Norway's Femund sled dog race - the experience of a lifetime

If you have never experienced a sled dog race, The Femund Race should be on your bucket list. Historic Røros, Norway is the idyllic location of the start and finish line of the world's largest dog race. This exciting race will leave you with unforgettable memories.


Katie Lee Barstad

Home for Christmas was a major sucess world wide on Netflix in 2019 and 2020. It was Netflix’s first Norwegian original series and was shot during wintertime in Røros.

Every February, dog mushers from around the world gather in the picturesque UNESCO World Heritage town of Røros in central Norway. The Femund Race is the world’s largest sled dog race in terms of competitors. It is considered one of the most exciting sled dog races in the world. 

The mushers take their dog teams 650 km across the Norwegian wilderness. The race starts and ends in Røros. It crosses eight municipalities in two counties. Femund is known as one of the hardest races because of the challenging terrain and weather. Even considering the conditions, the race attracts more participants than any other in the world. Some 200 teams take part every year in four different classes, which makes it the world's largest dog sled competition. 

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Populare competition

The Femund Race is a big happening and is watched by people all over the world.

Seeing the close bond between musher and dog is a magical experience. Wo/man and animal struggle through harsh yet beautiful nature and do so with little sleep. The musher’s focus is always, ‘the dogs come first.’ 

Mushing is a lifestyle

Dog mushing is not just a sport, it is a lifestyle. It takes time, training, patience and a love for your dogs. The dogs love to run and are athletes of the highest calibre. The rule that the dogs come first holds especially true while racing. At every checkpoint a musher will feed, water and make sure his dogs can sleep. Only when the dogs are settled, will the  musher eat and sleep. Seeing the care a musher gives his team will tug at any dog lover’s heart. It is unmistakable. 

Dog mushing is an expensive sport as well. A typical musher will have anywhere from 12-20 dogs at one time. All the dogs need shelter, food and exercise. Mushers often hire handlers who help them throughout the year. Sled racing is a very physically demanding sport. Mushers are on their feet for hours at a time. Many who are new to the sport experience weight loss when they first start out. Training yourself to know how much you need to eat is necessary. If you don’t do so, you can put yourself and your dogs at risk. You need to be in shape to take proper care of your team.


The Netflix City

Home for Christmas was a major sucess world wide on Netflix in 2019 and 2020. It was Netflix’s first Norwegian original series and was shot during wintertime in Røros.

Spectators can track the race through the checkpoints using a new app. It tracks the mushers as they make their way towards the end of the race. Seeing the teams cross the finish line will fill you with the same sense of pride the mushers are experiencing. A lot of mushers say the memory of the work you put in disappears into the background. What takes over is the experience of nature, bonding with your dogs and conquering a dream. 

Historic Røros, Norway

The Femund Race itself is a reason to visit Røros, but you will find so much more. The historic Norwegian mining town will take you back in time. During the Femund Race, the town is blanketed in snow. Its main street is like a fairytale, lined with quaint wooden houses in the snow. The highlight on the mainstreet is the church from 1784.

Røros sits 628 metres above sea level on a gently sloping plateau. Explore its charming streets filled with unique boutiques, artist workshops, and cafés. The mountain village is known as one of Norway’s leading regions for locally produced food. Since the town is busy during the Femund Race, it’s recommended you book a table at one of its many traditional restaurants in advance.


Røros town

The mining town of Røros got international attention after it was the backdrop for the Netflix hit show, "Home for Christmas".

Original town charm

Plan some time to visit the underground copper mines. Røros came into existence in 1644 when the first copper was discovered there. Since then, it has become one of the most important mining towns in Norway. There are two national parks nearby, Femundsmarka and Forollhogna

The people of Røros have preserved the town’s original charm. They have a sense of pride and are incredibly friendly. If you find yourself in a café, don’t hesitate to start up a conversation. They will be sure to recommend their favourite spots or experiences in the town.

The town is filled with excitement during the Femund Race. You will witness one of the toughest challenges for mushers. Cheer them on and take in the historical and charming Norwegian town all in one trip. 


Musher in the Femund Race

The Femund Race is a popular competition for both international and domestic musher.

Famous Norwegian Mushers

There are some well known mushers from Norway who compete in the Femund Race. Thomas Wærner has won twice. He has also competed in the Iditarod in Alaska. Robert Sørlie has taken home first place in the Femund Race 13 times. Sørlie is a two time Iditarod champion. Lars Mansen has competed in both the Femund and Iditarod. Manson is a television star in Norway and other parts of the world. He has created many adventure series.

Røros fun facts

You might notice something strange with many of the doors in the city. They open inward instead of outwards. This is because of the amount of snowfall they get in the winter. People would otherwise be stuck inside after a snowfall and not be able to get their doors open!

Røros made international waves recently on Netflix. The Norwegian series Home for Christmas debuted in 2019. It was Netflix’s first Norwegian original series. It follows a nurse in her 30s looking for love. She lives in the heart of Røros and the series showcases how beautiful it is in the winter. The series has received good reviews and high ratings.

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Near me in Røros, Norway

  • 1


    Bergstadens Hotell

    A traditional hotel in the heart of Røros. Besides offering comfy beds, they have several restaurants and a pub.

  • 2


    Versthuset Røros

    Vertshuset Røros offers a genuin interest and respect for local produce and traditional food from the region. Booking in advance is recommended.

  • 3


    Grillhuset Håndverk

    Exquisite food made from local ingredients from Røros and the region is what you are gonna find at Grillhuset Håndverk.

  • 4



    13 kilometers from the centre of Røros, is Olavsgruva. The old mine is now a museum and takes you 50 meters below the surface and 500 meters into the Miner’s Hall. Offers daily tours.