Bucket List Tours: Dog Sledding in Canmore

One of the things that sets Canadians apart is our love of winter sports. With most of the country under a blanket of snow almost half of the year, enjoying outdoor sports can make the short dark days more rewarding. From ice hockey to ice fishing, Canadians know how to have fun outside all year round.

Experiencing a dog sled tour in the winter wonderland of the beautiful Canadian Rockies wilderness is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you’ll never forget. It can be a relaxing experience with a professional guide driving your sled, or you can experience the thrill and excitement of commanding your team of husky heroes with our Signature self-driven sleds.

Before hitting the trails, it’s important to prepare so you can make the most of your time on the snow. Here are some expert tips to help you get ready for your mountain adventure. We hope you enjoy your time dog sledding in Canmore.

#1 – Dress appropriately

Canada’s winter weather can be harsh, so it’s important to dress appropriately for a dog sled tour in the Canadian Rockies. Our winter tours run from mid-December to mid-April, weather conditions depending. Temperatures can range from above zero to below -40c, although it isn’t often that frigid. Add in the wind chill with the speed of the sled, and it can get chilly out there.

When selecting clothing for a tour, we encourage guests to prioritize warmth before looks. Dressing warmly in cold, dry weather can be challenging, but with suitable clothing and layering techniques, you can stay comfortable and cozy. Here are some tips to help you dress for the cold weather.

It’s best to dress in layers. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer of wool or synthetic fibres. Add an insulating layer with materials like fleece, down, or synthetic insulation to trap body heat and keep you warm. Finish with a waterproof outer layer. So you know, it’s best to avoid cotton if possible.

Also, don’t forget your extremities! Insulated boots, gloves, a scarf or face covering, and a hat will help you stay warm and dry. And make sure you bring your sunglasses. The glare of the sun reflecting off the snow can be very bright. Some guests even like to wear ski or snowboard goggles.

Finally, always check the local weather forecast before heading out, so you can dress appropriately for the temperature and conditions.

Learn more about what to wear when you go dog sledding in Canmore.

Don’t have your own winter gear? No worries, we have you covered!

We rent high-quality winter gear including Sorel Glacier boots and North Face expedition snow pants and winter jackets.

#2 – Bring a camera

The Canadian wilderness is breathtakingly beautiful, so don’t forget to bring a camera to capture the memories. One top tip is to make sure your device is fully charged before departing for your tour. The cold can impact battery life, so you’ll want to make sure your phone or camera is well protected from the cold. On colder days, bringing extra fingerless gloves can help capturing your images easier and less painful. Don’t forget to take some video footage of the incredible Rocky Mountain views, the beautiful dogs, and the exhilarating experience.

We also offer professional photos of you and your guests in your sled. These photos are available to purchase at the end of your tour. Your images will be available in print and on a USB with card transactions available. This priceless souvenir will bring memories back for years to come.

#3 – Follow your guide’s instructions

Our guides are experienced professionals who are skilled in the art of dog sledding. Not only are they knowledgeable about the area, but they also understand our dogs. Dog sledding may look easy, but it’s more complex than it initially appears. Our guides know the Kananaskis trails well, they know what hazards to avoid and how to best navigate the terrain. They also know if any wildlife has been in the area, including bears, moose and wolves, and they carry the safety equipment to manage any encounters. Listen carefully to their instructions and follow their lead at all times. The most important tip for driving a sled is don’t let go!

Dog Sledding Commands:

Your guide will give you all the information you need before your tour, once you arrive at the trailhead in Kananaskis Country a short bus ride from our Downtown Canmore office.

  • Hike: Time to move
  • Gee: Turn right
  • Haw: Turn left
  • Easy: Slow down
  • Whoa: Stop
  • On By: Pass another team or other distraction

#4 – Get to know your dogs

When you arrive at the trailhead, you’ll be given an orientation talk before being introduced to your team of dogs. Your husky heroes will be doing most of the work, so it’s important to know their names and personalities. Spend some time with them before your tour getting to know each one so you can understand them better. During your tour, show your appreciation for your dogs. Cheer them on and show them some extra love on your break.

Some of our dogs wear additional collars:

  • Yellow collars indicate dogs who are a bit shy and we ask that you give them space. They will let you know if they want some pets!
  • Orange collars are worn by dogs who can be a bit mischievous. They may pull on your coat or try to steal a glove.
  • Pink collars are worn by female dogs who are in heat. This helps our staff keep them well clear of any intact males.

Our unique pack is a blend of 6 different sled dog breeds:

  • The Seppala Siberian
  • Sled Dog
  • The Siberian Husky
  • The Canadian Indian
  • Husky
  • The Alaskan Malamute
  • The Alaskan Husky
  • The Alaskan Racing
  • Husky

Click here to meet the Snowy Owl pack!

#5 – Stay hydrated

Even when it’s cold outside, your body still needs water. It’s best to hydrate 24-48 hours before your tour so you’re ready for the experience. Bring a water bottle with you on the tour and drink regularly to stay hydrated. Keep in mind that while there is a toilet at the trailhead, there aren’t any during the actual tour. At the end of you’re your you’ll receive a hot drink before heading home on the bus.

Dog sledding is so fun and exciting. Spending time with the beautiful dogs and being surrounded by the incredible mountain views will revive your soul. Tap into your inner child and your love of adventure.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be ready for an unforgettable time dog sledding in Canmore. Remember to bundle up, bring your camera, listen to your guide, get to know your dogs and stay hydrated. Most importantly, get ready to experience the beauty of the Canadian wilderness like never before!

Ready to book your winter dog sled tour? View our four different tours.