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Alaska

Spend a Day Dog Sledding in Skagway

The history of dog sledding dates back over 1,000 years with the first evidence of the invention being traced to the Inuit tribes of northern Canada. Dog sledding arose out of the need for reliable transportation and communications between different settlements in these areas of harsh winters and unforgiving landscapes. When Russian settlers began exploring Alaska in the 1700s they quickly adopted dog sledding and made several adaptations to the invention. One of the most remarkable was their creation of the single or double file dog sled line that placed specifically trained dogs in different places in order to travel faster.

>During the Alaskan Gold Rush of the 1800s, the demand for dogs and dog sledders grew rapidly. Remote communities and towns relied on these work dogs for communication, transportation, and delivery of food and goods. As dog sledding grew in popularity numerous different innovations and dog breeds were introduced to make teams both faster and more reliable. Many of these dog breeds still exist and work today and they include huskies, malamutes, chinooks, and samoyeds. Dog sledding remained one of the most relied upon forms of transportation up until airfields and highways were constructed in the mid twentieth century and their popularity gradually decreased. Today dog sledding survives as a recreational sport with one of the most popular events being the annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race which is held every year to remember the importance these dogs had on the history of these remote communities.

Dog sledding can be enjoyed today by anyone visiting Skagway with numerous different tours available. The tours range from laidback to hands on so there is an activity available for any dog lover or adventure seeker. One of the best reviewed an most popular tour is Dog Sled Discovery, which includes a dog sled ride through Tongass National Forest, a tour of downtown Skagway, and a puppy play session. For anyone looking for a thrilling adventure, TEMSCO offers a duel adventure of a helicopter glacier tour and a dog sled ride around a remote camp in the Alaskan wilderness. Another one of the most top rated tours is the Yukon Dog Sledding Adventure that allows guests a unique tour of the Yukon wilderness, a dog sled ride, and playtime with Alaskan husky puppies. Past attendees on Continuing Education Company’s Alaskan medical education conference cruise have said that playing with the puppies was their favorite part of the trip.


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