I’m going to be honest. I’m a Summer lover. I chase the heat, search for the sun and follow footprints on sandy beaches. The idea of going overseas to a cold and wintry location just doesn’t normally appeal to me.
There has, however, always been one destination that has triggered a little curiosity for a while now. Alaska. It’s always come across as somewhat of a mysterious entity – a fascinating combination of beautiful natural scenery and fascinating local culture and history.
I decided that I should leave the surf beaches behind for just a moment, to pack the winter woollies and travel north to one of the coldest locations the USA has to offer – Fairbanks, Alaska.
Getting to Fairbanks
Fairbanks is known as the place to go for Alaskan adventure. Located just a short one hour’s flight north from Anchorage, it’s a cheap and easy trip from the state’s capital into Fairbanks International Airport. Due to its location, the weather is much colder, and snowfall is usually greater across the region than southern Alaska. In January we’re talking daily maximums of -17 degrees Centigrade. Interestingly though, in stark contrast, the daytime maximum in the summer months usually sits around 23 degrees.
For those looking to travel to Fairbanks for winter adventure activities, I’d recommend travelling in February or March. It’s not the ridiculous cold of December and January, but still cold enough for widespread snow coverage.
I’m a lover of any travel adventure that allows you to get close to animals – dog sledding definitely fits that bill.
For our dog sledding adventure, we head out to Black Spruce Dog Sledding. Base camp is located 45 minutes drive from the city centre, out in a beautiful part of Fairbanks – away from the city streets and buildings, in the middle of the forest. It’s a beautiful backdrop to an incredible day.
Upon my arrival, I meet the team, and get introduced to my guides for the day. They’re a warm and hospitable couple, who, through their love of dogs and the great outdoors, aim to give visitors a unique experience. Our briefing and rundown for the day is done in a small (but heated) tent out in the snow. There’s nothing “fancy” about this – it’s a truly authentic dog sledding experience. And as such, you’re put to work preparing for the sled ride.