Frequently Asked Questions
"Is your team allowed to accept gratuities?"
In Canada it is acceptable to tip your guide, reservations agent or bus driver if you feel they did an exceptional job. Gratuities are at your own discretion and are certainly appreciated.
"Where are your tours operated?"
Our trail head is located in Spray Valley Provincial Park, part of the iconic Kananaskis Country in Alberta, Canada. Our trails are nestled between vast mountain ranges, streams, rivers, glaciers, lakes, ponds and towering forests. However, before heading up into this beautiful back country for your tour, everyone is required to check-in at our office location, located at #109 - 829 10th st Canmore, AB.
"How fast do the sled dogs run & how many dogs on a team?"
Our teams are designed to cruise. On average, our sled dogs travel approx. 10 km/hr however, since dogs are living beings and are not a constant, speed can differ, especially in different snow/weather conditions. It is also important to remember that we are a touring company and our husky heroes are touring sled dogs, not racing sled dogs. 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. Guests can expect to see teams from 5 to 8 husky heroes.
"Do we get to interact with the sled dogs?"
Of course! Most all of our sled dogs LOVE to visit with our guests however, we do have some shy sled 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 guests jackets, scarves, mittens and will even grab your hand with their mouth when you go to leave because they want you to stay and pet them! Remember...the longer the tour, the more time you have with our pack!
"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 sled 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 sled 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!
"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. Many companies boast about having no weight restriction per sled, forcing the same amount of dogs to pull over 600lbs. The concept of "adding more dogs to the sled" is a way for these companies to deceive people into believing the number of dogs on their sled has been adjusted and is humane. The reality is it would take a minimum of 10 sled dogs to pull over 600lbs (in order for the dogs to enjoy it). Companies that do not implement weight limits portray accommodating customer service, solely with a gain of sales in mind, resulting in taking advantage of their dogs.
"Are self-driven sleds safe & can they be driven without experience?"
Yes to both questions! We provide an informative instruction at the beginning of each tour. During this time we teach our guests how to drive a dog team and cover all aspects in safety and controlling the sled. Each self-driven sled is following closely behind one of our experienced instructors who provide support the entire duration of the tour. Additionally, our pack of husky heroes are very well trained, socialized and cared for making them wonderful and trustworthy companions out on the trail!
"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 and restrictions/conditions are comfortable and supported.
"How long does your dog sledding season last?"
Typically we have enough snow to open our 2hr. Powder Hound Express by December 1st however, if we experience sufficient snow in November, we can be open as early as November 1st. Our longer tours generally open after January 15th as they require more snow coverage.
Our season is entirely dependent on snow conditions and weather and each season varies. Normally we can operate our tours until mid-April however, we can even run until the end of April if snow conditions permit.
"What time of year is best for dog sledding & what are the best tour times?"
Time of year: February & March - around this time of year we generally have optimum snow conditions and fairly mild temperatures. However, the weather is unpredictable and we can still experience colder than the average temperatures at this time of year.
Tour times - all are great but here are some points to consider:
9am & 11am: best lighting for photos
11am & 1pm: warmest times of the day
"Can we take photos while on tour?"
Yes of course! Photos can be taken by the person sitting in the sled however, not while driving the sled dog team. We also have a professional photographer on site who takes photos as our guests depart on their tour and return.
"Are there any age restrictions to go dog sledding or to drive the sled?"
We do have some age restrictions for some of our tours which can be found on our Winter Adventures page here. Most all adults can drive the sled unless otherwise advised by a medical professional or the individual has restrictions that may make driving a sled unsafe. For young children and teenagers, it is at the discretion of our instructors on site. It will be entirely dependent on current trail conditions, weight, height and individual capabilities.
"Why can't we drive to your dog sledding site?"
The Smith Dorrian highway is a secondary highway which travels up the side of Rundle mountain and back behind Canmore's mountain ranges. This winding mountain road is not paved, has plenty of sharp blind corners, open water (without barriers) and has lots of icy/snow covered areas. Furthermore, this road is out of cell phone reception which means if guests get lost, they cannot call our office. Taking our transportation is mandatory to avoid guests getting lost, showing up for their tour late and most of all, for safety.