Frequently Asked Questions – Winter Dog Sled Tours
“Are there any age restrictions?”
Nope, everyone is welcome on our winter tours.
“Is your team allowed to accept gratuities?”
In Canada, it’s acceptable to tip your guide and/or reservations agent if you feel they did an exceptional job. Gratuities are at your own discretion and are certainly appreciated.
“If I chose a self-driven sled, will I be out on the trail alone?”
No, of course not! Our tours are set up so that all self-driven sleds are accompanied by one of our instructor-driven sleds. They will be showing you the way the whole time!
“Are we able to take turns driving the dog team?”
Absolutely! If you are on one of our instructor-driven sleds, you are able to drive in tandem with our guide throughout the tour. If you have chosen one of our self-driven sleds, at the halfway point, you are able to switch drivers if you wish!
“Where do your tours operate?”
Our tours operate in Spray Lakes Provincial Park.
“We are staying outside of Canmore, do you offer transportation?”
We ask that our guests make their way to our office located downtown Canmore. From there we will transport all of our guests to our dog sledding site.
“Do we get to interact with the husky hero dogs?”
Of course! Most all of our dogs LOVE to visit with our guests however, we do have some shy dogs who have been rescued from kennels that have been neglected. These dogs will be wearing blue bandannas for our guests to easily identify and give them space. There will also be some of our pack members wearing green bandannas – these husky heroes are over-the-top friendly and love to chew on our guest’s clothing and will even grab your hand with their mouth when you go to leave because they want you to stay and pet them!
“Why is there a per sled weight limit?”
We believe that dog sledding should be mutually enjoyed between both our guests and our pack. Our intention is to never take advantage of our husky heroes desire to run and pull.
“What do I wear on my tour, and do I need to bring anything?”
We ask you to wear a warm insulated winter jacket, boots and snow pants and layer accordingly to the weather, as well as a warm toque and gloves. You can bring goggles or sunglasses and a small bag with water, snacks, and extra warm layers.
Check out our what to wear page for additional information on what to wear and what not to wear.
“How fast do the sled dogs run & how many dogs on a team?”
Our winter tours are designed to offer a thrilling, adventurous experience. Since dogs are living beings and are not a constant, speed can differ. Our teams are structured every day based on the weight they are pulling, the trail conditions and their run/rest schedule. These custom teams are designed with your safety and enjoyment in mind. Based on the information stated above, our sled teams are made up of 6-8 husky hero’s and can run up to an average of 8-11km per hour.
“Can we bring treats for our team?”
We ask that our guests do not bring any food for our pack given their very specific diets. Our dogs receive 3 cups of high-calorie broth mixed with kibble and canned food after every tour, followed by a cube of beef/bison meat as a nice tasty treat! Our two-legged team will be feeding our husky heroes to ensure they are receiving all necessary nutrition and hydration requirements.
“What breeds of dog do you use & are they big/fluffy?”
Yes, some of our husky heroes are big however, many people have a misconception that all sled dogs are huge and fluffy – this is mostly because of the many movies featuring the “show-style” Siberian husky and Alaskan Malamute. However, there are many sled dog breeds that exist that are smaller than the arctic breeds. We use the Canadian Indian Husky, Seppala Siberian Sled Dog, Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Canadian Inuit Husky, Alaskan Husky and the Alaskan Racing husky. Meet our pack here!
“What if it is too cold?”
Tours will be in full operation unless the temperatures are colder than -26°C, taking the wind-chill factor into consideration or +10°C at the trailhead. Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours™ also reserves the right to cancel their tours if they deem the elements to be unsafe for their sled dogs, staff, and guests. This includes but is not limited to extreme cold, unsafe trail conditions and poor road conditions. Guests will be issued a full refund or given the option to reschedule their tour at Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours™ earliest available date.
“Do you take individuals with disabilities, physical restrictions, medical conditions, or are pregnant?”
Yes! We always recommend that a medical professional is consulted prior to making a reservation to ensure dog sledding is an appropriate activity to participate in and any restrictions noted can then be passed on to our team. We have had the pleasure of taking many visitors with mobility restrictions, terminal illnesses, pregnant women as well as hearing impaired and visually impaired guests. At the time of reservation, our team will discuss options to ensure anyone with any restrictions/conditions are comfortable and supported.
“How long does your winter season last?”
We start running our 2-hour Powder Hound Express tour in December; however, it is pending snow conditions. We can start running our longer tours in January. Our tours are available till April with snow condition pending.
“Can we take photos while on tour?”
Yes of course!