Common Driving Questions
- Is transportation provided for getting to Black Spruce Dog Sledding?
No. We do not provide transportation of any sort to/from our location, nor can we make any recommendations for whom you should hire. We strongly suggest you rent your own vehicle for getting around the Fairbanks area. This will be most affordable and provide you with the greatest level of freedom. Taxis and other ride-sharing companies are generally very expensive and unreliable for getting to our location.
- How long is the drive to Black Spruce Dog Sledding from where I'm staying?
We are located 45 scenic minutes drive northwest of Fairbanks. More drive times are listed below. Please do not arrive to our location more than 15 minutes early or 15 minutes late for your tour (that’s a 30 minute window). When you take a tour with us, you are visiting our home. When we are not running tours we are doing chores, eating meals, or spending time with our loved ones. Please respect our privacy by arriving at your scheduled tour time only.
Fairbanks: 45 minutes. North Pole: 1 hour. Cleary Summit: 1 hour, 15 minutes. .Chena Hot Springs: 2 hours. Denali National Park: 3 hours.
- What kind of vehicle will I need for getting to Black Spruce Dog Sledding?
Most of the time a small, compact car can make the trip up here just fine, but not always! In winter, a snow or ice storm may force us to cancel tours, or restrict our tours to only those visitors with all-wheel drive, four-wheel drive or properly-equipped front-wheel drive vehicles (snow tires). Our hilly, rural neighborhood roads can get icy, snowy and wind-drifted during the months of October through April. (More winter driving tips below.) We do get snowplow services, but we believe an all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle is the best choice for getting anywhere in Alaska, in any season. Even during spring, summer and fall, our roads can be wet, muddy and bumpy. A four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicle offers an extra level of safety and comfort in all seasons.
- More helpful driving tips for winter in Alaska
Go slow! Even locals know driving on ice and snow is tricky, and they are pretty respectful to each other. If someone thinks you are driving too slow for their liking, they may drive very close to you. If this makes you uncomfortable, just pull over and let them pass.
Stay away from the edges of the road. Road shoulders in winter often look solid, but are actually very soft. If you get a tire into the shoulder you will probably get pulled right into the ditch. Stay closer to the center line of the road than to the edge of the road. When meeting oncoming traffic, be sure to stay in your lane, but feel free to slow down so you can pass safely.
Keep your eyes on the road. Most of our visitors are traveling with other people. Use your passengers to help you navigate. They should be reading the driving directions and looking for road signs. The driver’s eyes should remain on the road at all times.
Brake early and lightly. Give yourself plenty of time to stop at lights and stop signs. When you touch the brakes, touch them lightly. If you start to lose control, let off the brake pedal and let the vehicle come to a slowed, more “relaxed” position.
Accelerate slowly. When taking off from a stopped position, or accelerating uphill, push the gas pedal gently. If you feel yourself starting to spin out of control or lose traction, let off the gas, but do not slam on the brakes. Let the vehicle return to a slowed, more “relaxed” state, and try gently accelerating again. Many vehicles now have traction control, and interior buttons to turn this feature off. Some people do find it helpful to turn this off. Also, if your vehicle is equipped with four-wheel drive: use it!
Keep your gas tank full. This is Alaska — things are far apart, and gas stations are only located in urban areas. Make sure your gas tank stays above a quarter full if you are venturing out into rural areas like Black Spruce Dog Sledding, Chena Hot Springs or Denali National Park.