Chances are high you've never been on a dog sled before so we'll teach you the commands, how to steer, how to stop, and the importance of hanging on. We often hitch up two sleds to one team for your first trip so you get a feel for the trail, but an experienced musher is in control and there to talk you through the process. The mushing season is short in the Brooks Range and therefore we only offer tours in March and April, when the days are long and the snow conditions are perfect. Depending on your personal itinerary, you can spend your days cross-country skiing and snowshoeing or dog sledding, or you may choose to sit by the wood fire and enjoy the incredible peace and quiet scenery of a winter wilderness. Each trip will be customized and we know what it takes to have a good time. March and April are "springtime" in the Brooks Range. While you won't see any flowers blooming you will see 14 hours of daylight and daytime temperatures around 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The snow is light and dry and usually 3-4 feet deep. Come home each night to a modern log cabin, fabulous meals and a place to warm your feet by the fire as the northern lights erupt in a dazzling display overhead. In the evening, the guest lounge is the best place to relax by the woodstove and recount the activities of the day. With its large windows and comfortable couches it is also a great place to watch for Northern Lights as the night approaches. The Brooks Range offers one of the most active viewing spots for the Aurora Borealis in the world. Our all-inclusive tours offer a variety of ways to enjoy the wilderness. You'll fly directly from Fairbanks to Iniakuk Lake Wilderness Lodge and take short day trips centered around the main lodge or - alternatively - you could reserve an expedition style trip where you mush into or out of the main lodge and spend a few nights in heated tents along the trail. You may help feed and water the dogs or you may relax by the fire and let the guides do the work.
Arrive in Fairbanks. Complimentary transfer to your **** Resort Hotel on the banks of the beautiful Chena River near Pikes Landing. Fairbanks is the largest city in the interior region of Alaska - just 180 miles south of the Arctic Circle - with a population of about 36.000 people. Captain Barnadette founded the city in 1901 setting up a trading post and during 1902 the first gold was discovered. Relax during your first evening in Fairbanks and get ready for a few days of winter fun and adventure within the Last Frontier. You may watch the Aurora Borealis at night dancing on the northern sky and/or enjoy a dinner at the scenic Pikes Landing Restaurant, the Pumphouse or - please check also Tripadvisor Feedback. Overnight: Fairbanks
Fairbanks - Iniakuk Lake (Gates of the Arctic National Park)
Your trip north starts in Fairbanks, where a one-hour and 45-minute flight takes you to Iniakuk Lake, a total journey of 225 miles. Imagine your ski plane touching down in four feet of powdery snow on a runway marked with spruce trees. There is no rush for a shuttle or taxi as a dog team pulls up and you take a seat on the sled for a ride to the main lodge. The main lodge rests at the northern end of 5-mile long Iniakuk Lake and offers 24-hour solar power, modern rooms, and fine dining just a few miles outside the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. We are a fly-in only wilderness lodge. The main lodge sits back off the lake a few hundred feet and has 4 upstairs bedrooms and a shared bath. Closer to the lake edge is a separate Guest Suite with two downstairs bedrooms and a large upstairs lounge that overlooks the entire lake.
The rooms are all comfortably heated by wood stoves and meals are served family-style in the dining room. During the winter we use portable toilets in the bathrooms and heat a log sauna on the edge of Iniakuk Lake for bathing. It is the best way to ease tired muscles at the end of the day. Many of our clients are content to stay at the main lodge on Iniakuk Lake and enjoy the wilderness in comfort. Wake up in the morning to sourdough blueberry pancakes, drink coffee by the fire, then wander out to the dog yard later and mush for a few hours across the surrounding lakes and valleys. Return in the early afternoon, take a sauna, have dinner and prepare for incredible Northern Lights viewing. This is luxury in the Far North. We also organize expedition style mushing trips with overnights along the trail and only accommodate 2 to 6 people at a time.
Iniakuk Lake (Gates of the Arctic National Park)
Iniakuk Lake Wilderness Lodge was built in the summer of 1974 using local logs harvested from the surrounding stands of white and black spruce. Each log was wrestled down the mountainside by hand, floated 2 miles across the lake, then dragged uphill to where the lodge now stands. There were no horses or electric winches available for the process, but the main log structure was completed the end of that summer. In those first few years our clients awoke with sawdust in their hair and baked goods were kneaded on a stump outside. There was no electricity and our idea of running water was the nearby inlet. Times have changed. We now have 24-hour electricity thanks to a state-of-the-art solar power installation. In the winter we crank up the wood stove, bring in portable toilets and stoke the sauna for washing up under the Northern Lights. Your guide in the winter is John Gaedeke, a second-generation Brooks Range guide.
John was raised at Iniakuk and enjoys continuing the traditions of conservation with an attention to the environment that his folks started over 30 years ago. Enjoying the wilderness is a way of life for John and the staff at Iniakuk Lake Lodge. They take pride in healthy, happy sled dogs, warm, clean cabins and the Alaska they call home. Their commitment to your comfort, enjoyment and safety while in the Far North is obvious from the moment you arrive. Stay at Iniakuk Lake Lodge and you will experience their reputation as a premier wilderness destination in Alaska is well deserved.The jagged peaks of the Brooks Range tower in the distance, smoke from the wood stove scents the air, and snow-covered silence surrounds you. Inside Iniakuk Lake Wilderness Lodge there is fresh baked bread, friendly faces and hand-crafted log surroundings. We offer guided dog sled trips, x-country skiing and ice-fishing - whether you have mushed before or never stepped on the runners.
Iniakuk Lake - Fairbanks
Return to Fairbanks around noon. Remaining day at leisure or for sightseeing activities around Fairbanks. Individual program extensions are available. Please contact us. End of Package Tour.
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