On this tour, a circle is drawn in several stages, the extent of which depends on the participants’ ideas and the snow and weather conditions. Essentially, the tour stays in the area around Lake Altevatn. Day trips can also be made from a hut if the snow conditions are particularly inviting. Due to the light conditions, the daily stages are not yet very long, but can be extended on nights with half or full moon. These tours are particularly popular because of the cosy hut evenings and, of course, the very good opportunities to observe and photograph the northern lights.
The Northern Lights tours are designed for beginners and Northern Lights fans. However, you should keep in mind that dog sledding is more demanding than a city walk. However, an average level of physical fitness is sufficient, similar to that required for extended bicycle tours.
Transfer from Bardufoss airport or Setermoen bus station to the husky farm mehr ...
Arrival at Bardufoss airport or Setermoen bus station. Here you will be met by your guide and taken either to Björn and Regina’s husky farm Innset or to Jan and Ane’s husky farm – depending on who your guide is. At the respective husky farm you will be greeted by the four-legged participants of the tour and a cabin/guest house with all comforts such as shower, kitchen, etc. The first details of the tour are discussed over dinner.
(Of course, you can also arrive a few days earlier. This gives more time for fun in the snow: meeting huskies, snowshoeing or skiing on your own, trying out “Snørrekjøring”, relaxing in the sauna, acclimatising.)
This day is used completely for the preparations of the expedition mehr ...
First, everyone is assigned their team so that dog and human can get to know each other.
Then it’s time for instruction in the art of dog sledding. The aim is to enable each participant to handle the dogs and the sledge as independently as possible.
All questions will be dealt with: Which dog goes where? What are all the leashes for? What do I do if I fall over? The harnessing and leashing of the dogs is practised and a small yard round with a complete team gives first impressions of the fun to be expected.
Another important point is the equipment. Here, the participants’ equipment is thoroughly checked for suitability and missing items are added. The participants’ equipment should be able to cope with all conditions. In order to guarantee this, we can also fall back on our extensive equipment warehouse.
A look at the map will give you an approximate idea of how the tour will proceed.
Today the sledges are packed, the dogs harnessed and the starting lines loosened mehr ...
Now, at last, the adventure begins, which at first consists only of white landscape flying by and a pack of extremely eager dogs. However, the four-legged friends quickly come to a calmer wolf trot – the holiday can begin.
In order not to make the beginning too difficult, the stage runs on the ice of Lake Altevatn. No great driving or steering skills are needed here.
After only three to four hours, the first stage comes to an end. A lavvu – the traditional tent of the Sami people – invites you to spend the night in a small birch forest. A stove in the middle and reindeer skins on the floor provide a traditional and cosy end to the day.
The fourth day leads through the birch-covered "Great Valley" of Rohkunborri National Park. mehr ...
The snow that is blown down from the mountains around often collects here. This gives this valley a fairytale atmosphere. Only the tracks of fox but also the lynx or the wolverine remind us that we are not completely alone here.
Either the group sets its sights on a small hut at Lake Altevatn as the end of the stage or returns to the lavvu.
In an easterly direction, the small caravan sets off again mehr ...
The mountains stand out from the horizon like silhouettes and the clear sky is painted in dark blue to orange-red gradients.
The mountains belong to the sledders, because at this time of year you very rarely meet other people. 20 kilometres before the Swedish border is the next cabin, which is not very spacious, but it gets up to temperature all the faster for it.
While the 5+3 day tour has reached its furthest point here, mehr ...
the coming days will lead into the mountains at the edge of the Dividal National Park on the 8+3 day tour. Here, a little more effort is required from the participants.
During steep ascents, the dogs have to be helped more than before. However, it is usually enough to roll along a little while standing on the sledge or to jump off the sledge to reduce the weight of the sledge. All this does not require any special physical condition – but it sometimes makes life easier!
After an overnight stay in a small log cabin, the journey continues westwards mehr ...
A swampy plain is crossed, but thanks to the months of frost that preceded it, it only reveals itself as such to the initiated. The mire is frozen metres thick and the mosquitoes are also waiting – thank goodness – for warmer weather.
The scattered birch trees are slowly turning into forest. If fresh snow has not fallen overnight, numerous tracks in the snow here bear witness to the fact that not all the animals are hibernating. Ptarmigans fly up, a snow hare flees from a supposed pack of wolves and the raucous cawing of ravens and magpies reveals from afar where the fallen game lies.
A steep descent through dense forest has to be mastered. This requires concentration and the courageous use of body weight and brakes. But the musher drives ahead with his lead dog, which already has a lot of practice in dense forest. On command, the dog has to take the largest opening between the trees so that the sledges don’t get stuck in the forest.
This stage to the hut does not take more than three or four hours.
This day offers itself as a rest day - if desired mehr ...
Especially when the sky is not cloudy, the photographer has a good chance of capturing the northern lights. But also the snowshoes can be tried out on this day to climb one or the other hill.
Perhaps cloudless skies and a little moonlight will make a night drive possible mehr ...
As we are again on the ice of Altevatn, this stage is not particularly difficult.
A moon ride has its special charms, resulting from the unique light, the starry sky and the shadows of people and animals on the snow.
After a short forest drive, the ice of Lake Altevatn can be felt under the skids again mehr ...
The dogs quickly realise that they are heading for the dog kennels and pick up the pace. That’s why the shower and the sauna in Innset don’t have to wait long for the participants. But before that, the dogs have to be unharnessed and the sledges unloaded.
A warm dinner concludes the day. Here, Norwegian cuisine will prove that it has something to offer other than “Smørebrød”.
Breakfast and goodbye to the dogs mehr ...
Afterwards the transfer to the departure points will take place.
P.S. Due to bad weather conditions, significant snowfall or avalanche danger, the route may change. However, we have several alternative routes to choose from.
It may also be necessary to spend one or more nights in tents if snow conditions make progress very difficult.
The tent is heated with paraffin cookers and lamps, and reindeer skins as a sleeping surface make for a thoroughly cosy and warm atmosphere.
Please be sure to read the Dog Sled ABC!