Would you like to meet the champion dogs of Happy Trails Kennels? PET puppies?

ALL tours are guided by VETERAN IDITAROD MUSHERS.  Martin is available most days.

2:00 tours.  Check for availability.  Make a reservation.
Directions  |  Book a Tour 

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 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 thirty-five 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, complete with a "runway" model wearing the latest trail fashion.  

A dog sled demonstration run is the noisy part 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 an ATV 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.

We do not give rides in the summer.  Winter rides are available through The Alaska Mushing School. 

Puppy time is the GRAND FINALE and most visitors’ favorite part of the tour!  You will get to hold puppies and be a part of our socialization program since a major goal at Happy Trails is to raise happy dogs!!!

We maintain a small Gift Shop with a large selection of unique HTK   (Happy Trails Kennel) items. 

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 kennel sign.


Book a Tour  


Minimum Booking of 2 adults for a summer tour!!!!

Book your Summer Kennel Tour here:

Tours begin at 2:00.

First choose a date between May 29, 2023 and September 4, 2023.  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. 

Payment to be made when you arrive for your tour.        thank you!

We appreciate your arriving 5 - 10 minutes prior to 2:00. 

5% discount to ALASKANS, Seniors & US Military with ID.


Bed and Breakfast


If you are an independent traveler who wants to experience a piece of personal paradise, Happy Trails B & B is for you!

Glimpse the workings of 4 time Iditarod Champion Martin Buser's Happy Trails Kennel Operation.

House Amenities

  • Large deck, grill available
  • Common living room with DVD/TV
  • Fire pit
  • High speed internet access


Conveniently Located Near Mile 52 of the Parks Hwy (Alaska Hwy 3)
Mile 4.5 West Lakes Blvd, 19391 West Lakes
Big Lake, Alaska 99652
  • 1.5 hours to Anchorage or Talkeetna
  • 3.5 hours to Denali National Park

Visitors Enjoy

  • Private bathroom
  • Self-served breakfast foods
  • Walking trails with canoeing on a nearby lake
  • Guided visit with friendly Iditarod veteran sled dogs and puppies
  • Kennel tours available at 2:00 P.M. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, additional fee involved

Rooms Available

All rooms are $149/night based on double occupancy - $10/additional person

For reservations please click on the room links above to make your reservations through


Book a Speaker

Would you like Four-Time Iditarod Champion Martin Buser to speak at your next event?


2017 Race Schedule

March 4 Iditarod - Martin racing

2016 Race Schedule

March 5 IDITAROD.  Martin finished 37th, James finished 50th, Tim Pappas 51st (Race Season compromised by Nikolai Buser's near fatal car accident in Seattle with him in Harborview Trauma ICU.  Martin in Seattle from Jan. 22 until a week before Iditarod start.)

January 21 Northern Lights 300.  Tim and James completed the race

2015 Race Schedule

Martin # 4/finished 22nd
Rohn  # 31/finished 40th with yearling team
Alan # 77/finished 56th


January 16 - KUSKO 300 in Bethel - Rohn 2nd, Martin 6th

January 23 - NORTHERN LIGHTS 300 - Tim & Alan completed

2014 Race Schedule

January 4 - Knik 200  Alan, Elliot, Rohn and Martin  ROHN WON!!!

January 17 - Kusko300  Rohn and Martin  ROHN WON!!!

January 24 - Northern Lights 300  Elliot.  This race starts and finishes at Happy Trails Kennel  CANCELLED DUE TO RAIN!

March 1 - Iditarod Martin with racing team, Elliot with yearlings.  Martin finished 6th and won the coveted Humanitarian Award for Outstanding Dog Care.  Elliot's race ended in Golovin.

April 10 - Kobuk 440 Alan is participating as an Iditarod qualifier.  ALAN finished 7TH.

Website Design