Even during the summer, you can still have a dog mushing experience during a visit to the Mat-Su Valley. From visiting with Iditarod champions to petting newborn huskies, Iditarod and dog mushing is a year-round event in Alaska.

Dog mushing is Alaska's official state sport, but more than that, it's a way of life for many. The world-famous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race begins in Willow the first Sunday each March, but year-round, many mushers offer tours of their kennels. Take a a tour and you'll see why dog mushing is so important to Alaskans.

Summer tours range from fly-out tours on a glacier to a visit of working kennels, in all corners of the Mat-Su Valley. You can meet Iditarod champions and legends, or recreational mushers who put their heart and soul into the care of the dogs. When you first arrive for a dog mushing tour, you'll be amazed at the relationship between the dogs and the mushers - they both put trust in each other, and together, form a perfect team.

Just because you are visiting Alaska in the summer, don't forget to stop in at one of the many dog mushing attractions and learn about a race that is rooted in Alaska's rich history. You'll get a chance to hold the puppies, take a run on makeshift dog sled and be a part of Alaska's culture. Then, make plans to visit again in March, when you'll see the race begin on Willow Lake.