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Animal therapy and light therapy in Alaska

December 21st: it’s the beginning of the end of winter in Alaska.  Days start to lengthen in a soft and warm pinkish light.

Dog sledding and ski joring

In this light, dog sledding or skiing hailed by husky dogs or horses provide for rare, memorable moments.

The pink sky, the white and bluish snowy land, people gliding along by dogs all too happy to expend surplus energy, with the most massive mountain on earth, Mont McKinley, as a backdrop. 

Aurora borealis = astounding happiness

If the sky is clear at night, you might be able to enjoy one of the most spectacular natural shows in the world: the aurora borealis!

In one day of dog sledding, you will cover approximately 30 km and discover the tundra, the forest, lakes, glaciers and valleys.

Adults will be awed by the show before them, a scene filled with silence and peace, disturbed only by the caribou, foxes, lynxes, wolves and beavers met en route.

Children will have eyes for only the husky dogs guiding them, which joyfully accept friendly pats. Kids will even gladly share the chores of dog care and feeding at the camp, especially for the puppies.

Here is what Denali National Park offers to happy families residing at the nearby Earthsong Lodge or at the Denali West Lodge. We mention these two lodges since their guides are officially accredited by the Denali National Park authorities.

Lodge and your own private log cabin

From the Earthsong Lodge, you can plan a 7-day expedition.  Or you could choose to snuggle in the large sitting room, watch some videos about Alaska or make a picnic cooked on the outside grill.  Or, why not simply enjoy the panorama from the gazebo?

The Denali West Lodge is located on the banks of Lake Minchumina. A small plane will fly you there and its private log cabins are welcoming and comfortable.

Have you heard of dog mushing?

The lodge offers stays of up to 9 days and dog mushing expeditions are limited to 8 people.  Accompanied by professional guides, each expedition member will drive their own team of sled dogs through the wilderness.

Most of the equipment needed is provided on-site.  The lodge’s Web site provides clear information as to what is provided and what you will need to bring or rent on-site.

When night falls, before retiring in a cozy walled tent heated by wood burning stoves, have a hearty meal around the fire camp as you listen to whoops of joy from the dogs satisfied from the care that members of the expedition have given them. You will undoubtedly be in paradise.

The shortest route?

From Fairbanks: 3 hours by car or 4 hours by train.


Research and French original: Sylvie Berthiaume

Translation: Christiane Théberge





Ski joring

Denali National Park








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