Hidden Secrets Dog Sledding Expedition – 14 Days
Activity Level 8/8
Duration 14 days
Our longest expedition, this 350-kilometre odyssey has a pace of its own. After having integrated the principles of dog sledding and caring for your dogs in the first two days, we’ll pack and leave for 12 days straight. Out in the backcountry, we’ll travel and live like the first explorers did, mushing our way across the land and stopping at strategic locations to rest and explore. You’ll discover a wide diversity of scenery ranging from frozen lakes and alpine valleys to steep-sided glacial valleys, boreal forests and high mountain lakes. The Yukon will reveal some of its hidden secrets to you; places rarely visited. As we’ll delve into wilderness, you’ll build your bush-living skills up by learning further about mushing dogs, identifying local wildlife tracks and plants and participating in unique activities such as trapping and winter surviving workshops, interpretation of glacial landscapes and ice fishing. As there are 11 nights on the trail (eight in a tent and three in a cabin), there will be good chances of seeing the vibrant northern lights. This is the “Mushing ++” expedition where you will develop a uniquely intimate relationship with your dogs and the pristine nature surrounding you.
Get introduced to mushing
We’ll use Day 1 and 2 to get to know your dog team and get comfortable with the art of mushing. From the ranch at Mendenhall, we’ll head into the high plateaus of the surrounding mountains on three to five-hour runs. After, you’ll learn how to prepare food and feed your team (the perfect way to bond with dogs). In the evening, learn about Yukon dog sledding history and help organize the upcoming expedition. After delicious dinners, fell free to join your quarter, a cozy log cabin, or hang out outside in case of northern lights.
Travel the alpine and rich wildlife habitats
On this 3-day section, we will make our way into elevated plateaus composed of frozen lakes, alpine tundra, sparse spruce forest and particular glacial landforms indicating the recent past of the area. We will travel four to five hours per day. We’ll pass a series of impressive mountains ranges reaching 1100 m above us. These northern sceneries are home to caribou, ptarmigan, wolf and coyote. At the end of each day we’ll set up camp at wind sheltered locations specially selected for their open views and potential for seeing northern lights. Your guide will teach the camp installation flow so that everything goes nice and smoothly. Your group of dogs will be yours to take care of (preparing dog food, feeding, providing straw bedding, and putting on dog coats), with the intention of creating your bond with them.
Evenings will be spent by a warm camp fire with an access to the wood-heated tent and top-of-the-line camping equipment to ensure your comfort. Warmed by the fire, evenings are the best time to discover more about the history, culture and geology of the area. If the sky is clear, we’ll watch for northern lights*, also called aurora borealis.
On Day 5 we’ll reach lower elevations and the forested area of Rose Lake, our home-base for two nights including a day off. The beautiful Rose camp is located directly by the lake where the spectacular Sandpiper peak towers 1400m above us.
Rest day and Ice Fishing on Rose Lake
Today is a rest day. Start with a hearty Canadian-style breakfast then pamper your hardworking dogs. Being in such a remote location will make you feel great respect for your furry friends and caring for them will come naturally by this point in the journey. In the afternoon enjoy ice fishing, reading or simply taking in the scenery. Then, enjoy an evening of adventure tales with your guide by campfire.
From the highlands to the boreal forest
We’ll now leave the Rose lake environment and gain elevation to reach the spectacular glacial-sculpted headwaters of the Watson River, and follow its course for two days. In the evenings, your guide will introduce you to the principles of trapping and animal tracks identification. We’ll also continue to keep our eyes in the sky, on the lookout for northern lights. On day 9 we’ll move to lower elevations and reach another picturesque mountain river, near where we’ll spend the next three nights at a cozy log cabin.
Relax, Explore and Learn
On day 10, we’ll leave most of the gear at the cabin and take off on a special 45-km day trip to explore the rarely visited Hodnett Lakes valley. Out there, keep an eye out for Dall’s sheep, as they enjoy steep-sided topography and west facing slopes. Back at base camp, and after a good dinner, you may choose to take part in a vegetation identification workshop, and learn to differentiate pine, spruce, fur and pick up the names of some other boreal plants.
Day 11 is a day of rest for the dogs and ourselves. After a sleep-in and a relaxed breakfast, we’ll make sure our dogs are well fed and comfortably installed on a thick straw bedding. You’ll notice after 11 days with them, that they’ll see a good caring chief in you. In the afternoon, we’ll have a visit by an Indigenous interpreter who will provide an introduction to Yukon First Nation culture and traditions. Later in the day, your guide will provide background knowledge about the landscapes we are about to travel through in the coming days.
Higher in the alpine
We’ll load the sleds and take off for another 3-day stretch, during which you’ll get the exclusive chance (only on the 14-day tour) to travel on the frozen Alligator lake, and understand the singularity of its origin. During the evening we’ll discuss more about the glacial past of the area and your guide will share some of his winter survival skills during an atypical workshop. Our last two nights will be spent in our warm, wood-heated tent, with open views at our camp locations for more chances of seeing northern lights.
On Day 14, we’ll travel up a pass to reach the stunning Fish Lake area, our starting point 14 days earlier. By now you’ll be in the rhythm of the expedition and very likely feel like you could keep going! After rewarding your dogs for their good work and company, we drive out to town for a hot shower and a good celebratory dinner.
Note: The itinerary may vary according to trail and weather conditions, changes in regulations and guests’ fitness level
From February to April
$10,695 CAD + GST
Hotel (1 night)
Log Cabin (5 nights)
Wood-heated tent (8 nights)
Items included in the tour priceItems that are included in the cost of tour price.
- All meal from Day 1 to Day 14 (see exceptions in the Not included section)
- All accommodation in Whitehorse and of the trail
- All camping gear: canvas tent, wood stove, cot, sleeping bag, mattress, pillow
- All cooking gear including pots, utensils, plates
- An exclusive dog team (4 to 6 dogs)
- All dog sledding supply: sleds, dog food, harness
- Guiding services
- All immersive activities: Dog sledding history, Interpretation of glacial landscapes, Northern lights viewing, Plant identification, Ice fishing, Trapping workshop, Sled dog unique metabolism, Winter survival workshop, Meeting with First Nations and Animal tracks identification.
- Sanitary and hygiene goods: towel, toilet paper, hand sanitizer
Items not included in the tour priceItems that are not included in the cost of tour price.
- First night at the hotel on day of arrival in Whitehorse (Day 0)
- Celebratory dinner in town on the last day (Day 14)
- Breakfast on Day 1
- Arctic Winter Clothing (Available on rental)
- Base personal clothing (Required gear list)
- Alcoholic beverages: We provide transportation to local micro brewing and liquor stores
- Gratuity (tips)