Happy Trails Kennels
Home of four-time Iditarod (long-distance dog sled race champion Martin Buser, Happy Trails Kennels is a training facility, kennel, and sled dog educational attraction in south-central Alaska. With a Happy Trails Kennels tour, you’ll see the inner workings of a sled dog training center, meet dogs that have raced in the Iditarod, and learn about life on this 938-mile (1,509-kilometer quest from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska.
Happy Trails Kennels Tours are offered during the summer months and tickets are available online. On the tour, you’ll learn about the sport of dog sledding from a master musher himself. You’ll visit the kennels to see how the dogs are trained and cared for, watch a live sled dog demonstration, and then the tour highlight—you’ll get to play with the new puppies as part of their dog socialization program.
Things to know before you go
- A trip to Happy Trails Kennels is a must for dog lovers.
- There is a charge for Happy Trails Kennels tours.
- Don’t forget your camera; you’ll have plenty of opportunities to photograph the dogs.
- A small gift shop contains books on dog sledding and Happy Trails Kennels merchandise.
- Bed and breakfast-style lodging is available at Happy Trails.
How to get there
Located 63 miles (101 kilometers) north of Anchorage and 69 miles (111 kilometers) south of Talkeetna in the town of Big Lake, Alaska, the Happy Trails Kennels is only accessible by car or bus tour. Happy Trails is located at mile 4.5 on West Lakes Boulevard in Big Lake just off of Alaska’s Highway #3, which is the main highway between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
When to get there
Happy Trails Kennels Tours are usually available seasonally from late May through early September. Kennel tours are available in the afternoons on select days of the week. Rooms at the Happy Trails Bed and Breakfast are also available during the summer months.
The Alaska Mushing School
The Alaska Mushing School is operated by a group of seasoned dog mushing professionals including Martin Buser of Happy Trails. The school offers introductory mushing clinics and full-day mushing adventure tours during the winter months. This is your chance to learn the basics of sled handling and practice driving your own sled.