One of the most exciting adventures to enjoy during the Russian winter is dog-sledding. It is perfect for those who are passionate about animals and landscapes. Imagine gliding over the frozen Volga. Have you ever dreamed of drifting through 1-metre deep snow in the Siberian taiga? Or ice-skating on the scintillating turquoise ice of Lake Baikal?
Is dog-sledding a little too extreme? Not at all - even teenagers over 14 can guide a sled after receiving instructions from an experienced guide. You don’t have to spend several days on a dog-sledding expedition. If it’s your first time, choose a tour that only lasts a few hours.
Huskies love children! Your children aren’t 14 years old yet? No problem. There is plenty of room in the sled, where they can wrap up in a sheep skins and share the adventure with you. This is exactly how nomadic people in the Great North used to transport their children. Before departing, there’ll be plenty of time to play with the dogs and help prepare the sleds. Meeting the Huskies is one of the most unique experiences you can have in Russia.
Are you ready for 2–3 days of dog-sledding, either camping or in log cabins? Then let our advisor help you choose. Spend a few days in the company of these unique dogs in a log cabin deep in the snow-laden woods. Imagine huddling around a piping hot stove in the heart of the forest, sharing tales of your adventures with family and friends. Still not sure? Need more information? Our advisor has travelled hundreds of kilometres by dog-sled and is here to help you.
Dog-sledding season and tracks depend on the weather and the depth of snow. We have an approximate calendar of months and locations to meet your schedule.
If you only have one free day and you don’t want to travel too far, you can visit the Husky breeders just 70 km from Moscow. It is the closest location to the capital where you can go dog-sledding and is open from the end of December to mid-March.
Winter is the best season for a 2-day trip. You can get there from Moscow by taking the train to Vladimir, which is just 20 km from Suzdal. The “Strizh” and “Lastochka” trains are fast, modern and comfortable. From Vladimir, it is just a 30-minute drive to the ancient town of Suzdal. In terms of logistics, it is the best way to escape Moscow at your own pace. After visiting the Kremlin and monasteries of Suzdal, you will head to a small village (5 km) for a dog-sledding excursion.
For a weekend (2–3 days), head out for a dog-sledding adventure to Kostroma, a town of the Golden Ring located 350 km from Moscow. There are two ways to get here: either by night train Moscow-Kostroma or a day train Moscow-Yaroslavl and a 1h30 drive by car. We don’t advise driving to Kostroma because, even if it is not far, it can take seven hours to drive there – especially on the weekend. Traffic on the outskirts of the town is also exhausting. Get an authentic experience by taking an excursion to tree forts for a few days.
For a weekend (2 days or more), head north to Karelia, 700 km from Moscow. To reach Petrozavodsk, take the night train from Moscow (duration: 1 night). Here, you can have a truly unique experience: add a trip to the island of Kizhi with its historical architecture to your dog-sledding excursion. In Karelia, you can line up several activities like one day for dog-sledding, the other for snowmobiles. Dog-sledding season in Karelia lasts from the end of December to the beginning of April.
If you have 4 or more days, and you have been dreaming of Baikal, we can arrange a dog-sledding tour for you. This spectacular experience living on Lake Baikal includes riding into the mountainous taiga of Siberia and, of course, sliding over the translucent ice that is more than 1 m deep. Spend the night in a log cabin in the forest that is only accessible by dog-sled or snowmobile. Dog-sledding season on Baikal lasts from the end of December (in the taiga) or mid-February (on the lake) to the beginning of April.
Yes! You will mush your own dogs. Before leaving, you will receive mandatory instructions on technique and safety. You can also go for a small ride to get acquainted with the dogs and harness before setting off. When you are mushing, you are standing up on the foot boards of the sled. It’s important to reduce speed when going downhill and to maintain balance in the turns. The dogs run at 10–15 km/h and the main risk is falling into a wet snowdrift.
You don’t need to train; you just need to be in good condition. Depending on your build, the guide will select the best harness, usually 4 or 6 dogs.
Dress like you are going skiing, preferably with 3 layers of clothes. Remember that dogs will get you dirty, so we recommend that you choose simple clothes that will keep you warm. It’s important to have winter shoes with solid soles.
Children over 14 can drive their own sled under the watch of their parents – this decision is up to the guide. Younger ones can ride on your sled or that of the guide.
Species like the Siberian Husky, Malamute or Husky are not constrained when running in a harness. You will see how enthusiastic they are when it’s time to harness up. The hosts and guides offering their services have participated in competitions in Russia and abroad, taking excellent care of their dogs’ nutrition and health. Many of them have won international competitions.