Dog Mushing Trips in the Alaskan Yukon River Wilderness
Frequently Asked Questions
What do you offer that is different from other tours?
Many companies will not let you mush your own team, you either ride in the sled or stand on a tag sled. We want you to experience true mushing so you will, after training, be running your own team. It would be easier and more financially advantageous to run groups of 4 to 6 people, as a lot of companies do, 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. Due to our extreme remote location you will also be running original trails of trappers and miners dating back to 1897. We run actual dog trails and not groomed trails so conditions will vary but the experience will be life changing as many clients claim.
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 5 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. Cabin chores means cutting, hauling and splitting wood, finding a water source or melting snow, heating water for people and dogs, warming up the cabin, feeding and watering the dogs. Then it is time to relax. 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 outer wear winter clothing. You will need to verify that we have the sizing to fit you. As to winter clothing, what we supply are parkas, bibs, boots, mitts, mitt liners and face mask/neck gaiters.
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 handy.
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.
Is air expense figured into the rates?
No, we would make the reservation for you with the 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 2019 season was $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 10 am flight, that flight may not actually take off out of Eagle until 2 pm due to weather delays, so do not book any flights out of Fairbanks until later in the evening.
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 or our provided gear. If possible we travel to the store/hotel for gearing up but you have to ride there on a snowmobile. If you have to do it on the air strip it could be a cold few minutes getting geared up.
Will you be meeting the plane at the airport in Eagle?
Yes, but we always set up a contingency plan. The Evert’s agent meets each plane and if for some reason we are not there, the agent will give you a ride into town. You will be dropped at the hotel/store where we will meet you. Sometimes the road to the airport is not good for running a snow mobile on and Evert’s Air has 1 plane that can get to Eagle faster than we can from the homestead so we try to stay on top of which plane is flying and have the “Plan B” in place if we are not there.
What is a good time for a tour with you?
During a normal temperature year the prime dates would be mid-February through 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 F. range.
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.
Normal trail meals will consist of items like lasagna, burritos, casseroles made from moose and/or caribou. Sometimes salmon (King Salmon, Chinook taken out of the Yukon River) patties are added as a special treat. Sandwiches are packed for quick lunch grabs. Breakfast meals consist of casseroles, burritos, breakfast sandwiches and oatmeal.
Drinks on the trail are Gatorade, tang, caffeine and decaf teas, coffee and cocoa. We do not offer alcoholic beverages but you are welcome to bring your own (see next question).
At the homestead, meals are much more plush.
Can I have alcoholic beverages? Eagle is a damp community…meaning that you can possess alcoholic beverages but it cannot be bought or sold here. If you would like to have a drink in the evenings at the homestead, or even out on the trail…at night… Please fill free to bring your own. It has to be purchased in Fairbanks or beyond. It cannot be obtained in Eagle. There is absolutely no drinking during the day, while you are traveling with the dogs. We do not encourage a large supply to go out on the trail as it adds weight to what has to be pulled by your team but a small bottle of something you enjoy for an evening drink, would be fine.
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 able to provide much of the outer clothing for our clients which can include parka, bibs, mitts, face mask and boots. Please check on sizing of boots as we are limited on small and extra large sizes.
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 (if needed) although you will need to bring a small headlamp such as a Petzel for use around the camp. This is a “never go without” item in our world. You might find it hanging around our necks out on the trail as it is used so often.
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. We have switched to a small digital camera and are very happy with the results.
Do you have any videos of your trips?
Yes! Please see our Video-Media page.