Dog Sledding in Jasper

Dog sledding in Jasper

Okay, so technically the title should be Dog Sledding near Jasper, as dog sledding is not allowed inside the Park. We left behind the stunning mountain town and drove deep into the Rocky Mountains that, on that day, had been swallowed up by a thick layer of fog. I love a good ominous mountain landscape.

I heard them before I saw them. The howls and yips echoed off the surrounding mountains as the dogs sang up into the winter sky. They leapt into the air at three times their own height, while continuing their melodic clamouring. I couldn’t help but stand there and laugh at the scene unfolding around me. I ran from dog to dog, trying to pet them and calm them down, but they were all just too excited to get out on the trail. It was unreal.

I had opted for the hour long tour, rather than the three and four hour tours. The trail was pretty straight forward, there were no “gee’s” (right) or “haw’s” (left) to instruct along the way to complicate things. There were a fair number of small hills, so that involved a bit of “helping” on our part, where we paddled our feet on the snow to the side of the sled for an extra push.

We rode along rivers, frozen waterfalls and over bridges. We zipped past rocky walls, snow capped timbers and steep drops. And, we watched the sky fade from light grey to a brilliant blue above the mountain peaks overhead. As guests, we took turns both driving the sled and sitting in the basket. Our guide would hop on and off, making sure everything went smoothly, but allowing us to take control by pressing the breaks and stomping in the anchor when we stopped. Sitting in the basket was best for photos, and was a surprisingly comfy ride from the inside of a sleeping bag.

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My favourite sled dog. she was so shy.

At Cold Fire Creek the care of our 74 sled dogs is our number one priority. We must ensure our dogs are happy and healthy in order for them to be able to do their job.

As someone who cares a great deal about animals and would have gladly taken home each pup (if I had a real home), I’m always cautious about tours that involve animals and I had my share of questions to fire at the guides. I asked about whether the dogs lived inside a confined space or if they lived outside in cages. Turns out they all live in a large fenced in area with the boys separated from the girls, each with their own house and 10×20 cage, and any family squabbles thought out methodically. What pleased me most was that they lived right across the road, and spent minimal time inside their transportation houses. I learned that they get plenty to eat before and after runs, and feed well back at home. Phew, I could mush with relief.

You can learn more about just how much they truly care for their beloved dogs here

An hour passed before I knew and it was in for the home stretch. Reluctantly, we slid back into the end of the trail and climbed off the sled. The end of the ride meant three things; a desire to head right back out again, giving all the dogs a pet & snack for a good run and enjoying a hot drink. All of the dogs received a big bowl of warm water baited with chicken meal and tallow and some tasty looking home made cookies made of ground beef fat, chicken and kibble. I thought that would have calmed them down, but they seemed eager to go again. All of us humans got to enjoy a cup of hot apple cider and some home-made oatmeal cookies and banana bread. Delish. Then, we said our goodbyes to the pups, and hit the road back to Jasper.

Here are some of my favourite photos from my day with Cold Fire Creek Dogsledding;

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Jordan, the youngest member of Cold Fire Creek Dogsledding, grabbed my hand and introduced me to each individual sled dog. I wasn’t allowed to leave until I pet them all.

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We named our team “Team Chaos”, after out energetic dogs.

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Getting the dogs ready

The list of dog names, including some funny ones.

The list of dog names, including some funny ones.

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Snack time!

All bundled up for a ride in the basket.

All bundled up for a ride in the basket.

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Hot apple cider after a good run.

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This trip was made possible by Jasper Tourism.
All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 Have you been dog sledding?

 

 

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26 Responses to “Dog Sledding in Jasper”

  1. Ayngelina
    January 29, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

    I’m Canadian yet I’ve never been dog sledding! I really need to change this.
    Ayngelina recently posted..The Year of Focus

    • Seattle Dredge
      January 29, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

      I think you need to change it this winter ;]

      • peter
        August 28, 2016 at 7:15 am #

        thank you for the time making your video my wife and i are traveling on our 19th wedding anniversary in march 2017 to the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, we love the husky ride were was the best place to get that husky trip any details please and it was nice to see what it will look like thank you, how is the food and rooms and was there any nice food restaurants in jasper or entertainment ?

  2. Michael
    January 29, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

    OH MY GOD!! THE CUTENESS!!!
    I would have opted for the 12 hour tour if they had it.
    Michael recently posted..It’s Okay To Not Know What You’re Doing

    • Seattle Dredge
      January 29, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

      You need to get some pups of your own and opt for the forever tour!

  3. Jen Seligmann
    January 29, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

    It looked like so much fun. Can’t wait to do this myself one day. Great pics too!
    Jen Seligmann recently posted..5 reasons why I love Sydney

    • Seattle Dredge
      January 29, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

      It was SO fun; you have to try it! The sooner the better.

  4. Lindsey
    January 29, 2014 at 6:50 pm #

    Ahh this looks SO awesome!
    Lindsey recently posted..The Colours of Rotorua

    • Seattle Dredge
      January 29, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

      Awesome is one of the many words I used to describe it, haha. So so good 😀

  5. Karla
    January 29, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

    Oh! This looks fantastic, I have to come to Jasper.

  6. Jamie
    January 29, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

    This trip looks like so much fun! This summer I met a few people who lead kayak trips in the summer and sled dogs in the winter – They convinced me to put dog-sledding on the top of my adventure to-do list!

    I don’t think I could resists wanting to take all those dogs home with me.Those eyes!

    jamiepilgrim.com

    • Seattle Dredge
      January 29, 2014 at 10:08 pm #

      My guide was talking about leading other types of tours during the summer too, which sounds like the ideal life to me. Haha, I was tempted to scoop a few up pups myself 😀

  7. Sherry Ott
    February 1, 2014 at 6:01 pm #

    We only had time for the little teaser around Pyramid Lake the weekend before – but I so badly want to do a proper dog sledding trip! Looks like a blast!
    Sherry Ott recently posted..Lycian Way By Land and Sea

    • Seattle Dredge
      February 1, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

      I loved your photo from the lake though, all that space makes for awesome landscape shots :]

  8. Lisa | LLworldtour
    February 1, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

    Nice shots! I wish we got to go in the woods. Did it in Aspen once and loved the scenery! Hope Kyle was a good musher! 😉
    Lisa | LLworldtour recently posted..Back in Ol’ Silverton, Colorado

    • Seattle Dredge
      February 1, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

      Haha, he was! He saved us from a near-tipping on a bend in the trail.

  9. Mary @ Green Global Travel
    February 2, 2014 at 2:34 am #

    I have always wanted to go dog sledding. It looks like you had a great time! Thanks for sharing!
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..20 Stories from SnowedOutAtlanta That Will Restore Faith in Humanity

  10. northierthanthou
    February 9, 2014 at 2:52 am #

    Those dogs are gorgeous.

  11. TL Iguana
    February 14, 2014 at 7:28 am #

    AHHH Cypress!!

    Isnt she pretty! Shes the one you said was your favorite. Also mine 😀

    • Seattle Dredge
      February 14, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

      Ohhh that’s funny! Haha, she’s SO pretty 😀

  12. Jennifer
    March 12, 2014 at 4:53 pm #

    I’ve been dogsledding a couple of times now and I love it! The dogs are definitely well cared for and you can just tell that they love to run. The best experience I’ve had with dogsledding was in Svalbard. We really did all the work from harnessing up our team to feeding the dogs after their workout. It really created a bond with our dog team.

  13. Deb
    May 4, 2014 at 8:23 am #

    I love that second photo of the sled dog. The eyes are just gorgeous. Our experience with sled dog operations have always been positive. I know the people we’ve talked to think of their dogs as families and couldn’t imagine mistreating them. I’m glad that this operation was the same.

    • Seattle Dredge
      May 8, 2014 at 11:30 am #

      Agreed, sled dogs always have the best eyes. I’m always cautious with any type of animal tourism, but it’s operators like these that make it all right :]

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