tour.
Today's dog sledding route takes you down from the mountains, picking up speed and crossing the tree line once more into the forests of mountain birch as you head for Nikkaluokta, approx. 35km away, through the valleys at the foot of Sweden's highest mountain, Kebnekaise.
Here you will be met, load the dogs and sleds and transfer back to the kennels to return your equipment and say farewell to your dogsled team. You will have been working very closely with your dogs and with your fellow mushers during your tour, and should find you have made some new friends, both human and canine! Accommodation for this night will be in cabin back at the camp, with a chance to share your memories of the tour and reflect on your experiences in the Lapland mountains.
Breakfast and transfer for onward travel. Alternatively, why not take the opportunity to add a morning snowmobile tour before departure? See under "Prices > Optional extras" for details.
Depending on departure times and arrangements, you may have time to visit the world-famous Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi (see under "Transfers" below) before travellling to the airport or train station for departure.
Dates & Prices»
- 8-day tour:
- February: 28.02-06.03.24
- March: 06.03-13.03.24, 13.03-20.03.24, 20.03-27.03.24, 27.03-03.04.24
- April: 03.04-10.04.24, 10.04-17.04.24
- Special 10-day tour:
- TBC for 2024 (normally late March/early April)
- Special 14-day tour:
- Not offered for 2024
The Northern Lights can be seen anytime from around September to early/mid April. While the "spring winter" in March and April has longer hours of daylight and shorter nights than the deep midwinter, on the other hand these months can also have a greater incidence of clear skies.
Groups of minimum 6 can also book private tours on other dates at standard prices - smaller groups also possible. Max. group size for standard tours is 6 persons, but for private tours larger groups can be accommodated. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
|Standard Prices (per person)|
|Optional Extras per person (see description below)|
|Snowmobile morning or afternoon tour 2.5 hours (shared one per two persons)|
|Snowmobile morning tour 3.5-4 hours (shared one per two persons)|
|Snowmobile evening tour 2.5 hours (shared one per two persons)|
|Snowmobile evening tour 3.5-4 hours (shared one per two persons)|
|Supplement to drive own snowmobile (all snowmobile tours)|
- Snowmobile tours: An ideal extra activity for your arrival or departure day in connection with the start/end of your dogsled tour (depending on your travel plans), or on another day if you are staying extra nights locally before/after your tour. Evening tours give good possibilities to see Northern Lights if conditions are suitable. When booking your snowmobile tour, please specify:
- Date and time (morning, afternoon or evening). Typical start (pick-up) times are: Morning tours 10.00, Afternoon tours 14.00, Evening tours 18.00 (up to 25th March) or 20.00 (from 26th March onwards).
- Duration (2.5 or 3.5-4 hours - note that afternoon tours are 2.5 hours only). Duration given is approx. total tour duration including pick-up, initial instruction and breaks. 2.5 hour tours include snack/coffee, 3.5-4 hour tours include lunch (daytime) or dinner (evening).
- Whether driving own snowmobile or sharing per 2 persons (if 2 or more adults). Solo travellers must choose drive own snowmobile option. Participants wishing to drive must be min. 18 years, hold full driving licence and be able to show licence locally.
What's Included »
Two nights in cabins at base camp, five nights in mountain cabins along the route. Some overnight stops along the route have sauna facilities.
Accommodation for the first/last night is normally in simple one-room cabins at the kennels, which have four bunk beds and electricity/electric radiator. There is a communal hut for meals/socialising. Dry outside toilets.
There may also be other persons staying at the overnight accommodation used during the tour.
Example cabin accommodation at the kennels normally used for first/last night
The cabins along the route are located in remote areas, where standard of accommodation is simple (no running water or electricity) but cosy and comfortable. The cabins are heated by wood-burning stoves and lit by candles, and water is drawn from nearby rivers and lakes.
Everyone assists with camp duties such as chopping wood, fetching water and washing/tidying up.
Sleeping accommodation on all nights during the tour is shared. Cabins along the route will typically have one or two sleeping rooms, each with bunk beds.
Typical mountain cabin accommodation during the tour
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.
Equipment and Clothing:
- All necessary equipment during dog sledding tour including sleds with own dogsled team. Each participant drives their own sled with four Siberian Huskies.
- Warm winter clothing for all activities: snowscooter overalls, winter boots, hat, gloves, inner and outer socks.
- Sleeping bag, sleeping sheet and pillow case.
- Thermos for hot water (there is no need to bring a separate water bottle).
- Bag for personal items and clothing.
(additional items such as long-johns may be available on request - please ask if there is a particular item of clothing or equipment you require)
Winter clothing provided
- Instruction in harnessing and sled handling.
- Services of local guide.
- Return transfer between Kiruna airport or Kiruna station (or from accommodation locally) and the cabins in connection with your tour. For guests, wishing to visit the Ice Hotel on arrival or departure day, pick-up from the Ice Hotel on arrival day or drop-off on departure can be offered as an alternative (guests will then travel independently between Kiruna and the Ice Hotel).
- Local transfers to/from start/end point for activities during the experience as required.
- 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.
Good To Know »
You should have a good level of fitness and enjoy the outdoors. You should also be comfortable living in close proximity with others. Minimum age 18.
No previous dog sledding experience is required for 8-day and 10-day tours (the 14-day tour has a higher level of challenge and suitable as a "next step" trip for those with previous experience of extended dog sledding tours).
Dog sledding can be physically demanding, especially in the mountains. You must be able to brake the sled when going downhill, which can be hard when you are working against gravity and the pull of four Siberian Huskies, and also assist the dogs during uphill sections by stepping off and running behind the sled. Tasks around the cabins (fetching water, chopping wood, etc) can also be physically demanding.
If weight >95kg, please contact us to discuss suitability.
A note on daily sledding time:
The cabins along the King's Trail are spaced at appropriate distances to be approx. one day's travel on foot or skis. Distances between the cabins vary between around 12-25km. The time taken to travel between the cabins by dogsled can differ greatly depending on weather and trail conditions - a daily stretch that can take just a couple of hours on a hard-packed trail in good weather can take much longer in deep, fresh snow or challenging weather. As with any mountain environment, weather conditions can be very changeable and the point-to-point timing of the tour includes a contingency day to allow for delays - if no delays have occurred, a day tour from fixed overnight location can be made. Due to the nature of the terrain, the standard daily distances cannot be extended. The time take to reach your destination cabin on a particular day can therefore vary greatly and you may arrive earlier or later than you expect. If arriving earlier, you should be prepared for a certain amount of "spare" time at the cabins. Some locations offer good opportunities to take a walk from the cabins (e.g. from Alesjaure along the lake) and meeting other persons, e.g. skiers doing the route or the cabin wardens, is also part of the experience.
What makes this "Medium-Hard"?
The tour runs in a mountain landscape, where level of challenge can vary greatly depending on weather conditions. Compared to lowland tours, you will normally need to run with/push the sled more often in a mountain landscape. In good weather, this tour has a moderate level of difficulty. In challenging weather conditions or with deep/fresh snow, level of difficulty may be significantly higher.
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.
A total of minimum two persons is required for scheduled tours to run. You are of course welcome to book as a solo traveller.
Combine This With
This experience makes a good combination with the following:
- Aurora Lodge Escape in Lapland (4 or more days, one hour by transfer)
- Lapland Sámi Retreat at the Reindeer Camp (15 mins by transfer, ideal for extra night(s) locally before and/or after your tour)
- Reindeer Encounter and Sámi Experience in Lapland (afternoon activity for arrival or departure day, 15 mins by transfer)
Maximum group size 6 persons for scheduled tours.
This experience is also available as a private experience for groups. For private tours, larger groups can be accommodated. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
This provider has a detailed environmental policy and has received Swedish Tour Quality certification.
The sleds are made in a local workshop just 100m from the kennels, while many of the dogs' harnesses are sewn by a local family.
Will I see the Northern Lights?
This experience is located in the far north of Sweden, 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 Stockholm then onward to Kiruna by night train or domestic flight connection. Transfer from Kiruna airport or train station is included.
Ferry Dover-Dunkirk or Newcastle-Amsterdam for onward train connections to Kiruna.