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Photo: P. Karlsson

Wilderness Dogsled Adventure in Vindelfjällen (Sweden)

Explore remote Vindelfjällen and the southern King's Trail in Lapland on a challenging dogsled tour with competition-trained huskies

  • Guided
  • Hard
  • From £2143/person
  • Mar-Apr, 8 days/7 nights
  • Adults, Groups, Solo

Book Now for Winter 2019!

Bookings for Wilderness Dogsled Adventure in Vindelfjällen are now open for winter 2019.

  • Itinerary
  • Dates & Prices
  • Good to Know
  • Gallery & Reviews
  • Description
  • Arrival
  • Following Days
  • Departure

Description

Wilderness Dogsled Adventure in Vindelfjällen is the extended version of our 5-day Dog Sledding and Northern Lights in Vindelfjällen. Running in the later part of the winter, during the "spring winter" in late March/April, the Wilderness Dogsled Adventure offers an additional level of challenge for would-be mushers who really want to get out there!

While no previous dogsled experience is required, this tour makes an ideal "next step" dogsled trip for those who have done some sledding before as well as for novice mushers looking for a challenge. You will be driving your own dogsled with team of 4-6 huskies and taking care of and working with your team during the tour is very much part of the experience. You will also be participating in the various tasks that are required at the cabins/camp in the evenings.

The dogs you will be using on this tour are highly trained athletes and are the teams used in Europe's longest sled-dog race, the 1100km Finnmarkslöpet.

The route you will take for your husky tour is flexible depending on weather conditions, but you will normally be dog sledding both in the wilderness of Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve and along parts of the famous King's Trail (or "Kungsleden"). Vindelfjällen is the largest protected area in Europe, yet is very little-known and very little-visited. Accommodation is in a combination of wilderness cabins and winter camping in tents and/or snow bivouacs (snow holes). Tents will be taken at all times on the tour to allow for flexibility in the itinerary due to weather conditions and the intention is to spend at least two nights under canvas during the tour. All camping equipment as well as specialist winter outer clothing is provided.

To participate in and enjoy the Wilderness Dogsled Adventure, you should have a good level of fitness and be used to and enjoy the outdoors. Bear in mind if choosing a tour with winter camping itinerary that this will further increase the level of challenge. Group sizes are very small, with max. just 4 persons + guide, ensuring a personal and unique husky adventure in the Swedish wilderness. As a guest on this experience, you also gain insight into life in a remote Swedish village community - the food you will be eating on your tour will have been prepared by your guide's wife in the farmhouse kitchen! Your guide for the tour is a Swedish dogsled racing champion and will be happy to regale you with stories of the challenges and excitement of sled racing in the evenings!

As group size is very small, in addition to the scheduled tours, Wilderness Dogsled Adventure is also an ideal option for small groups of friends wishing to arrange a private tour on custom dates - for example, this tour would be an ideal choice as a dogsled charity challenge expedition.

Getting Involved

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

NB: For the 2019 winter season, domestic flights between Stockholm and Vilhelmina are currently only booable for travel up to end January 2019. Flight services to Vilhelmina are likely also to be introduced for travel after January 2019, but details are not available at this time. Currently the available travel option is to arrive by night train + bus from Stockholm to Slussfors.

Note that the itinerary below is preliminary and being a more advanced tour is particularly subject to amendment due to weather conditions. A number of route variations are available to provide the best possible sledding experience and guests will also be involved in the discussion with your guide of the most suitable options.

For guests arriving by flight to Vilhelmina (if and when flight services are opened), transfer will meet the flight arriving Vilhelmina 11.05.

Guests arriving by bus to Slussfors may arrive any time.

Transfer to cabin near the husky camp (approx. 2 hours from Vilhelmina airport or 5 mins from Slussfors) is included. Here you will have a simple lunch together (waffles are often served on the first day) with your guide and discuss the dogsled tour ahead. In the afternoon, you will be given your winter clothing and equipment before meeting your team huskies and given instructions in how to handle your sled and make some preparations for the following day. Dinner will be served and you can then relax in the cabins for the evening.

Following Days

Day 2:

After breakfast, you will then head off into the wilderness, crossing the river Kirjesån into the Kirjesålandet Nature Reserve, part of the larger 5500 square metre Vindelfjällen reserve. You will normally plan to camp this night in the area of the Väretsfjället mountain. Everyone assists with pitching camp and taking care of the dogs before dinner.

Day 3:

Your goal for the day is the cabin at Syterstugan, which lies along the King's Trail (Kungsleden), one of Sweden's best-known trails for hiking in summer and also ski touring in winter. This region has some of the highest peaks in Sweden, including Syter at 1768m.

Day 4:

This day is flexible depending on what itinerary alterations have been necessary on the tour so far. It may be a "catch up" day if you are lying behind schedule due to weather, or in good weather you will use this day for a day tour in the surrounding area - this is a wonderful opportunity to run with lighter sleds and really stretch your new mushing skills, before returning to the cabin for overnight.

NB: This built-in "buffer day" may not necessarily take place on this day and may be adjusted to any part of the tour.

Day 5:

You continue dog sledding along the King's Trail towards the remote hamlet of Ammarnäs.

Day 6:

In good conditions, your goal is to reach the cabin at Magasjö. Alternatively, this night may be spent winter camping.

Day 7:

You sled back towards the kennels across frozen lakes and through ancient forest, where you will unpack your equipment and see to the dogs before your final evening together with your guide and group. Accommodation in cabin near the kennels.

Departure

NB: See under "Arrival" for information on flight services betweeen Vilhelmina and Stockholm.

Breakfast and departure.

For guests departing by flight from Vilhelmina (if and when flight services are opened), transfer leaves the kennels around 09.00 to meet the flight to Stockholm departing Vilhelmina 16.40 (times may vary depending on dates). You will arrive in Vilhelmina mid-morning and have some hours to spend there during the day - suggestions for things to do and assistance with booking can be provided locally. There are a number of possible activities/places to visit, including Sami culture and handicrafts, snowmobile tour or even ice driving! Your luggage will be stored securely at the airport during the day. A taxi will be booked for you (included) at 15.30 to take you from Vilhelmina to the airport for your flight.

Guests departing by bus from Slussfors may depart at any time.

(Please note that the above is a preliminary itinerary and may vary due to factors such as weather conditions, access to trails and seasonal changes.)

  • Dates
  • Prices
  • Included
  • Not Included

Dates 2019

  • 22.03-29.03.19, 31.03-07.04.19, 09.04-16.04.19

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.

Prices 2019

Prices are in British Pounds and Euros. If you wish, you are also welcome to make your payment in Swedish Kronor (SEK) - please contact us for details.

"Early Bird" Prices (booked before 31.08.18)  
Per personGBP 2,143EUR 2,420
Standard Prices  
Per personGBP 2,322EUR 2,621

Included

Accommodation:

Two nights' accommodation in cabin near the husky kennels, five nights' accommodation in combination of wilderness cabins along the route and tent/snow bivouac. Cabin accommodation during the tour is simple but cosy and comfortable, with no electricity or running water in the wilderness cabins. Everyone assists with tasks such as fetching water, chopping wood, preparing meals, etc.

Accommodation at the husky camp is in 2-person twin rooms. Sleeping accommodation on nights at cabins along the route is shared. Cabins have bunk beds/sleeping lofts.

Guests have access to sauna and shower for nights at the guest house.

Guest cabin

Guest cabin for start/end of tours and optional extra nights

Accommodation

Example wilderness cabins during the tour

Meals:

All meals from lunch 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 4-6 Alaskan Huskies.
  • Warm winter clothing for all activities: snowscooter overalls, winter boots (Macboots) and gloves (Hestra Army Leather Expedition Mittens). Warm hat is available to borrow locally if required.
  • Tents, bivvy bags (water/windproof cover for sleeping bags), insulated sleeping mat, cooking/kitchen equipment and snowshovels are provided for tours featuring camping. Tents used are 4-person tents used for max 3 persons in each tent.
  • Working gloves for working with the dogs.
  • Warm winter sleeping bag with liner.
  • Headtorch.
  • Thermos.
  • Waterproof, hardwearing holdall for carrying your personal packing on the sled during the tour.
  • Towel is provided for use during nights at guest house. Please bring own pack towel for use during the tour.
Winter clothing for dog sledding in Lapland

Clothing provided as standard

Guide:

  • Instruction in harnessing and sled handling.
  • Services of local guide.

Transfers:

  • Return transfer between Vilhelmina airport (at fixed times as per Itinerary information) or Slussfors bus stop and the kennels.
  • Local transfers for activities during the experience.

Not Included

  • 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 "Good to Know > Getting There" for general travel information.
  • Alcoholic drinks.
  • Required
  • Getting There
  • Groups
  • Eco Info

Required

Health requirements/experience:

This tour has a general high level of challenge and participants should have good level of fitness, endurance and self-discipline. Min. age 18 years.

It is recommended that guests have previous outdoor experience for this tour. Previous dog sledding experience is not required, but will be beneficial. Dog sledding can be physically demanding and to drive your own sled you must be able to brake the sled when going downhill and also assist the dogs during uphill sections by stepping off and running behind the sled for short distances. Tasks around the cabins (fetching water, chopping wood, etc) can also be physically demanding and nights spent winter camping have higher challenge level.

You be used to and enjoy living in close proximity with others - all sleeping accommodation, including nights in tents, is shared.

If weight >95kg, please contact us to discuss suitability.

What makes this "Hard"?

This tour is planned to feature winter camping for some nights, which significantly adds to the level of challenge compared to a cabin tour, and also takes place in a mountain landscape, where you will normally need to assist your dogsled teams on uphill sections more than when sledding in lowland terrain. As with any mountain experience, weather conditions can be very changeable.

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.

Equipment/clothes needed:

For information on any equipment and/or clothing included as standard for this experience, please see under "Dates and Prices > 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.

Minimum number:

Minimum total 2 persons are required for tours to be confirmed to run. You are of course welcome to book as a solo traveller.

Getting There

Detailed information on travel options to this experience 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.

Please ensure that you make a booking with us first and wait for confirmation that your spaces are reserved before making any travel arrangements.

By Air:

Fly to Stockholm then onward to Vilhelmina by domestic flight (if available) or night train + bus connection to Slussfors. Transfer from Vilhelmina airport (approx. 2 hours) or Slussfors bus stop is included.

Without Flying:

Ferry Dover-Dunkirk or Newcastle-Amsterdam for onward train + bus connections to Slussfors.

Groups

Maximum group size 4 persons.

Eco Info

Food served during the tour is mostly homemade and with a strong focus on ingredients harvested from the local area. Your local host has a small-scale farm in a remote village community.

This provider has a written environmental policy.

Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve

Vindelfjällen is one of largest protected areas in Europe. It contains almost all types of regions that can be found in the Swedish mountains, from primeval forests with spruces and pines, to the moors, marshes and the alpine bare mountain regions. The area has many lakes, loved by a wide variety of birds. In the reserve there is extensive reindeer herding. The main river in the reserve is Vindelälven, with many rapids and waterfalls.

Wild, striking rapids rush through Vindelfjällen. The River Vindelälv is a National River, protected from being regulated for hydro-electric power.

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