Go dog sledding in the U.P. — the best place to mush in Michigan!
Ask anyone what it’s like to go dog sledding in the Upper Peninsula and you will hear over and over that it was the best time ever! The exhilaration of gliding down a snowy trail pulled by a team of happy, eyes-sparkling, tongue-lolling, born-to-run dogs is tough to beat on a wintry day.
What makes the Upper Peninsula perfect for dog sledding?
Here we have months of snow and lots of it — we count our annual snowfall by feet not inches. There are hundreds of miles of gorgeous, tree-lined trails that beg you to go full bore and cold temperatures that turn your breath frosty but are seldom frigid. That’s why Alaskan Iditarod-bound and tested mushers and their dogs make this winter wonderland their training ground and home. Best of all, they love sharing their passion for dog sledding with you!
Dog sledding is for all ages and physical abilities.
There’s no age limit for who can go dog sledding. Ride as a passenger with an experienced guide or adults can mush a team on their own. Children 10 years or older also can drive a team when accompanied by a guide. A sled holds a guide plus two average-sized adults or one adult and one child.
It’s also a winter activity where children and adults with limited abilities to participate in more physically demanding winter sports can thrill at riding behind these enthusiastic dogs. It’s a memory they won’t forget!
Where to dog sled in the Upper Peninsula
Nature’s Kennel Sled Dog Adventures | McMillan
Take a ride or drive a team at this highly-respected dog sledding tour destination. Ed and Tasha have competed in numerous races around the world and Ed has been a finisher in the Iditarod multiple times. Their sled dogs have excellent race histories, pedigrees and outstanding personalities. They love people almost as much as they love flying down the trails.
Nature’s Kennel is open for dog sledding between mid-December through March. It offers 10-mile and 20-mile day trips, overnight trips, Michigan State University Alumni Trips and a Winter Photography Tour that includes Tahquamenon Falls plus dark sky photo opportunities. There is also an August summer mushing camp for ages 8-12 years old. LEARN MORE
Husky Haven Sled Dogs | Shingleton
Your heart will soar as you feel the surging power of these dogs as you ride along the snowy, picturesque trails. But when your guide lets you take control of the team, there aren’t words to describe the energy coursing through your veins. No wonder these mushers love this sport!
In the winter, 3-4 hour tours include a visit to the kennel to meet the dogs, learn about the history of dog-sledding and get instruction on how to handle the team and sled. Then it’s off for an 8-10 mile run with the instructor, returning for hot chocolate and cookies and going through the photos taken along the way. Summer kennel tours are also available to meet the dogs. LEARN MORE
Otter River Sled Dog Training Center & Wilderness Adventures | Tapiola
At Otter River, you can enjoy dog sled rides and adventures year-round. Experiences include three- or six-mile rides, a half-day adventure with a trailside lunch, overnight camping tours and customized trips. All the rides include a chance to drive a team. Two special opportunities include a fall color tour and an ice fishing expedition. The staff also encourages youth mushing lessons. It is a great place to plan a group event. LEARN MORE
Some Upper Peninsula ski resorts offer short dog sledding rides.
When you make reservations at one of our nine downhill ski destinations, ask if they offer dog sledding tours in their list of amenities. The rides are shorter than at the kennels, but they give a taste of how much fun dog sledding is.
Cheer on the teams at these annual dog sledding races in the U.P.
Early January: Tahquamenon Country Sled Dog Race, Newberry — 10-Dog and 6-Dog Professional Races
Mid-February: UP200, Marquette-Grand Marais — 220-miles/12-dog race; Midnight Run, Marquette-Chatham — 82-miles/8-dog race; Jack Pine 30, Gwinn — 30-miles/6-dog race
Early March: CopperDog 150, Keweenaw Peninsula — 10-, 8- and 6-dog races
Share your photos of dog sledding in the U.P.
We would love to see your favorite dog sledding moments and adventures in the Upper Peninsula! Use our hashtag #uptravel for an opportunity to be featured on our social media, website or in our marketing materials. You can also upload your photos to our Winter Photo Crowdriff Collector below.