Dog Sledding in Alta, Norway

Dog Sledding in Alta, Norway

Standing tall on the runners of our basket sleds with snow piling up underneath, we raced through the Arctic wilderness led by a team of Alaskan Huskies. A 30-kilometer, 6.5-hour journey through the forests and by the riversides of Norway leaves one feeling a rush of adrenaline and wild-spirited.
Dog Sledding Alta, Norway

Enjoy this short video we put together of footage from our trip (or click here if it doesn’t load.)

During our trip to see the Northern Lights, one of our first outdoor activities was dog sledding in Norway – something I’ve wanted to do for years! Located in Alta and just a short drive from the town center, our day at Trasti & Trine started off with a quick introduction of our two guides, Elaine & Maria. Two other couples joined in on the trip – one from South Korea, the other from London. Inside one of the many buildings located on Trasti & Trine’s property, we suited up in thermal coveralls, slipped on some wool socks and waterproof snow boots, and added warm hats and mittens – all provided with the price of dog sledding.

Trasti & Trine, dog sledding in Norway Outside This Small Town Trasti & Trine, dog sledding in Norway Outside This Small TownTrasti & Trine, dog sledding in Norway Outside This Small Town Trasti & Trine, dog sledding in Norway Outside This Small Town snow boots

The guides provide a “driving the sled 101” showing us how to properly drive the sleds, brake, prevent tipping, and what to do if our lines got crossed. Given the choice of two different sleds, a basket sled or a toboggan, I chose the former. A basket sled demands you to have at least some prior experience skiing, as the runners mimic those of skis – requiring you to stay upright and balance the same way you would on skis. With a basket sled, you stand on the back of the runners where you can access the foot brake and the emergency brake. It is less stable but much faster. The other sled, a toboggan, has a much different plastic design and is more stable.

Trasti & Trine, dog sledding in Norway Outside This Small Town basket sled
Stephen’s sled of choice – a basket sled

Everyone was then given a slip with 4 names on it. That was to be our dog team for the day. After a short lesson of how to harness the dogs, we set off eager to search for each dog on the list and get him/her ready! My team included: Meisje, Slippers, Pudding, and Svuku! The first dog I chose to harness was obviously a puppy, considering he just rolled over and begged me with those big blue eyes to rub his belly…making it slightly difficult to put a harness over him. After much cooing and petting, I proudly harnessed all four of my dogs. We then lead the team to the sled, starting with the back two dogs. By this point, the whole yard was hootin’ and howlin’. These pups knew exactly what was coming and boy were they excited. I’d never seen anything like it in my life!

Trasti & Trine, dog sledding in Norway Outside This Small Town, Alaskan huskies

Trasti & Trine, dog sledding in Norway Outside This Small Town Alaskan Husky puppy
Hello I was wondering if I make a cute face, can I pull your sleigh?

Trasti & Trine, dog sledding in Norway Outside This Small Town Alaskan Huskies

And…we’re off!

Once our teams were harnessed and ready to go, our guide slowly led her team out the gate. Following one-by-one, we took it easy at first to get a feel for the correct speed and brake balance. It was thrilling. We were going just fast enough for the brisk winter air to take my breath away. The dogs loved every second of it. Each time we would come to a halt to untangle ropes or catch up to each other, they would pounce in the snow to the side of our path, rolling and tumbling coming up with snow-covered noses. It was as if they had never seen snow before… they were almost childlike.

Halfway through our course, we made a pitstop for lunch. In our basket sleds, we carried our weight of food, drinks, firewood, and reindeer skin to keep us warm. We unloaded our sleds and began tearing bark off nearby trees to make kindling for the fire. It was refreshing to be a part of everything instead of sitting back and having someone do it all for us. It made the experience truly remarkable and memorable. Once the fire was built, our guides toasted bread and warmed up mushroom soup to be passed around. With warm bodies and bellies, we finished an amazing lunch by the fire with coffee, brownies, and chit chats about each other’s lives.Trasti & Trine, dog sledding in Norway Outside This Small Town Alaskan Huskies Trasti & Trine, dog sledding in Norway Outside This Small Town Alaskan Huskies

Trasti & Trine, dog sledding in Norway Outside This Small Town Alaskan Huskies
Our tour guides Maria & Elaine preparing our lunch

Trasti & Trine dog sledding journey Alta, Norway Outside This Small Town goes dog sledding in Alta, Norway Trasti & Trine dog sledding journey Alta, Norway couples who dog sledHeadlamps were handed out before we departed since it was almost pitch dark as we finished lunch. We drove the rest of the way home without light except for our headlamps to guide us and our dog teams. No doubt it was my favorite part of the entire experience – I felt like we were going even faster than before. Arriving back to Trasti & Trine, we put our dog teams back in their homes after unharnessing them, so they could rest before their race day.

Our Sincere Thanks & Recommendations

There are numerous dog sledding organizations out there, but what I really loved about Trasti & Trine was the experience that we had. I consider myself a rookie musher now. I know how to harness, gather my team, drive the sled, and was well prepared for anything that happened along the route. The fact that we had two guides made it much easier. Elaine led the group, and Maria would often ride on a sled in the back, making it convenient for her to jump off and help untangle lines or check the lake/river to make sure it was thick enough to drive over. I felt safe, but most importantly we had an awesome time and would do it again! If you are ever in the Alta area, I highly recommend checking them out – and if not in Norway, GO dog sledding somewhere! It’s a thrilling experience.

Trasti & Trine dog sledding journey Alta, Norway
We thank you Elaine for an amazing tour!!

For more details:

Check out Trasti & Trine here, and our trip to see the Northern Lights (Where to Stay, When to Go, What to Do) here!


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4 Replies to “Dog Sledding in Alta, Norway”

  1. Summer!!! How much fun was this! I loved reading your post about this experience. Your pictures are always wonderful. I probably would’ve fallen so much for those cute, furry faces that they would have been in the sled and I would have pulled it😂 The lunch and your company sounded wonderful. I love to meet people from different places. Counting the days until July!

    1. Hahaha you are too funny! Oh they were so adorable and fluffy and their blue eyes were just mesmerizing. It was insane how much they loved to pull the sled.
      So looking forward to our trip this Summer ☺️☺️

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