Site Visit – Nighttime Mushing Fun with Last Frontier Mushing Co-Op
Chena Hot Springs Road northeast of Fairbanks gets a lot of traffic in the winter, from northern lights chasers to people visiting the Chena Hot Springs Resort. But quite often, people speeding down that road are missing out on one of its greatest treasures, the Last Frontier Mushing Co-Op.
We paid a visit to Last Frontier Mushing in order to explore adding their nighttime dog mushing and aurora tour to our planned Winter Aurora Journey, a five-night photo experience designed to explore the northern lights at the peak of its activity around the spring equinox. We thought adding an experience of nighttime mushing fun to the trip would be a great addition – and it will be!
When driving down a dark road on a snow-covered landscape, the first thing you notice when arriving at the property is the traditional Himalayan yurt. It is there where you gather before the dog mushing experience, meet the founder and guides, have a snack, and gear up for your trip. If you don’t have your own winter outdoor gear, there are plenty of options available from boots to pants to parkas.
Dog mushing is an incredibly peaceful way of exploring the outdoors. I have had the pleasure of mushing in Alaska’s Arctic as well as in the Swedish Lapland. But doing it at night adds an extra layer of peace and wonder, looking up from the sled at starry skies on a dark night like we were fortunate enough to have. Our guide was flexible and granted my request to stop and pose for a few nighttime dog mushing pictures.
With an early start to the tour (around 9:00 p.m.), we were back to the yurt before the northern lights came out. But come out they did, dancing over the yurt. Last Frontier Mushing also has a photographer on hand who can do portraits of you with the aurora borealis, for an extra charge. We declined because that was not part of the experience we were seeking – but I highly recommend it for those who want that kind of keepsake to go with the experience.
The quality of the experience during this tour is absolutely fantastic – the yurt is gorgeous and well-constructed, the quality of outdoor gear is great, and the guides are fantastic. It was a fun experience that we look forward to sharing with our guests in the future!