Would you like to meet Martin Buser and the champion dogs of Happy Trails Kennels?
2:00 tours.  Check for availability.  Make a reservation.

Directions  |  Book a Tour  |  Bed and Breakfast

Visiting Happy Trails Kennels, Big Lake, Alaska

Arriving at the kennel, you will be greeted by between thirty and sixty sled dogs resting comfortably on their houses in the dog lot. 

Your tour begins with a welcome and a brief introduction to Happy Trails, with some guidelines for appropriate behavior with our dogs.  They are all friendly -- almost too.  They love being petted and snuggled but are high energy!!! 

In our new Visitor Center your virtual trip along the Iditarod trail begins. Via a twenty-minute video, you travel from Anchorage to Nome.  Martin’s narration includes anecdotal stories from his twenty-eight years of racing, as well as a great deal of Iditarod history.

The next stop on your tour is the log amphitheater.  The campfire and wall tent, a mockup of the checkpoint at Cripple, set the stage for a description of life on the trail. The presentation includes an in-depth look at how the real athletes -- the dogs – are cared for and outfitted for the elements.

Puppy time is next!  In a large grassy area adults and kids alike can romp around with future Iditarod champions.  This activity is a favorite of many of our guests.

A dog sled demonstration run is the grand finale of the tour.  A team of six lucky dogs is harnessed to the gang-line.  You will see and can photograph them as they pull the sled on a short, highly visible loop.  During the harnessing, the uproar of barks of “take me” prohibits any discussion and the smiles on the dogs’ faces show visitors what our sled dogs love the most ~ running.

After the short run, you will have a photo op, standing on the sled runners with the dogs in harness.

We do not give sled rides.  Martin’s saying is “You don’t give pony rides with race horses.”  Most guests understand readily after seeing the team take off like a rocket. 

The tour concludes with time to pet dogs, ask questions and visit our gift shop with unique items related to Happy Trails Kennel.  Martin’s DVD, For the Love of Dogs, captures our unique lifestyle and the 50 weeks while not on the Iditarod Trail.

Your tour can be as long or short as your interest.  Some folks have to pet every dog before leaving.  We feel fortunate to have and share our life with dogs.


Directions to Happy Trails 

From Anchorage:
North on Hwy 1 (Glenn Highway)
Hwy 1 turns into Hwy 3 (Parks Highway )
Go through Wasilla
Turn left on Big Lake road at mile 52
Go 3 ¼ miles on Big Lake road turn right on
Beaver Lake road,
Go 1 mile, turn left onto West Lakes Boulevard
(long name, short sign "W.Lks.Blvd")
Go 4 ½ miles to our driveway on right.  Look for tripod with sign.


Book a Tour  

We are ready to book tours for the Summer Season of 2017!!!!

Book your Summer Kennel Tour here:

Tours begin at 2:00.

First choose a date between May 29, 2017 and September 4, 2017.  You can type in the date in the box, or click on the calendar to pick your date directly.  Days shaded in green are available.  If you have chosen a date, a listing of the tour will appear below the calendar.  Click on Book Now. Enter the number of adults and children in your group.  Click on Price to update then click on continue.  You will see a tour on the chosen day with the cost reflecting the number of guests you entered. 

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