Running Reindeer Ranch
Running Reindeer Ranch
5
About
By reservation, Running Reindeer Ranch offers guided walking natural history tours of the boreal forest with our reindeer friends. Get to know our reindeer on this 2.5-hour unique, immersive, educational tour. Enjoy a walk through the magical birch forest, observing reindeer games and learning the adaptations that make reindeer ideal for Arctic living. While visiting our family-owned farm, there is plenty of time for pictures and reindeer hugs. After the reindeer walk, we’ll enjoy homemade cookies and drinks. We operate in any weather, all year, so appropriate clothing is a must. Reservation Required: book a walk on our website!
Duration: 2-3 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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  • Jean W
    Calgary, Canada19 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A dream come true!
    This was definitely a once in a lifetime experience! It was magical! Jane is so passionate about sharing her knowledge and experiences living with her reindeer family. Lexi and Tyrone are great and all three made the experience special and interesting. The reindeer stole the show of course. It was so cool to see them running around in their natural environment. Definitely watch all the pre-trip videos -- they're fun and very helpful in preparing for the trip. You cannot dress too warmly!
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 6, 2023
  • jacqueline l
    Buena Park, California12 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Walk with reindeer tour
    This was truly a highlight of our trip, we traveled from Southern California and wanted to experience everything an Alaskan winter could offer us, including a reindeer walk. Tyrone was an excellent guide, he was extremely charismatic, you can tell how much he really cared for the reindeer and wanted to express that to us. It was fun, informational, the sun was out, it an extremely beautiful day and experience. Reindeer weaved in and out of us walking, they had a lot of personality. We were offered hot chocolate and probably some of the best cookies I’ve ever had. Would def recommend!
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 7, 2023
  • Hilary F
    18 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    One of the highlights of our trip!
    My family and I had the absolute best time at Running Reindeer Ranch! Tyrone and the team led our tour and they did a phenomenal job! We learned so much about the animals & the ranch. It’s very evident how much they love and care for the reindeer. We laughed a lot, got great photos, and enjoyed walking the reindeer around the property. After the walk we were served homemade cookies and hot coco- it was the perfect ending to the day! The staff was amazing- I can’t express that enough. Highly recommend this entire experience :)
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written March 7, 2023
  • Lisa P
    Danville, California65 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Up Close with the Reindeer
    It is very apparent that Running Reindeer Ranch is run with people who are passionate about reindeer and giving visitors a great experience. Before you visit they provide great information on how to dress and stay warm, safety and an intro to the ranch. It was super helpful to watch these videos. Tyrone lead our tour the day we were there. He was very knowledgeable and fun. We got to pat the reindeer and walk through the snow with them. The ranch is beautiful. It was really fun.
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 9, 2023
  • Jean S
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unique Adventure
    UNIQUE ADVENTURE and so much fun! Learned lots about reindeers. Tyrone, Jayce, and Madison were friendly, professional, and knowledgeable about the reindeers. Fun way to spend a couple of hours. Reindeer cookies very good. And did you know reindeer hooves “click”? As in up on the rooftop…. One can hear it.!!
    Visited February 2023
    Written March 10, 2023
  • Darlene P.
    18 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Reindeer Fun!
    Spent 3+ hours at Running Reindeer Ranch and had a great time. The staff was very knowledgeable- they provided interesting information about the reindeers' habits, care, and feeding. We were able to pet the deer and took a brief hike with them in the woods. At one point the deer got the "zoomies" and were running around and in between the tourists. It was so much fun to see them play with each other. This excursion turned out a lot better than I originally thought. I'm glad I went- it was well worth the time and money. I highly recommend it! 👍
    Visited February 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written March 11, 2023
  • Cindy S
    58 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Reindeer games
    We took our kids and grand kids . What an experience, amazing guides and reindeer. We highly recommend this for all ages. We not only had fun but we learned so much. To have the animals run around and then come up and smell you, it is a once in a lifetime experience.
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written March 12, 2023
  • Shug
    Chattanooga, Tennessee24 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    That's Carl with us in the picture, GREAT TIME!
    If you want more than a photo op, this is the experience for you! Immersive, informative and super FUN! Meet Daisy, Carl, Forrest and all their friends! Touch, Hug and Learn about the amazing adaptations these animals possess for making Fairbanks their home. Jane and her crew work very hard to make this relaxing but unusual tour perfect for everyone. You wind it up with delicious cookies and hot chocolate at the end. It was a super experience in Winter, Jane even explains how to dress for the snowy March weather....-2 degrees and we were never cold! Be a BOSS reindeer and book this tour. My adult daughter and I loved it.
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written March 14, 2023
  • Mandy M
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Such a great time!
    Fantastic time with the folks at Running Reindeer Ranch! So much enthusiasm from the staff about their jobs and their love for the reindeer. Not only were they welcoming and knowledgeable, you could tell these animals were their family and they wanted to share how incredible they were with all of us. Our group loved it.
    Visited February 2023
    Written March 14, 2023
  • Travis Wirt
    Denver, Colorado18 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Highly Recommend
    When someone tells you they live in Fairbanks, you can safely assume two things to be true. First, they know how to get sh— done. And second, they know how to dress. LOL! I would not consider a trip to Fairbanks complete without this experience. The reindeer are amazing, beautiful and surprisingly gentle. But what makes this so much more than a garden variety tourist attraction are the people who own and operate it. This is Alaska folks.
    Visited January 2023
    Written March 18, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles1,965 reviews
Excellent
1,810
Very good
103
Average
28
Poor
16
Terrible
10

Calypso35
Destin, FL18 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2022
I would first like to say that the tour leader, Tyrone, was very pleasant. I usually ignore bad reviews and in this case I regret it b/c the poor reviews prior to mine are spot on. As soon as you book you are sent a link with ‘Required’ videos to watch, 4 videos = about 3 hrs. They also send a text the day of booking to remind you about said videos! They also reiterate the importance of showing up on time prepared! We showed up 15 min. prior to tour ready to go, the other 24 people, that’s right 24, were not. Everyone and their uncle had to either go to the bathroom or put on their winter clothes…I get it, not Ranch’s fault. However, those ‘required’ videos are then verbally repeated in a circle for 45 minutes! I get that the weather is cold in Jan but guess what, it’s colder when you’re not moving. Then we had to learn about ALL the other people in the tour like some crazy kumbaya circle…I’m not there to socialize I paid $$ for reindeer time. Finally, reindeer come out, 13 reindeer with 26 people you do the math on your odds of reindeer time. Reindeer seemed skittish (too many people?) they wouldn’t really go near anyone if there wasn’t reindeer nip on the ground. The ‘walk in the woods’ is literally a stroll through this lady’s backyard, ~ 100 yds total-MAYBE. The reindeer walk in the birch forest and the people herd on the path. Very little interaction, the photos on website are deceptive. It was incredibly difficult to hear the guides talking, again too many people, The part I did manage to hear left me feeling pretty much done with the entire tour when their ‘wildlife biologist’ Zack, mid shpiel, talks about these lucky reindeer living with a vegetarian family but then advises group where to go in town to eat reindeer…WTF??!! On our tour the people needed more wrangling than the reindeer, there were 4 idiots from TX that showed up with hoods on, which the required video specifically says NOT TO DO, and 1 lady in their group kept running up ahead of us to try to pet the animals, sadly none of the staff corrected this.
I used to think that bad reviews were just people complaining but after this costly mistake I will no longer take bad reviews with a grain of salt. Unfortunately I am out $200 with a pitiful “experience”
BTW if you’re T1D be prepared to need to fix a low from all the standing around in the freezing cold.
Written January 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Maria
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Friends
You MUST do this. This place, this experience is incredible, unique, and will leave you with a warm heat. Precautions they are taking during covid are top notch, and this was a very safe way to experience a part of Fairbanks. Jane’s family story, which she tells during the tour, is endearing, and you learn a ton about reindeer in the process. Plus, delicious cookies and lemonade afterwards. You go on a (easy) walk with reindeer all around you the whole time. During the beginning and end of the tour, you sit under tents (spaced apart for social distancing) and learn a lot about the animals, while they literally meander around you and through the seats. Could not have asked for a better experience.
Written August 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JaySnider
North Carolina20 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Solo
Jane and her staff at the Running Reindeer Ranch offer an unbelievable experience for their visitors. By the end of your 2-1/2 hour activity, you will know more than you can imagine about the animals, petted and walked amongst the reindeer, and gotten once in a lifetime photographs. Jane’s reindeer are well cared for and you can tell they are much loved by Jane’s descriptions of their personalities and the history of her ranch. All of the staff are extremely friendly and helpful to guests. They love what they’re doing and it shows. The ranch’s location, where you will enjoy a serene walk in the woods with the reindeer, is convenient. I was delivered to their door by Alaska’s Best Shuttle and Tours owner, Paul. You, too, will marvel at the end of your visit that your time with the reindeer was certainly unique... and you’ll be thrilled by the opportunity.
Written January 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for your visit and for taking the time to write a review! I am so glad that you came and enjoyed your experience here. I am indeed a lucky person to live with these amazing animals. There is so much to learn about the reindeer and their adaptations for living here in the arctic, I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as I do! Please come back another time, another season, it's all totally different! Maybe join us for a Reindeer Yoga session in the summer?
Written January 24, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

melissakaren
Tarrytown, NY5 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021 • Couples
The reindeer are interesting to see and interact with and we learned a lot about reindeers but the tour is overpriced. There is limited overhead cost except maintaining the reindeer which this woman would do anyway, hiring a couple of workers plus a single cookie so $90 seems excessive especially when there were 25 people on the tour. You stand outside for 2 1/2 hours and it was cold. It seems like this woman is trying to justify the cost of the tour by extending it with lengthy explanation even though a reasonable amount of time would have been 60-90 min. You are required to wear a mask for the entire time even though you are outside which doesn't seem reasonable. The tour guide explained her husband is vulnerable which I can understand but maybe she shouldn't bring people to her home if she doesn't want exposure to Covid. The tour is worth it if you are interested in reindeer but could be improved by making it shorter and half the cost.
Written October 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to write a review. I am sorry that you did not enjoy your time here. I am glad that it looked to you as if we have quite a simple operation here. We have six full time year round, highly trained, staff and work hard to make our guests time here run smooth and comfortable. Most of our guests are interested in how reindeer came into our lives and it is important for people to know that one thing that makes us different from every other operation with reindeer is that our reindeer came as pets, the business started slowly and organically over time and having pets over a tourist operation has always been the way we have operated. We used to begin and end our tours inside our Reindeer Haus, the bed and breakfast that is adjacent to our meeting place. Due to covid we no longer spend time inside. You caught us between our summer tour and winter hybrid tour. We all got caught offguard this fall with our early snowfall and cold temperatures. Weather is now much more unpredictable. Visitors now get the pre-reindeer time in a prerecorded video, so guests can watch in the comfort of their own warm space. We feel that we have been creative in providing a safe tour for our guests, reindeer, employees and family. This indeed includes masking while you are here. If folks are not interested in learning about reindeer and not willing to mask then this is not the tour for them. We know that we simply cannot be everything to everyone. Thanks again, Jane
Written October 15, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Travel the World
San Francisco, CA1,136 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
This tour provides a great education on Reindeer. The owner gives about a 45 minute talk about her ranch and how it got started and then they release the Reindeer and they come running through the crowd. They are beautiful animals and fun to get up close with to touch. Don't be afraid by their size or speed. They make sure to leash the more aggressive ones so you can feel safe. They take you on short hour walk of their property and give you the opportunity to have your photo taken with the Reindeers. They provide yummy homemade cookies at the end of the tour. Make sure to bring a mask, they are required. The owner heard that her Reindeer can catch COVID.
Written September 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Patrick I
Huntington Beach, CA1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021 • Couples
We were told this was a must do by a friend who came a couple years ago. My wife was stoked, I was not. Sounded like a C grade petting zoo to me.

I. Was. Wrong.

This place is awesome. First off, Jane loves these animals and it shows. And you can feel that when you’re there with them and watching them come to her when she calls them. They listen to her better than my 5 year olds listens to me 🤦🏻‍♂️

Second, the animals are amazing. Being that close to them. Having them run right past you. Watching them compete with each other for “boss status” and quickly getting out in their place by the real boss Jane, getting to feel their incredible fur. All of it was just so entertaining.

And the visit is so informative! Jane doesn’t talk about it much, but she studied with Mongolians who use reindeer for every day living. She knows so much about these animals, and has learned it in ways most people never could.

As a dude who hates “planned excursions” or guided tours, I would recommend this to anyone.
Written March 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Connie K
Twin Lakes, WI43 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
We visited the Running Reindeer Ranch early August as a pre-cruise adventure. If you are starting a tour in Fairbanks, we highly recommend coming in a day early so you can visit the Ranch. The visit only allows 24 visitors at a time and it is a comfortable size group. You will be required to wear mask because the reindeer can catch Covid from people. We truly enjoyed our time there and learned so much about reindeer and caribou.
Written August 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Aurora_Guy
Fairbanks, AK352 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022 • Friends
I’m a local but had never been to Running Reindeer Ranch until a friend visited from out of state. The experience was simply uniquely educational, full of hands-on engagement with the animals, and a pleasant outdoor experience overall for a late-winter visit to Interior Alaska.

After making reservations, you will receive links to important safety information. Please watch the presentations, which include details on how to dress, reindeer behavior, and much more. Adhering to the safety procedures is absolutely essential to ensure a good experience for both humans and the herd.

The number one rule is NEVER touch their antlers. Reindeer are not aggressive or dangerous in any way, but those sharp, pointy things could cause some serious injury should you get entangled or you’re standing around them in the wrong spot.In addition, felted antlers are full of blood vessels and nerves, which make them very sensitive during the growth season.

Essentially, the humans become part of the herd through an ingenious technique. Visitors are asked to stand just outside a large circle of lichens placed on the ground while the guide discusses safety and reindeer behavior. The dominant female is then released from a pen, and she goes right for the lichen to feed. A few minutes later the largest male, Toby, is brought to the circle. At 420 lbs, Toby serves as kind of a blocker in case some of the reindeer pick on those smaller.

After that, the entire herd is released, and they scamper to the lichen circle for their nibbles. All the while animals and visitors mingle. You’re encouraged to pet them. You can hug a reindeer, just not around the neck! In short order the entire bunch becomes one, and off you go on a short loop through the woods with stops, lectures, and photo ops. Watch the animals carefully as they feed and interact with each other. Fascinating.
Written April 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Couple_OR_Travelers
Salem, OR98 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2021
We visited RRR in February 2021. This was a very cold month but the day we visited RRR was a beautiful day.

The staff were so great. Jane took the time explain about the inception of the ranch, the reindeer behavior and what to do (and not to do) during the walk. She was fun and engaging and you could tell she genuinely cared for the animals.

Each animal had it's own name and personality and all were very fun to be around. It's amazing to be able to tell people you've petted an actual reindeer.

We visited in February so we had a lot of snow on the ground and it was cold. If you're planning a Winter trip be ready for inclement weather both in dress and a packed emergency kit in your vehicle. We'd recommend warm clothes, water, a flashlight and a few granola bars. Just something to have while waiting should you get stuck someplace.

Another suggestion is to watch all of Jane's videos (I think there's 8). In her email confirmation she'll send you links to those and they're pretty informative. One is how to dress for cold weather and it's a good one.

There was so much to like about the tour but if I had a favorite part it was the opportunity to take a photo with a real live reindeer!

I know I say this in all my reviews but, if you're happy with the tour/service, please remember to tip the guides. In the past we've made the mistake of going someplace and forgetting to bring cash with us. That's always a bummer when you feel like tipping a guide and you realize all you have is a debit card :(

The tour is a couple of hours and there's some uphill involved. It's not too bad a walk and Jane gives you the opportunity to rest for those with difficulty. I'm just glad we didn't try to walk to the top of the power line trail!

Jane and the staff took precautions about COVID such as always being masked, insisting on everyone on the property do the same. Also, the house is currently closed to visitors so I'm not sure how a restroom break would be facilitated if needed. We didn't have anyone on the group who needed a restroom but you might try to be sure you go before you go! I'd not want to give someone COVID because I failed to plan ahead.

Would I go again? You bet I would. It's small and fairly short. The people are great, the experience is fun and you come home with bragging rights about petting real reindeer!
Written February 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jeff Russell
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
Of all the activities we sought out on our October Fairbanks trip, this felt like a silly idea at the end of our stay that we debated skipping - I'm so glad that we didn't! This wasn't a petting zoo experience; this was getting to see reindeer prance through the woods and play with each other, and accepting you (read: challenging you then backing down and accepting you as alpha) as a member of their heard! Our guide, Tyrone, said that the reindeer were members of his family, and you really believe it the way the heard acts! The experience felt very safe, pretty much guarantees reindeer petting, and the ending of hot cocoa and cookies was a cute touch. I was there on a couple's weekend, and would recommend this tour for any animal lovers and especially families with kids. For the anti-zoo and animal ethicists, these are rescue reindeer who cannot be released to the wild and owned by a vegetarian.
Written October 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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