Sled dogs and rangers work side-by-side in summer and in winter. Denali’s sled dogs act as furry ambassadors in summer, eager to meet every visitor who walks into the kennels. In winter, the dogs travel throughout the park, establishing trails for winter visitors. They also perform tasks in the wilderness that might otherwise require expensive, noisy, or destructive methods, such as bringing scientists to remote research stations or hauling old trash out of the wilderness.
The sled dogs live in the park kennels. Open year round, the kennels can be reached with your own vehicle or by bus (in summer). In summer, demonstrations are given daily in the kennels, where a ranger talks about the past and present purpose of the dogs, and does a short trip around a track with a small team of dogs, to demonstrate their love for running and pulling.
These dogs are extremely friendly, and are eager to meet you during your visit!
Note on Visiting in WinterThe sled dogs are often out in the park working on projects during the winter. Although they may not be around, visitors can visit the Sled Dog Kennels (open 8 am to 5 pm) located at mile 3.4 along the park road. Please follow all safety guidelines:
- Do not enter dog pens. This is their home. If a dog seems unsure, do not approach.
- Keep young children by your side or in your arms.
- Leave your pet behind, for your dog’s safety and the safety of the park dogs.
Note on DurationSummer visitors may choose to attend a ranger-led program in the kennels, or to just visit on their own. Attending a demonstration will take around 2 hours total (including time spent petting the dogs and traveling to/from the kennels; the ranger talk itself is only about 20 minutes).
Visitors to the kennels who are not attending a demonstration should plan on at least 30 minutes to pet dogs and wander through the dog-yard, though dog lovers may want to budget more time than that!