How do we get to Friendly Arctic Adventures?
Our address is 1105 Jure St. Cabin B. We are located at in Goldstream Valley, which is about a 15 minute drive from the airport. You can rent your own car and drive to us or you can take a cab, Uber, or Lyft ride.
Take Sheep Creek Rd. towards Goldstream and take a left on Tribly Rd. Jure is the first road on the right. Our driveway is the second on the left, directly across the street from Savage Lane. Our office is the little cabin on the left!
Do we need to have prior mushing experience?
Nope! We will teach you everything you need to know to have a safe and successful mushing experience. The tour starts with a 30-45 minute “mushing school” where you will learn basic commands, tips on sled maneuvering, how to slow down and stop (very important!), and what to do if you fall. You will also have plenty of time to bring up any questions or concerns you might have.
The tour says I will mush my own team. Do I go out alone, or with a guide?
There is always a guide leading the way while you are out mushing. For larger groups there will be multiple guides. We will take good care of you!
How many dogs will we be mushing? All the mushing photos I have seen have been large teams, which is pretty intimidating.
We generally start folks with only 2 dogs and add another dog or two about a mile down the trail, once everyone has gotten a feel for mushing. For larger groups, an assistant guide will be following behind the teams on a snowmachine (or snowmobile, as the non-Alaskans call them) with extra dogs. This guide will also be available to offer advice and assistance, when needed. Thom will be in the front
Some of the people in our group want to mush their own teams, but some of us aren’t so sure about it. Can we ride in the guide’s sled instead?
Yes, we are happy to accommodate groups with varied interests and offer rides to some group members. Oftentimes, a member or two of a group initially thinks they want to ride in the guide’s sled, but after going through the mushing school they change their mind and decide to mush their own team! Plans often change, and we can cater to the group's needs.
Do we need to be in really good physical shape to mush our own teams?
Don’t worry, you don’t need to be an ultra-marathoner to be able to join us on a mushing tour! You will need to be able to have enough strength and stamina to stand on the back of the sled for ~1.5 hours, plus be able to walk up a few hills. If you are concerned about your ability to complete the mush, please let us know ahead of time. We can have an additional guide follow on a snowmachine to offer a ride if needed.
Are there age limits on who can mush?
We have had mushing clients as young as seven and we’ve had a few well into their seventies! For the young ones, they need to be able to have the strength and confidence to step on the brake pad and stop their dog (the littlest kiddos only get one dog to start). Kids who are too young to mush their own team can sit in the guide’s sled for the tour (although they need to be mature enough to be able to sit still throughout the tour).
We don’t live in a cold climate. What do we need to bring to stay warm? Is it even possible to stay warm when it’s really cold outside?
We aren’t going to lie, Fairbanks winters can be very cold!!! That being said, we are experts in staying warm. If you don’t have your own cold weather gear, we highly recommend renting gear from Alaska Element Gear Rental (https://alaskaelement.com/) for your trip, especially if you are joining us for a longer tour or expedition or plan on doing other outdoor activities during your trip. They can outfit you with gear that fits and will keep you comfortably warm, even at the coldest temperatures. We also have a large inventory of gear you can borrow for your tour, although we can’t guarantee we will have enough of the correct sizes to fit every person (especially for larger groups). Bring the warmest clothes you can get your hands on and we will do our best to fill in the gaps to keep you warm (but please don’t show up in jeans and sneakers!). We do have Neos overboots for every client to borrow on our tours. They fit right over your regular boot and will keep your feet extra toasty warm. We also have a bunch of beaver mitts that fit over your regular gloves and keep your hands comfortable during the tour.
Other mushing tours say I’ll be on a “tag” sled, what does that mean? Is this what I’ll be on in your tour?
A tag sled is a second sled tied or hooked to the first mushers sled. It is what many tour operators use when suggesting you can mush your own team. At Friendly Arctic Adventures, we have worked specifically with a sled builder to design and build sleds that can be pulled by only two or three dogs. Most dog sleds require a minimum of six dogs to handle the weight of the sled and musher. Since we have smaller sleds you can mush your own team of 2-3 dogs behind a guide and experience what it’s really like to be in control of your own dog team.
What is the tour cancellation policy?
When booking online for a day tour or overnight tour, the 50% deposit paid on your tour to hold your reservation is considered non-refundable. It is up to the tour operators discretion to allow for a refund, change of date, or transfer to another individual.
Does your business have proper permits, current licensing and insurance?
Yes, absolutely. We are permitted with the State of Alaska and the Bureau of Land Management to use the lands we mush on. Friendly Arctic Adventures is licensed by the State of Alaska, and insured as guides and outfitters by Hub International. You should always ask this question! Verify the legitimacy of your tour operators.