Vail Beaver Creek is a world-renowned ski resort located in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. While many people visit the area for the exceptional skiing and snowboarding, the area also offers a variety of other winter activities, including dog sledding. Not just Alaska uses dog sleds. Colorado also boasts a vibrant dogsledding community.
Consider switching from skiing to riding in a dog sled one day if you’re searching for an exciting and unique way to enjoy the snow during your winter holiday in Colorado. According to Colorado-based Alpine Adventures, which services the ski resorts in the Vail Valley as well as Copper Mountain, Breckenridge, Frisco, and Keystone, dog sledding has increased “exponentially” during the previous several years.
Dog sledding in Vail Beaver Creek
Dog sledding is a thrilling and unique way to explore the beautiful landscape of Vail Beaver Creek. The tours typically take place on groomed trails through the forests and meadows of the Rocky Mountains. Participants can ride in the sled or take turns driving the sled, which is pulled by a team of powerful and energetic Alaskan Huskies.
During the tour, visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the history of dog sledding and the important role that these majestic animals have played in the development of the region. They will also get to meet and interact with the dogs, which are well-trained and friendly.
In addition to the dog sledding, many tours also include a stop at a secluded mountain cabin, where participants can warm up by the fire and enjoy a hot drink and snack. This is a great opportunity to relax and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
Never experienced dog sledding? That is not an issue. Your guide to making the most of the event is provided below. It includes information on what to anticipate, what to bring and dress, the dos and don’ts, and how to make the most of this unique experience.
Best trips for dog sledding
1. Good Times Adventure Tours
As tail-wagging Siberian Huskies guide you around the paths of the Swan River Valley, take in the sights of the snow-covered mountains. Winter enthusiasts may take a 6-mile dog-sledding trip at Good Time Adventures in Breckenridge. Up to six people may ride on each hour and a half-long trip in a “relay” fashion. As a result, visitors will alternate between driving the dogs, riding in the dogsled, and traveling behind your guide in a tiny passenger sleigh. Each individual on a tour pays $125. There are additional excursions using snowmobiles. To learn more, click here.
2. Rides in monarch dog sleds
With the help of Monarch Dog Sled Rides’ animal buddies, go on a challenging winter journey. On this canine-guided trip, numerous natural delights await, like floating past snow-covered alpine woods, visiting an ancient mining cemetery, and taking in vistas of 13,000-foot peaks. In addition to the 30-minute walk, visitors will get the opportunity to meet the cute furry faces pulling the sleds, learn more about the sport of mushing, and see how to harness a dog. By date, prices change. Find out everything here.
3. Alpine Journeys
Embark on an excursion into the mountains with a cute and amiable group of canine companions. With easy access to several of Colorado’s most well-known ski resorts, including Vail, Avon, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Frisco, and Keystone, Alpine Adventures in Leadville provides 6-mile dog sledding experiences. Depending on the snowfall, group trips often begin in late December. By tour, prices vary. Get all the information here.
4. Grizzle-T Dog & Sled Works
At Grizzle-T Dog & Sled Works, take in the sights as you ride a team of Alaskan Huskies through a winter wonderland. You’ll enjoy stunning views, cuddle with some canines that like snow, and indulge in copious amounts of delectable hot chocolate. Choose between two dog-sledding routes: an 8-mile picturesque ride along the Stagecoach Reservoir’s icy shoreline or a 12.5-mile wilderness trek across a private ranch, both of which are located just west of Steamboat Springs. Costs vary. Find out everything here.
5. Dog sled tours with Snow Buddy
At Snow Buddy Dog Sled Tours, you can fully immerse yourself in the untamed backcountry of Dunckley Pass, which is situated in the Routt National Forest. This secret outdoor treasure is buried away in Oak Creek, just south of Steamboat Springs. Take a tour or operate your very own sled there. To learn more, click here.
6. Dog sled tours with Mountain Paws
Visit Mountain Paws Dog Sled Tours in Pagosa Springs for a fantastic winter excursion. As you go through the frost-covered paths of the San Juan Mountains near Pagosa Springs on this dog-sled trip, you’ll feel as if you’ve entered a winter wonderland. Warm back up at the Springs Resort and Spa with a wintertime bath after all the dog-sledding action. Your costs for dog sledding vary. You can find all the information here.
7. Durango Dog Ranch
The Durango Dog Ranch is the place to go on a dog-sledding excursion. This dog-sledding excursion is for you if you’re looking for the wonders of the wilderness. An nocturnal training race with headlamps and two to four hours of four-legged racing is an adventure beneath the stars. Check out the two-hour “entry to mushing tour” if the daytime sounds more intriguing. Costs vary. Here are the tour specifics.
The sleds are pulled by what kind of dogs?
Typically, dogs used for this activity are Siberian and Alaskan huskies, who are bred specifically for it. A sled may be drawn by up to 12 dogs. Never mind that they could become chilly. They have an exclusive coating of fur for the cold and like it.
Sled dogs, according to Alpine Adventures, are the world’s strongest animal for pulling loads and can move loads faster than draft horses, pound for pound. According to Grizzle-T Dog and Sled Works in Steamboat, sled dogs may travel more than 150 miles per day.
Many outfitters allow participants to touch and photograph the dogs even while they are working (of course, when the sled is still). The dogs are sociable and used to interacting with a wide range of humans.
Who will lead the dog sledding trips?
Look for dogsledding excursions offered by reputable outfitters with knowledgeable guides that understand how to operate the sled and deal with the dogs as well as how to look after tourists in the wilderness and traverse the terrain (in case of an emergency, like a blizzard).
Travelers are often shocked to hear that they can be required to play numerous parts throughout the encounter, however. You may ride in the sled with the guide, “run” the dogs, ride on a sleigh or snowmobile with the guide, or switch out between these options during the trip.
A class on mushing is one of the alternatives you may sign up for. You could learn how to manage the twists, travel up and down hills, halt the sleigh, and rebalance it. When you initially start, be prepared for a significant adrenaline spike. It might be challenging to unwind and let go of your fear of falling. Ironically, however, this increases your risk of coming off since a stiff body might make it more difficult to navigate the twists and bumps with ease.
What is the trail length?
Breckenridge’s Good Times Adventures offers six-mile treks in the Swan River Valley. About an hour is spent on the activity. For a more in-depth experience, the Durango Dog Ranch in Durango offers half-day dogsledding excursions in the San Juan Mountains from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., departing from a designated trailhead. Participants get instruction in mushing and the opportunity to mush. A picnic is held after the trip while the dogs relax.
The Durango Dog Ranch also arranges all-day mushes further into the national forest for those seeking the ultimate thrill. You must be in decent physical condition and just one person per sled is permitted on these seven-hour excursions, together with their guide (and ready to run with the dogs, if necessary). Beginners who have never used a dogsled should avoid this.
What ought you to bring?
As is customary in Colorado, be careful to check the weather, but be ready for anything. Wear layers of clothing, goggles or sunglasses, and sturdy boots, much as when skiing. Don’t forget to bring your hat, scarf, gloves, and warmer packs to put inside your boots and gloves.
Wear a snowsuit if you have one. Ask your outfit if they have one you may borrow or rent if you need one. It’s best to avoid wearing cotton and jeans while it’s snowing, since these materials are the worst when it becomes cold and wet. It’s preferable to wear clothing that is waterproof, dries rapidly, and wicks moisture away from your skin. Go without your sleek cowboy boots.
Alpine Adventures advises against wearing genuine or imitation fur when dogsledding. Oh, and avoid bringing dog goodies. They can’t go to the huskies. Later, they get their own refreshments. Alpine Adventures suggests that it’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. In the mountains, at any time of the year, always apply sunscreen. Remember to include ChapStick for your lips as well.
Without a doubt, bring a camera. You never know what kind of animals, like coyotes or deer, you could encounter along the road. In order for the outfitter to match you with the appropriate number of dogs, you will also need to disclose your weight. Some tourists may find this unusual at first, but it’s crucial for the dog’s welfare.
Is it possible to dogsled?
Regrettably, no. For safety concerns, small children (usually under 4; some guides permit younger, depending on the child and weight) and pregnant women are not permitted to ride. You are not going dogsledding if you have consumed alcohol or are obviously impaired by anything.
Where is this possible?
Dogsledding businesses may be found in several of the state’s mountain and ski communities. You don’t have to worry about sharing the trails with snowmobiles since certain trips, like Mountain Musher in Vail Valley, go on private routes. The majority of dogsledding excursions take place from mid-November to mid-April, roughly coinciding with the ski season. Everything is dependent on the snow.
Group tours with dogsleds
Each dogsled trip has six adult seats available. Since the youngster will only be permitted to ride in the sled basket and won’t affect any of the adult drivers’ driving time, a child may be added to a complete tour of six adult drivers. While the other visitors ride on a sleigh drawn by the guide on a snowmobile out in front of the dog team, two persons ride on the dogsled at a time, one driving the dog sled and the other riding in the basket. We stop sometimes and rotate the drivers and passengers, giving each adult a chance to operate the dog sled and sit in the basket. If you don’t request a private tour, we will fill any open seats on the tour.
Dog sledding with your dogs
Got Dogs Tag Sled Tours? Up to 3 adults and 1 small kid, or 2 adults and 2 small children, may take this trip at a time. The party’s collective weight becomes the deciding element.
A bigger pack of 10–12 dogs pulls two dogsleds. The second dogsled will have one person driving and one person riding, with the guide riding on the front dogsled with up to two riders. You get the chance to drive, ride, and manage a bigger squad as you go out into the terrain. This trip is entirely dog-powered, and while the sleds are going, you and your guide are on board for this tranquil, calm journey. This is a fantastic method to dogsled, and our guide will help you manage the dog team. You may play with additional dogs as well! We retain the right to alter any trip as necessary to ensure the safety of our
Overall, dog sledding in Vail Beaver Creek is a must-do activity for anyone visiting the area. It is an exciting and unforgettable way to experience the beauty and excitement of the Rocky Mountains in the wintertime. So, if you are planning a trip to Vail Beaver Creek, be sure to add dog sledding to your list of activities.