Mush your own sled dog team of Alaskan Huskies through the Alaska,
A Land Gone Lonesome Author Dan O'Neill
Yukon Alone by John Balzar
Coming into the Country by John McPhee
Dog Driver by Miki and Juliei Collins
What do you offer that is different from other tours?
It would be easier and more financially advantageous to run groups
of 4 to 6 people but our goal is to optimize the wilderness experience
for all of us and keep the experience one to one or one to two,
unless you ask for a larger group. This allows for individual attention
and training with your guide. It definitely allows the individual
to experience the remote wilderness in all its peace and beauty
without the noise that larger numbers of people and dogs create.
You get to enjoy true wilderness and step back into a world very
few people get to experience.
What can I expect of a normal mushing day?
A normal day is on average 20 to 25 miles of being on the sled runners.
This is anywhere from 3.5 to t hours of travel with the dogs. The
rest of the experience is spending time tending to your dogs in
the mornings and evenings and working with camp and cabin chores
and enjoying the vast wilderness that unfolds around you. Hiking,
skiing, reading and other enjoyable things are available to you
when not busy with other things. Relaxing in the quiet is one of
the most enjoyable responses we get from clients.
What do you provide in the way of gear and clothing?
We provide all camping gear
and most outter wear winter clothing. You will need to verify that
we have the sizing to fit you.
What are your prices? Price--$500.00 per
day, per person, $475.00 per person if coming as a team or group.
You are not charged for your final day with us in Eagle. Fee includes
training in mushing and survival techniques, camping and survival
gear, all food, transportation and lodging from the time you arrive
in Eagle until you leave. There are no hidden costs. We have winter
clothing and boots available and in most cases are able to help
outfit you in outer gear with advance notice.
Do I need travel and medical insurance?
Yes, while you are here you will be exposed to a variety
of hazards and risks, which are inherent in each trip and cannot
be eliminated without destroying the unique character of what you
want to experience. Rescue and medical facilities
are not easily available. A medivac to one of these facilities can
be very expensive. And on the off chance that you have to abort
your trip at the last minute, travel insurance will come in very
How would we get to Eagle?
You would arrive in Eagle by way of flying into Fairbanks and taking
a small mail plane into Eagle. We normally book the flight into
and out of Eagle for you but you are responsible for payment at
the time of your flight. During the 2009 season round trip tickets
to Eagle and back to Fairbanks were $340.00.
Is this mail plane located at the main terminal?
No, the terminal for the mail plane is located on Airport Industrial
Road, within walking distance of the main terminal.
Do you have any advice on returning flights?
Yes, when you are booking your flight out of Fairbanks take into
account that a local mail plane does not travel on the same timetable
as larger airlines. For example: if you are leaving Eagle on the
10am flight, that flight may not actually take off out of Eagle
until 2pm due to weather delays, so do not book any flights out
of Fairbanks until later in the evening.
Is air expense figured into the rates?
No, we would make the reservation for you with a mail plane for
your travel from Fairbanks into Eagle and back to Fairbanks but
you would be responsible for payment. The cost of the round trip
ticket for the 2009 season was $340.00.
What should I wear on the plane ride to Eagle?
It is always a good idea to wear your winter gear on the flight
into Eagle, as these planes are not always warm. Also, on arrival
at the Eagle airport there are no buildings available for you to
change into your winter gear. It could be a cold few minutes getting
Will you be meeting the plane at the airport in Eagle?
Yes, but we always set up a contingency plan. For example: this
past winter we were waiting at the airport with 3 dog teams in very
cold windy weather. We were advised, by the agent, that the plane
would be another hour before it arrived and we did not want the
dogs or us sitting in the wind so we took the dogs back into Eagle,
out of the wind. The plane arrived 5 minutes after we left.
The agent meets each plane and if for some reason we are not there,
the agent will give you a ride into town. If a café is open,
he will drop you there, if not, he will drop you at the local store.
What is a good time for a tour with you?
During a normal temperature year the prime dates would be mid-February
thru March. January and early Feb are also good times but daylight
is short and temps can often plunge into the minus 40 to minus 50
Will I see Northern Lights?
We can never guarantee Northern Lights/aurora borealis. In the winter
they can grace the night sky with color at any time or any night,
for minutes or hours. If you are out and looking and it is not cloudy,
there is a good chance that you will get to experience this phenomenon.
What kind of temperatures should I expect?
Normal winter temps can range from minus 10 to plus 10 F. during
the day and minus 20 to plus 10 F. overnight. There can be extremes
of high and low with temps bottoming out at minus 60 F. for short
periods of time and highs can make it up to a sweltering plus 30
F. During the month of March, daytime temps can be quite balmy and
warm. Even if the nights drop to the minus 30 range or colder the
daytime temps warm it up to shirtsleeve weather.
What type of meals will I get to eat?
If you have any dietary needs we try to accommodate them but our
food fare is pretty simple. If you are on an extended type of trip
and weight is a factor then you would have something like Mountain
House meals, with a lot of wholesome snacks (granola bars, breakfast
squares, salmon jerky, raisins, trail mix/nuts, power bars, etc.).
We will add candy bars if someone has a really sweet tooth.
If there is room for more weight we will have packed for you moose
or caribou meat to add to soups. You might have lasagna or a salmon
casserole. Sometimes salmon (King Salmon, Chinook taken out of the
Yukon River) patties are added as a special treat. If weight permits
you will have sandwiches or burritos that help round out meals.
Breakfast usually consists of oatmeal, breakfast squares, and/or
a breakfast energy drink such as is put out by Nestles. Sometimes
peanut butter or raisins are added to the oatmeal. Occasionally
cereal is taken along on the trips. Depending on the trip you might
get egg sandwiches, breakfast burritos, pancakes and other items
that can be taken on the trail.
Drinks on the trail are Gatorade, tang, caffeine and decaff teas,
cocoa and coffee. We do not offer alcoholic beverages and do not
suggest that it be carried on the trail. If however, while at the
homestead or summit base camp, someone would like to have a drink,
they are welcome to bring their favorite drink along.
At the homestead, meals are much more plush.
How many days do I need to stay?
The average trip length is between 7 and 10 days. We will do shorter
trips but in order to have time for training and to enjoy the experience
you are seeking it is better to have enough days to allow for fully
enjoying your time with the dogs in this wilderness setting. There
is such a diversity of landscape going from river drainages to above
tree line on mountain passes and summits back into boreal forest
a true wilderness covered with ice and snow.
What about gear and clothing?
We have an extensive clothing and gear list that we will send to
you on request. We are often able to provide much of the outer clothing
for our clients which can include parka, bibs, mitts, face mask
Do I need hand and toe warmers?
Yes, chemical hand and toe warmers can make a cold trip very comfortable.
One set for each day is advisable. Maybe you will not need them
but if you do it is better to have them on hand.
What kind of camping gear do I bring?
We provide all of your camping gear including sleeping bags and
mushing headlamps although we do suggest that you bring a small
headlamp such as a Petzel for use around the camp.
How much money should I have on hand?
That is up to you, but from the time you step off the plane in Eagle
you are not expected to pay for anything.
What kind of camera should I bring?
Many different cameras have been tried and many have failed. The
temperatures have a way of upsetting picture plans. What we have
found is that a camera that can be kept in a breast pocket, to stay
warm, works best, because you do not have to continually work at
keeping it warm. Parts tend to get cold and break, batteries go
dead and film can shatter. We have switch to a small digital camera
and are very happy with the results.
Many different things have been tried to keep cameras warm, and
most things have failed to work sufficiently. We have just discovered
that there is a product that is used for packing that lasts for
app 60 hours. Chemical hand warmer companies are developing different
items all the time and you can now order a small pack of these warmers
that give off heat for up to 60 hours. It is worth checking into
as we plan to do this next year.
Do you have any videos of your trips?
Yes, you can go to these sites and watch videos of our dogs.
March 2013 Dog Sledding Video by Mike and Katie Rabalais
View 3 clips from the 2009 Herchal Island Expedition.
These clips are from areas that are within our normal routes and
might be something that you would like to experience. We customize
our trips and routing to what you want to experience and the difficulty
level that we feel is best suited to your abilities.
"A Quest for Adventure" and "Twenty-four Feet
Across the Yukon," are two videos a gifted client, Court, has
put together. His videos covers so much of what happens while on tour
with us and a segment of the Eagle Checkpoint during the Yukon Quest
2014 Dog Sled Race and our son, Matt Hall's race.
"Twenty-four Feet Across the Yukon"
"A Quest for Adventure"
VIEW AN 8 MINUTE VIDEO: Sierra Club member Mickey
Murch made this video in Feb 2007 while on a Sierra Club Tour with
us. The clip is called Metabolic Transportation and is on vimeo.
To watch the video, once the page pulls up, click on the
arrow on the window.
View a video of some advanced mushing with direction from
guide, Matt Emslie: Sometimes mushing can get difficult
and exhilarating as this video of Louise directing her team and
working her sled around a narrow ledge of ice on an exploratory
trip into the headwaters of Eagle Creek. Once the site opens click,
click on the arrow on the window.
VIEW A YOUTUBE VIDEO OF A 2009 EXTREME TRIP!
Do you have a brochure?
Yes, we can e-mail it to you or send it via postal mail.
Do you have more pictures?
Yes, we can send you a CD of pictures that show a wide range of
shots of different locations and our dogs.
Will I be required to sign a liability waiver and fill
out a medical form?
Yes, we have a liability waiver that we will have you sign and a
medical form that is kept confidential.
CONTACT: For more information and/or
questions e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
or email@example.com or write us at:
Bush Alaska Expeditions, P O Box 161, Eagle, AK 99738. No
incoming phone calls due to the remote location but there is Internet
access via satellite. Phone calls can be arranged via computer and