Dog Sledding in Bigfork

I watched as the pack of dog chased after the man in front of me. He was on skis and moved like a gazelle and had the energy of a–well, a dog. Never seeming to tire or slow down.

The dogs raced after him, following as he turned, eventually looping back to where we started. The dogs were attached to the sled that was beneath my feet, and they were following their owner who was leading them around the frozen lake.

We started the day by visiting all of the dogs back at Base Camp Bigfork, selecting which ones would be accompanying us on our ride.

Venturing back into the cage area, every dog howled with excitement, as if to ask their permission to come along. Many dogs ran freely around the property, greeting us with licks and paws.

We soon chose our six furry friends and were on our way.

Poor Enzo is sad that he’s not coming

I had been dogsledding once before, but this time around in Bigfork, Montana was a completely different experience.

It was all about fun; there was no destination, no trail to follow, no goal to achieve or schedule to abide by. We simply set out across the frozen Flathead Lake with the wind in our hair and the sun on our faces, in any direction we pleased.

For our first ride, I stood at the back while Miss Montana Tia sat in the basket. We took off with a jolt across the ice and made it t the centre of the lake in no time. with the impressive speed of our dog team of six.

Stepping on the breaks brought the sled to a halt, and we took a moment to admire the view.

Mountains rose up on all sides of the lake, appearing even more menacing with the void space of the snowy lake and the never-ending sky.

“Kingston” photo curves for above photo by Tracy Zhang

Even with the yelping of the dogs, it was a peaceful place to be, as the sound seemed to muffle itself in the open air. There was no echo.

For the next ride, we stayed in our positions as we welcomed two more riders to the sled. All in all, we were four full grown adults piled onto one small sled, barrelling across the ice, laughing like a pack of hyenas at the hilarity of the situation.

You might have expected the dogs to slow down with the added weight, but they took this as a challenge and pushed on harder. When we pressed the breaks, they jumped and yipped in the air, eager to continue running.

We may have been full grown adults, but the dog sledding experience had us feeling like children out on that ice.

Taking a break, we ran around in the open space, took photos of the dogs and each other and I even managed to attempt an icy snow angel.

After a good hour of enjoying the freedom and open space, it was time to head back to “shore”.

The dogs tackled the bank at full speed, of course taking our sled with them and launching us into the air. Holding on tight, we all pulled to a stop on solid ground.

It had been an exciting afternoon of dog sledding with Base Camp Bigfork and we all drove away with smiles on our faces. I’d like to give a big thanks to our guide Mark, the most energetic man I have ever met!


Check out what they get up to after the snow melts:

Base Camp Dog Carting

This trip was made possible by Western Montana’s Glacier Country
All thoughts and opinions are my own. 


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4 Responses to “Dog Sledding in Bigfork”

  1. Jen
    March 27, 2013 at 3:15 am #

    Wow! These photos are amazing. I’ve always thought of visiting Montana, but I “definitely* do now.

    • Seattle
      March 27, 2013 at 10:41 am #

      It’s soo much more beautiful than most people often initially think, and definitely worth the visit 😀

  2. budget jan
    April 2, 2013 at 1:23 am #

    Spectacular photographs. I would like this experience because of the open space, beautiful dogs and the fun.
    budget jan recently posted..Tuesday in Townsville Focus on the Clouds

    • Seattle
      April 2, 2013 at 11:54 am #

      It was definitely fun, and it was a great experience :]

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