A vacation for the dogs: Learn to mush with Beito Husky Tours

Photo: Terje Rakke  Nordic Life AS / Visitnorway.com Lack of snow is no obstacle to learning to drive a dogsled in Beitostølen—which makes it a perfect vacation for those who want to try it but don’t love the cold.

Photo: Terje Rakke Nordic Life AS / Visitnorway.com
Lack of snow is no obstacle to learning to drive a dogsled in Beitostølen—which makes it a perfect vacation for those who want to try it but don’t love the cold.

Molly Jones
Norwegian American Weekly

Are you looking for your next Norwegian wilderness adventure? Well if you’ve always been inspired by the Iditarod and Finnmarksløpet and want to learn how to drive your own sled team, then you’re in luck! Several organizations throughout Norway offer the mushing experience of a lifetime.

For those staying in Oslo who don’t want to travel too far, the Beito Husky Tours is one of the best options. It is one of Norway’s top-rated and most centrally located dog sledding companies. Located in the village of Beitostølen, between the Langsua and Jotunheimen National Parks, it is just a 30-minute flight or a 3.5-hour drive from Oslo.

Founded in 2005 by Niklas Ulfstedt and Elisa Sevilla, Beito Husky Tours is committed to taking great care of their friendly Alaskan Huskies and providing unique tours depending on the needs and desires of their guests.

“Our mission is to inspire you, excite you, and engage you into our world. We want our guests to feel richer in friends and experiences when leaving us. We are truly passionate about what we do, and we will try to share that feeling with you! Visiting us, you won’t feel as a part of a ‘mass tourism’ attraction, but more as a friend,” states the company.

In addition to catering the experience to the guests, Beito Husky Tours helps with the planning of accommodation and transportation and provides appropriate winter gear.

Winter lasts from November to May in Beitostølen, and dog sledding lasts all year round. During the summer and autumn, guests are invited to participate in the Husky Cart Safari and learn the art on wheels on a six-kilometer gravel path. This is an ideal option for those who want experience with mushing without dealing with the cold weather!

Photo: Terje Rakke  Nordic Life AS / Visitnorway.com

Photo: Terje Rakke Nordic Life AS / Visitnorway.com

Regardless of the season, guests will have the opportunity to learn how to drive their own team of huskies with the help of an experienced guide. There are a plethora of planned adventure tours in the winter and spring, as well as completely custom adventures.

The Chinook Adventure Trail tour is named after one of Beito’s oldest huskies and is offered twice daily at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Throughout the tour—lasting three to four hours—you will get the chance to meet all of the 40 dogs and learn how to handle and drive your team through the 15-kilometer wilderness trail. If you’re feeling a bit less adventurous, you are invited to enjoy the journey as a passenger atop reindeer skins in the sled instead. At the end, everybody will gather to warm up and enjoy coffee and cookies in the wooden lavvo, a tent-like Sámi structure. For an additional cost, the new mushers can also indulge in a hearty wilderness stew made by the local Valdres kitchen. There is also a package available for those who are coming from Oslo and would like to include their bus trip to and from the capital in the cost of the Chinook tour.

Want to be a Musher for a Day? The six-hour Loke’s Day Out tour is similar to Chinook but covers 35 to 50 kilometers, giving the guests greater insight into the world of long-distance dog sledding. A day camp will be set halfway through the tour giving the huskies an opportunity to eat and nap while the guide prepares an authentic wilderness lunch over an open fire. This tour, also named after one of their huskies, is offered every day on demand.

If you’d rather explore the unique landscape on foot, the Trapper’s Trail offers an exciting three-in-one package of snowshoeing, ice fishing, and wilderness dining. One sled dog will join the adventurers on the five-hour tour to help transport the equipment as they navigate the valleys, set camp at the lake, ice fish, and prepare a meal over the fire. Like the Loke’s Day Out, this tour is offered daily on demand.

Photo: Anders Gjengedal / Visitnorway.com The snowy season typically lasts from November to May. These dogs enjoy a sunny Easter up in the mountains.

Photo: Anders Gjengedal / Visitnorway.com
The snowy season typically lasts from November to May. These dogs enjoy a sunny Easter up in the mountains.

Is a day trip not enough for you? Then you may enjoy the Husky Team Assisted Back Country Ski Tour. During this three-day tour, the skiers will carry just their essentials as the dogs pull their equipment on to the mountain hut or lodge each evening.

Beito also offers the Langsua Husky Traverse, where you will drive your dog team 25 to 45 kilometers per day for four days through protected areas of Langsua National Park and sleep in tents. A highlight of the Langsua tour is the opportunity to see the tracks of moose, lynx, reindeer, and more—you may even catch a glimpse of the animals if you’re lucky!

With the Huldreheimen Explorer tour, guests and their dog teams will travel through the impressive valleys, lakes, and mountains of the region over three days, spending the nights in the Grønolestølen and Nybu cabins.

All of the multiple-day excursions are scheduled throughout the season, but the ski tour can also be planned on request. And if you’re looking for something different, you can always work with Beito Husky Tours to plan your exclusive, custom adventure.
Happy mushing!

Visit www.beitohuskytours.com to learn more about Beito Husky Tours.

This article originally appeared in the March 18, 2016, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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