Husky Lodge in Switzerland is a dog lover’s dream
A wolf-looking pack of Siberian huskies, a snow-covered alpine landscape and a wooden cabin tugged in between steep mountainsides. This might sound like a dream, but it’s one that can come true if you head to the Husky Lodge in the Swiss canton of Schwyz. The canton that gave Switzerland its name.
The Husky Lodge is run by Erlebniswelt that offers a bunch of exciting outdoor activities all year round. The company is based in the town of Muotathal in a unique little “village” of buildings that blend in well with the surrounding nature.
Muotathal is considered to be “out in the countryside” of Switzerland, but even so, it is just an hours drive south from the big city of Zürich. It is a place for visitors to find both peace and extraordinary outdoor adventures.
Erlebniswelt was created by four dog-loving friends and the main-focus is not surprisingly on their large pack of Siberian huskies. A pack of more than 30 furry and friendly sled dogs ranging from energized youngsters to seasoned veterans.
Like the human visitors that stay in the cosy cabins or at the cabin-style hotel on site, the dogs are having excellent facilities. They are also well taken care of by the staff and their guides. This is something to always have in mind when you participate in animal-based activities or visit attractions, and at Erlebniswelt they seem to handle their dogs perfectly.
I arrived at the Husky Lodge on a dark winter afternoon and was greeted by the warm light from the panoramic window of the wooden restaurant-building. It was a welcoming sight and an excellent place to try some local Swiss food before settling into my new home for the night.
All the cabins cleverly share their names with the huskies and I got to stay at ‘Nando’. The cabins come in different sizes from 2 to 4, 6 or 8 beds. Therefore, you’ll find the perfect match whether you travel as a couple, a group or a family. Some of them have panoramic views, some have private saunas – but all have lovely photos of the dogs on their walls.
The neighbouring hotel offers both single and double rooms, and an area nearby is dedicated to camping. During the winter season, you can even opt for a romantic double bed igloo which is built entirely of snow. Maybe next time…
I got a good night’s sleep in my cosy cabin, and the only sound breaking the silence was the occasional barks from the nearby kennel. Sounds that only added to my excitement for the following day’s husky-powered adventures in the snow.
One excellent detail about this husky-experience is that you get to participate from start to finish. This means that you can help to attach the dog’s harnesses if you want, as well as getting the day’s selection of huskies loaded in their special-built transport-trailer. It is a great way to get familiar with these extraordinary animals and to snap a few photos.
Beforehand, the guides had explained to us participants about the dogs, their behaviour and about the plan for the day. Once loaded, they took us and the dogs for a short drive to a nearby area with ready-made tracks for the dogs to follow.
But first, we had to split the dogs up in small teams for each of the sleds, as they all have different strengths depending on their age and gender. I got to ride with a dream-team consisting of Gian, Luna and Nituna, and I got surprised about how powerful and fast they were – even being just three.
Dogsledding is relatively easy to learn but difficult to master. We were told that the key was never to let go of the light sled – so even though I went down a couple of times during the first lap, I kept my grip tight and got back on track fairly easy.
The breaking is done by using your heels to press down a plate, which slows them down gently. If you want to stop for a longer period, you gotta stomp to metal anchors down in the snow, so they don’t run away with the sled in excitement.
We all took turns around the track, and I really enjoyed working with the dogs as I slowly got the hang of it. You can feel the dogs simply love to run. When you press the brake to keep control, it feels like they’re looking back at you thinking… “come on, keep going!”
Dogsledding is highly addictive and it’s not hard to see why some people dedicate their lives to this Arctic sport. It’s something I can highly recommend to try.
After our snowy laps, we all helped to get the dogs loaded again, and once back at the kennel, our friendship with the dogs grew just a bit stronger as we got to bring them their well-deserved food. Rich meals that were individually specialised for each dog’s needs.
What a paw-some day!
Beside dogsledding, Erlebniswelt offers activities like ice climbing and snowshoe walks and their wintery activities keep going until May. Be sure to check their website for details.
I was invited to Switzerland on a press trip by Switzerland Tourism, but the idea for this post and the opinions are my own.
AND find many more articles from Switzerland HERE