It’s a peaceful night in June, and although it’s very late, the sky outside couldn’t be brighter. Suddenly, the silence is interrupted by a few dogs starting to howl, and then the rest follows their lead, one after the other.
We’re at Muktuk Adventures, a lodge in the Ibex Valley, about 25 minutes outside of Whitehorse, Canada. More than 100 Alaskan and Siberian huskies live here, and many hang out in or by their kennels in front of the lodge entrance. So the first thing we do at arrival is say hi to some of these cuties! Muktuk Adventures has been specializing in raising, training and caring for their dogs for more than 30 years.
The Muktuk Lodge and partial kennel area.
All guest rooms are on the second floor of the Muktuk Lodge. We love our room called “Klukshu”, as it has all we need, despite its small size: Two twin beds, walk-in closet, chair, and two night stands. The other guest rooms have one or two Queen or double beds, and the shared bathroom is only a few steps away. Further down the hallway, there’s a lovely common room, with couches, chairs, two coffee tables, magazines, and most importantly (at least to us), two acoustic guitars! If guests want more privacy, they can book one of the log cabins near the main building.
Every morning, we stuff our faces with the tasty continental breakfast that is served downstairs (coffee, tea, boiled eggs, yoghurt, blueberries, bread, sliced cheese, cold cuts, etc.). And two sweet doggies hanging out with and entertaining us during our meal makes this experience super special! We also chat with Manuela and Jeff, our hosts, and it turns out she’s from Germany, too, and Jeff and Sean went to the same high school in New Brunswick. What a small world we live in! 😁
Fun times during breakfast! 🐶 🐶
Muktuk Adventures offers a lot more than just accommodations though, namely numerous tour packages in summer, fall, and winter.
Here’s a small selection:
- In summer, you can book canoe tours, e.g. on the nearby Takhini and Yukon river, or all the way to Carmacks or Dawson City. Accommodation will either be at the Muktuk Lodge, or by the shore of a river. They also offer hikes at Kluane National Park or inside Ibex Valley.
- Coming fall, Muktuk Adventures offers ATV “dog sledding”, bikejoring (1 or 2 dogs pulling a fat bike) and canoe tours, and observing the northern lights from their deck or by the Takhini River. Some packages include a visit to the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, where you can see animals living in Northern Canada (e.g. moose, lynx, bison, and caribou) in their natural environment.
- In winter, it’s all about dog sledding, as this area gets tons of snow each year. Some of the highlights include touring on the Yukon Quest Trail (where the annual race occurs) and the Dawson Overland Trail, which became famous during the Klondike Gold Rush at the end of the 19th century, and winter camping in Yukon’s backcountry! Some packages also include ice fishing, watching the northern lights, and visiting the Takhini Hot Springs.
Muktuk Adventures’ packages can be booked for half, full, or multiple days. Most packages include experienced and certified guides, equipment and gear, transportation from/to Whitehorse Airport or hotel, and to activities outside of or to the Muktuk Lodge. For multi-day packages, accommodation and meals are included, and a lunch for full day packages. Regardless of the package, you’ll spend lots of time with some adorable dogs, because they join all of the tours!
Muktuk Adventures started as a racing kennel, but since 2008, the company has specialized in recreational dog sledding. Soon after, they started adopting dogs, mostly from kennels and shelters in the Yukon or Alaska. Their gang is divided into working, non-working, and retired dogs, and it’s even possible to sponsor or adopt one (or more) of them! On their website, you can learn about some of the pups and their unique personalities, no matter which group they’re in.
I think it’s obvious by now that we enjoyed our stay at Muktuk Adventures very much! Why? First of all, we loved the uniqueness of this place, as it’s very rare that you’re greeted by a bunch of dogs when entering a hotel! When visiting a facility that handles animals, it’s crucial to me that they are loved and well taken care of, which undoubtedly, is the case at Muktuk Adventures. The staff are genuine and experienced dog owners, and the pups are living their best life, regardless of their “group status”. It was also clear that the staff is doing the best they can to provide an awesome experience to their guests, no matter if you booked a room or cabin, or one of their tour packages. Although the rooms and facilities can be considered basic, everything we needed was available, and it shows that it took a lot of effort and passion to put this place together, and everything was spotless. I hope to return to Muktuk Adventures someday, and then, I’ll join one of their tour packages for sure!
Directions to Muktuk Adventures
Since there’s no public transit outside of Whitehorse, the only way to travel to Muktuk Adventures independently is by car. Here are driving directions and a map, courtesy of Muktuk Adventures:
- Travel north along the Alaska Hwy (Hwy 1) towards Haines Junction, passing by the Dawson City turn-off (Hwy 2). Continue along and you will see the Muktuk billboard sign on the right side of the road.
- Drive one mile further until you see a blue sign with flags on top and a green street sign that says Husky Trail (Km 1442.5).
- Turn right and follow Husky Trail at a reduced speed for about 4 kms. This road will lead you directly to the Muktuk Ranch.
Here’s their exact contact information:
Muktuk Adventures is currently open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (except Sundays).
So if you’re looking for a cozy, fun, and unique place to stay while in the Yukon (and love dogs), I highly recommend staying at Muktuk Adventures!
Until next time, happy travels, wherever you are. 😁