Dog sledding in Norway
There are countless ways to take in northern Norway's iconic winter landscape, and one of the most memorable ways to explore the snow-covered wilderness is behind a team of huskies on a dogsledding tour. Drive your own sled, enjoying unparalleled views of mountain peaks and ice-covered lakes as you go. Adventurous travelers will want to keep the fun going with an overnight stay—try one of these immersive multi-day sledding excursions during your winter getaway in Norway.
What To Expect
Dog sledding is widely offered in northern Norway, with multi-day tours starting in Tromsø, Alta, Karasjok, and Kirkenes. You don't need experience to participate—you'll receive instruction from experienced guides before heading out at the helm of your own team of 4-6 eager huskies. Offerings range from longer, more challenging adventures to mellow day-trips paired with unique and comfortable overnight stays. No matter what style of outing you choose, children are typically welcome to join—though depending on the tour provider, age limits do apply for kids interested in driving their own sleds.
Lodging options vary, with many tour providers offering a chance to partake in winter camping. You'll spend your nights in a lavvu, the style of large traditional tent used by indigenous Sami herdsmen for generations. Cozy up in reindeer skin blankets and sleeping bags, lulled to sleep by the warmth of the nearby fire. Other options include rustic mountain lodges and even an igloo hotel for those staying in the town of Alta.
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.
Itinerary #1: Two Days Around Alta
Day 1: Meet in Alta's adorable town center before meeting the huskies and embarking on an afternoon sledding excursion in the nearby forest. Head to the Holmen Husky Lodge to get settled, and relax with some time in the hot tub or go for a stroll before dinner. You'll spend the night in a lavvu with floor-to-ceiling windows and views of the starry sky.
Day 2: After breakfast, you'll be picked up bright and early for sledding along the banks of the frozen Alta River. Drive your sleds on wooded trails, learning about the area's natural highlights and spotting wildlife with the help of your guide. After the day's dog sledding experience, eat a well-deserved meal at Sorrisniva and tour the Igloo Hotel, the northernmost ice hotel in the world, where you'll spend a memorable (and surprisingly comfortable) night.
Itinerary #2: Four Days on Finnmarksvidda
Day 1: Start your day at the Trasti & Trine kennels in Alta, getting familiar with the sled dogs. Today's excursion will have you ascending towards the Finnmarksvidda Mountain Plain, finally spending the night in the first mountain lodge of your trip: Jotka Fjellstue. After helping attend to the tired pups, you'll enjoy dinner and conversation around the campfire.
Day 2: Pack your lunch and fill your thermos before starting out for your second day of sledding. You'll cover more than 18 miles (30 km) of mountain terrain, passing frozen lakes and picturesque, rolling valleys dotted with Norway's native white birch. After a long and rewarding day, you'll reach Suosjavrre Fjellstue, a mountain where you'll stay at another lodge for the evening.
Day 3: Today you'll drive your team of huskies on a frozen river, through the forest, eventually reaching Mollisjok. Cross over Lake Lesjavre, the biggest lake in the Finnmark region, eventually returning to Jotka Fjellstue where you'll spend your last night in the backcountry.
Day 4: Fly down the same hills you climbed on Day 1, soaking in the scenery and saying farewell to Fimmark. On days with good weather, you can make a worthwhile detour to the edge of Sautso for a breathtaking view of Northern Europe’s largest canyon and the Alta River.
Itinerary #3: Five Days in the Border Region
Day 1: Start your day in Tromsø, where after breakfast you'll make the two-hour drive to Signaldalen. Once there, you'll meet your husky team and start sledding toward the border region of Norway, Finland, and Sweden. After a fun and challenging day of uphill climbs, you'll help take care of the happy huskies and make camp for the night in your lavvu.
Day 2: Have breakfast in your warm tent before packing up and sledding toward the border, through a beautiful high-mountain area known as Laplands. Enjoy the scenery and keep an eye out for the many herds of reindeer that populate the area. Depending on the day's route, you'll either make camp in Sweden or Finland for the evening.
Day 3: You can expect another beautiful day in the high mountains, and will pass through an area known for its amazing fishing. Your guides will bring ice fishing equipment, so cross your fingers for a freshly-caught dinner on your third evening in the wilderness.
Day 4: Slowly make your way from the mountains down to the wooded forest, where you'll have fun learning some new technical dog sledding skills. You'll be straddling the border of Finland and Sweden throughout your sled excursion today—where you make camp will depend on weather and snow conditions.
Day 5: Your last day is one of the most beautiful, and you'll pass by a number of scenic lakes before enjoying lunch at the place where the three countries meet. Fuel up for one last challenging afternoon, and finally end the journey back at Signaldalen. Enjoy a last evening of relaxation in Tromsø.
When To Go
Dog sledding necessitates plentiful snow cover—availability depends on annual conditions and varies by location. In Alta, there are multi-day options in January, March, and April. Dog sledding from Tromsø is possible in a short window from late March to April. Holiday travelers can choose between Karasjok (tour dates range from mid-December to early January) and Kirkenes (December through April).
Thinking about heading to Norway in the summer months? In lieu of sledding, many providers offer kennel tours, where you can meet and play with the puppies and take guided hikes with your new four-legged friends.