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“Great Excursion for kids and adults alike!”

Gold Rush Dog Sled Tours
Ranked #18 of 73 Outdoor Activities in Juneau
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Gold Rush Dog Tours highlights summer cart-mushing in the picturesque Sheep Creek in Juneau, Alaska. Your approach to dog-camp will bring you by the relics of Juneau's famed mining history, transporting you through the rain forest from sea level to our mountain valley home. While in camp, you will meet the Handlers and Mushers of Sheep Creek, as well as their teammates, the famed dogs of Alaska's official state sport. Following proper introductions, dog sled history, and a little mushing 101, you will take to our specially designed trainer carts for a 20 minute ride. Be sure to watch for porcupine, eagles, and even the potential black bear along the way. And then, there's cookies. Upon returning, it's time to grab a cookie and hot cup of cocoa prior to departing ways for your next adventure. Gold Rush Sled Dogs is ideal for groups and mushers of all ages. We look forward to seeing you this summer, happy tails!
Reviewed August 30, 2013

We came in on the Coral Princess ship and had booked this excursion through the cruise line. It was one of my favorite excursions of the trip and hands-down my kids favorite.

Bill, a retired computer science high school teacher from Florida with a passion for history, was our guide for the van ride up to the sled dog camp and back. To our surprise, the camp is actually atop of an old mining camp and we were given lots of information about mining along our trip up Mine Road by Bill. We stopped to see various old mining equipment and the old superintendent's house and he shared his views on the future of mining.

The sled dog camp sits in a beautiful picturesque valley with a small creek waterfall and some mountains still clinging snow even in late August. We met our musher, Tonya Schlentner, who had raced in the Yukon Quest just after turning 18, completing the race in a year that 1/3 teams did not cross the finish line. For my husband and me, spending an hour with Tonya and hearing her experience with racing, with raising dogs, being an actual local Alaskan (she lives in Fairbanks during the non-summer months), etc. was the highlight of this excursion. You could tell she loved her dogs, loved mushing, and loved Alaska. She answered all of our questions and was very accommodating with our children who were so excited to meet the dogs and couldn't wait to hold the 25 day old puppies.

Anyone who says that these dogs are mutts and that mushers abuse their dogs simply don't know what they are talking about. Tonya explained how these dogs are specifically bred for health, personality, mushing capability, longevity, and intelligence; whether or not the dog is pretty has little to do with the sport, and I doubt the dogs care! The lead dog on our sled ride was 14 years old and happily pulling along the cart. The dogs who were not chosen went wild and barked and howled upset to not be chosen. The summer time is very hot for these dogs, and after our two mile run with a break for them to lay down in a man-made watering hole along the side, you could tell by petting the dogs and seeing them pant how hot even a cool summer day is for them. Tonya explained how anything above zero degrees was very hot for them, and in seeing them pull back into the yard, I now understand why these tours are kept short! The dogs that pull the sleds are rotated throughout the different tours of the day to prevent the dogs from getting too hot and fatigued and to make sure that they all get a turn to do what they love, pull!

On arriving back in the yard, we could tour the grounds where Tonya explained the pros and cons of different types of sleds and provided us with cookies and a hot beverage. Then, noticing our kids were about to explode with anticipation on holding the puppies, shortened our tour a bit to give them extra time holding those precious little dogs.

After the tour, Bill provided us with more narration about the Tongass Rainforest and the area. He was really a wonderful tour guide, he even provided us with a map of the area upon our exit from them van and gave us suggestions on where we might have lunch and on other must see attractions for our afternoon.

I can't say enough good things about the people that run this tour. It is clear that they love what they do and they love these dogs and the dogs love them. With 125 dogs on site, they could all name each one on site and tell funny stories about each. Simply amazing!

3  Thank MLC7799
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"summer camp"
in 18 reviews
"cart ride"
in 6 reviews
"iditarod race"
in 8 reviews
"alaskan husky"
in 3 reviews
"sheep creek"
in 3 reviews
"husky puppies"
in 3 reviews
"yukon quest"
in 3 reviews
"princess cruise"
in 10 reviews
"gold panning"
in 5 reviews
"dog sled tour"
in 5 reviews
"great tour"
in 11 reviews
"favorite part"
in 4 reviews
"whole family"
in 5 reviews
"shore excursion"
in 7 reviews
"an amazing experience"
in 7 reviews
"a lot of fun"
in 5 reviews
"highlight of our trip"
in 4 reviews
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184 - 188 of 210 reviews

Reviewed August 26, 2013

On August 22nd, while visiting on the Disney Wonder, we had the great experience of meeting Matt Failor and his excellent team at Goldrushdogs. I really enjoyed learning about the Iditarod, and the training that Matt puts his dogs thru to get ready for events like that. Additionally, it was great to see and touch the actual history of sled dogs. Meeting his pups, and getting a chance to pet them was great for me and my wife and boys. Getting to actually ride with the dogs was neat, and to see Matt put them thru their paces, was neat. In the end, we got to meet the puppies, and even held one for a while. Matt and his team do an awesome job, and they are well worth the time to visit.

Thank JFHeeren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2013

On our Disney Alaskan cruise we stopped in Juneau and we had our 4 year old grandson with us so chose the Dog Sled Mushers summer camp. We primarily chose this because we heard that you get to pet the puppies and visit with them at the end of the tour. the only reason I have not given it 5 stars is because I would have liked to see a bit more time with the puppies.

It was quite a drive uphill and somewhat off road to get there but that all added to the fun. well worth the trip and we got to buy a picture for $20 that helps to feed the dogs and fund the venture.

1  Thank Cathy1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2013 via mobile

We all enjoyed learning about the Iditarod and meeting the amazing dogs. So many dogs. Beautiful Valley. Wish we could have camped out there. Holding the brand new puppies was great. Thanks Matt.

Thank Ina R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 7, 2013

Gold Rush is located about a 20-minute van ride from where the cruise ships dock. Our van driver was pleasant and personable, as were the staff at Gold Rush (which is, in part, a summer boarding camp for sled dogs from various mushers). It was clear from the time we arrived that the dogs were well-cared for.

We briefly learned about mushing, and had the pleasure of watching all of the dogs go crazy as some were attached to the cart to take a trip. It's fun to see how excited the dogs get when there is running to be done. The cart held six people, plus the musher, but the dogs pulled us down the road enthusiastically. We made a brief stop at a roadside puddle, put there for the dogs to cool off. When the ride was over we got to pet the dogs before meeting the next generation. The puppies were seven weeks old and adorable.

The only reason I gave this activity four dots instead of five is because I have been dog sledding on a frozen river in the dead of winter. Being pulled in a cart can't compare to that thrill. However, if winter dog sledding is not possible, this is a fantastic option, and I highly recommend it. Everyone who visits Alaska should meet a sled dog!

1  Thank Vacationer88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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