Winter-Only Activities

Dog mushing school, snow machining, cross-country skiing and The Iditarod

We invite your to visit our Winterlake Lodge in the wintertime! Open from mid-November through April, the lodge is located at mile 198 along the historic Iditarod Trail.

We offer sled dog tours and instructions on driving your own team, cross country ski excursions, snowshoe expeditions and exploratory trips through Rainy Pass. Comfortable log cabins and a cozy main lodge offer the perfect setting for a romantic weekend.

Dog Mushing School

Join Carl and Kirsten at Winterlake Lodge during the winter for their 4-day dog mushing school program. Winterlake Lodge offers sled dog tours and instructions on driving your own dog team. We also cross-country ski, snowshoe the backcountry surrounding the lodge, and take exploratory trips down the Iditarod Trail.

Our comfortable log cabins and cozy main lodge offer the perfect setting for a romantic weekend. All our typical lodge amenities, such as cooking classes, massage, and yoga, are available over the winter, and the hot tub on the deck is a favorite spot to watch the northern lights.

Winterlake is home to 20 Alaskan huskies, each with their own personalities, characteristics, flaws and talents. We invite you to come and meet each one of our dogs and learn how to drive your own team!

At Winterlake Lodge, our lodge-based dog excursions can be as vigorous or easy as you like. We have a simple trail around the lake for beginners and offer a progression of trails for the more adventurous.

When you visit Winterlake Lodge, you will receive our Winterlake Lodge dog mushing instruction manual with background information on dog mushing, explanations to techniques you will use during your stay with us, and other information to make your dog mushing experience a success.

Backcountry Skiing

Join us at Winterlake Lodge in the wintertime. Upon you arrival, we will outfit you with cross-country ski boots and a set of skis to use at your leisure. One of our favorite outings is to go off the lodge trails and make our own tracks through the forest!

This backcountry outing allows us to see what the wildlife has been up to! Frequently, we see otter, porcupine, wolf, squirrel, marten, snowshoe rabbit, occasionally lynx, and moose tracks. We can make these trips as quickly as a loop around the property, or take lunch and be gone for the day on a 5-mile trek.

All of our outings are led by one of our guides as he breaks trail for you to follow. Want some hills to glide down the powder? Or do you prefer the straight and level? Let your guide know.

If you prefer, we can glide-diagonal stride-around the various dog loops we have set up and save the unbroken powder for another day. Bring your own skis or use our equipment.

We use three pin and Nordic norm style bindings with our skis.

Snow Machining

We maintain 7 different trails around the lodge ranging in length from 3 miles to the very long ones like the Iditarod Trail (all the way to Nome).

We escort you after a training session, on a shakedown cruise on the 3-mile trail. From there, we can go for a short 30-minute ride or for hours with lunch. Snowmobiling allows us to cover great distances and see a variety of terrain. The Denali View Trail offers undisturbed views of the Alaska Range with Mt. McKinley (Denali) and Mt. Foraker. For the more adventurous, follow your guide up the Iditarod Trail to the Happy River steps!

We are able to provide facemasks, helmets, goggles, and overmitts to complement your other snow gear of long underwear, snow pants, coat, warm hat, gloves, and boots.

Iditarod Activities

Winterlake Lodge is the fourth checkpoint on the Iditarod Trail!

Established in 1908, the trail provided access to newly discovered gold fields. In 1925, a northern Alaskan town was threatened by a diphtheria epidemic. Sled dog mushers rushed to send units of life-saving serum to Nome.

The route has developed into a major sporting event in Alaska with mushers attending from several different countries. Known as the Last Great Race, it encompasses 1,100 miles of terrain that includes two mountain regions, remote Arctic wilderness, and the severity of the ice packed Norton Sound. More information about the Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race can be found at:

Heli-Skiing Package

This special 7-day heli-ski package works in collaboration with a local helicopter ski and snowboard operation. Stay with us and get access to world-class skiing and snowboarding.