Where to go dogsledding
As mentioned above, keeping sled dogs is not permitted everywhere in Greenland. In fact, you need to go north of the polar circle in Western Greenland or to Eastern Greenland in order to find sled dogs.
We would like to highlight three places, which we recommend to our guests:
- Kangerlussuaq, for most people the first stop in Greenland.
- Sisimiut at the coast, which is a short flight away from Kangerlussuaq.
- Ilulissat in the Disco Bay, where you will find huge icebergs.
Kangerlussuaq is an outstanding starting point for dog sledding. Kangerlussuaq is located north of the Polar Circle and therefore keeping sled dogs is permitted. Where there are sled dogs, there are also dog sleds. So if you come here during winter, you should definitely try to get on a dog sled ride. Dog sledding is very special and the experienced coachmen make sure, that you get around and back home in a safe manner.
2 or 4 hours dog sledding
Not everyone is ready for such a huge adventure, as the Danish Crown Prince Frederik was. He participated in an expedition on dog sleds in Greenland. Therefore it is possible to choose some wonderful, shorter rides on a dog sled. Here you can taste the feeling and glide over ice and snow. The coachman and his dogs take you with them over the thick ice on the fjord, where you can feel the real Greenland.
For most people, 2 or 4 hours dog sledding are just right. You can get far about in the landscape and get a taste of what it’s like to go dog sledding in several days.
We make sure that you won’t be freezing. On these short rides we’ll get you wrapped in warm seal clothes and boots. If you feel a little more like adventure, we recommend a 4 hours dog sledding ride.
Longer sled rides
Together with the coachman, you will experience the rough and fascinating Greenlandic nature, where human, animal and nature melt together into one unit. On these trips, you are part of a team. You contribute to preparing meals, pick the ice or collect snow for everyone’s coffee, pack the sledge or feed the dogs. These tours can sometimes be challenging and that is why you should be in good physical shape as a participant. You are outside in the arctic cold many hours a day and it can be a necessity to run shorter distances next to the sled where slopes are too steep for the dogs to come up with a fully loaded sled. But you don’t need to run a marathon and everyone in an average physical condition can master the challenge. We would not recommend such a trip to people with back problems, though.
2 days dog sledding with overnight stay
The dog sled is a significant part of the Greenlandic culture and has through hundreds of years been the only means of transportation, when the landscape was covered with ice and snow. On a 2 day-long tour, with Kangerlussuaq as a starting point, you ride among others through the fjord with snow-covered mountains on both sides. Later you travel through the landscape in the mountains. Out here, you are all alone in stunning nature. Usually you will stay in a catchers’ cabin over night, but sometimes it can be necessary to sleep in a tent. In the evening you get social in the hut and enjoy the amazing polar night and – maybe – watch the Northern Lights dancing on the sky.
3 days dog sledding from Kangerlussuaq to Sisimiut
On the trip between Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut the scene is set for an experience that will remind you of an expedition. You can test your own limits within controlled circumstances. You will get a feeling of the country’s enormous size. The trip takes 3 days. You will mostly stay in catcher’s cabins over night and sometimes in tents. This is not as cold as it sounds. On the way you will meet other sleds as well as snow scooters that hurry between the towns and settlements. The dog sledding ride can either start in Kangerlussuaq or in Sisimiut. The route is very famous as a hiking route during summer. That takes about 6 to 10 days.
Long dog sledding tours are not a part of our holiday trips, but we arrange them each year together with our partners for individual travelers.
Dog sledding in the Disco Bay
The largest city in the Disco Bay, Ilulissat, is also a good spot for dog sledding. There are many dogs around here and a number of people still work with the dog sled as part of their living. They fish halibut in the Ice Fjord and go on trips with tourists.
Unfortunately, there has been a tough competition with the fish factories on the favor of the coachmen in the recent years. That is why we currently only offer 2 hours dog sledding in Ilulissat. However, you are welcome to contact us about longer trips and we will investigate the possibilities for that.
In summer, you will find that the Lyngmark-Glacier on Disco Island is the only place in Greenland where dog sledding is possible. Hiking up on top of the glacier at 2.600 feet requires a good physical condition, but you will get rewarded with an amazing view and dog sledding.