Dogsledding over white plains, staying in mountain lodges and visiting reindeer herds; Engholm Husky trips on the Finnmark plain are full of outdoor action. However, you don’t need to be tough to take part — that’s reserved for camping expeditions in April.
The Finnmark plain is perfect terrain for dogsledding; the dogs can get up quite a speed over white surfaces without much vegetation poking through the snow. A few ups and downs ensure that you and the dogs won’t get bored. Cold, dry winter weather creates perfect snow, and in good boots and suits, with some effort needed behind the sled, you won’t feel cold.
Good to know
Engholm Husky Safari is found in Inner Finnmark, in Karasjok
You can fly to Alta or Lakselv, and then go by bus or rental car. It is also possible to fly to Ivalo in Finland. From there there is a bus to Karasjok.
Go to their website to find a tour that suits your physical level.
A midwinter tour takes you under the Polar night and blue twilight
In December and January, the sun is below the horizon on the Finnmark plain, but it is still quite light in the middle of the day, often with gloriously colourful skies. There is more light in February and March, but it’s still full winter with low temperatures. This is the time for round trips on the Finnmark plain with dogs. They last from four to eight days, with accommodation in Engholm’s own lodge and the cabins and mountain lodges of the Finnmark plain.
Dog sledding is not as hard as you may think
You don’t need to be rough or tough to go on a trip. Dogsledding isn’t generally all that physical, because the dogs do the work. You might have to help them a bit up the hills, and you need to pitch in when the dogs are harnessed and unharnessed, but if you’re fully able and go for long walks on Sundays, it’s well within your capabilities. You can also sit in the guide’s sled or stand on a sled that is pulled by the guide’s sled.
You can visit reindeer herds and their herders
Sven Engholm is in close contact with the reindeer herders, and can take his guests to visit the herds. Reindeer herding is extremely unpredictable — if a herd panics, it takes the herders days to get them together again, so tourists can often be disappointed. However, Sven has agreements with five families and there is always someone with a herd to visit. On many of the trips, visitors get to spend a day out with the herd, and help with feeding, separating the animals or whatever else might be needed that day.
See the Reindeer migrate to the coast
In April, reindeer begin their annual migration towards the coast. Sven Engholm then takes a group of guests to go with them. The guests follow the herd for four days, and get involved in the daily chores. Over a coffee around the campfire, the guests get to know the herders and hear about an approach to life that is completely different from what most of us know.
Spring is the time of long expeditions
In April, when it’s spring elsewhere, the snow is still deep in Finnmark. The sun is warm during the long days, but the nights are very cold. This is the time for long expeditions all the way to the coast. The destination is the house at Steinbukt on the West Finnmark coast. Accommodation is in tents, and long distances are covered during the day, so some prior knowledge and experience of the outdoors is required.
Contact Engholm for a tour
They run different tours. Check their website to find your level.