Dog sledding in Colorado? Yes, you can. I’ve done it twice now and our experience this past week at Snow Mountain Ranch was like no other.
I was a huge fan of the Iditarod when I was a kid. The race incorporates lots of things I love; dogs, snow and perseverance.
Snow Mountain Ranch is part of the YMCA of the Rockies. It is located between Winter Park and Granby, Colorado and is a snow sports fanatic’s dream destination. In addition to dog sledding guests can participate in everything from cross country skiing to fat biking to ice skating and the best part? Guests never have to leave the property.
On our dog sled outing at Snow Mountain Ranch I got to ride behind musher Martha Sortland. After meeting the excited dogs, they were harnessed up and I hopped on the sled behind Sortland. She said to hold on, stand with my feet slightly pointed outwards and to let her do the leaning. Our start was much faster than I expected and I’m pretty sure I yelled, “Wheeeeee!” like a five-year-old.
Ryan was on a sled behind us with musher Olivia.
Riding on the back of a dog sled is a truly unique experience. Within minutes I felt like I was part of the team; I wasn’t simply a rider, but we were all – the 9 dogs, Martha and I – part of this machine that was magically moving across the snow.
It’s exciting, exhilarating and loads of fun, but it’s also peaceful. The trail winds through trees and across wide open rolling hills of snow. At times it felt as though we had left the ground and were flying.
At one point, while in a forest of pines, we came around a corner to discover a squirrel in the middle of the trail. He must have been startled into a paralytic state because he didn’t run, but just stood there facing down nine Siberian huskies.
Martha brought our team to a halt and finally the squirrel ran into the woods. Not one dog tried to chase the squirrel earning the entire team an A+ on the day.
“That was either a very brave or very stupid squirrel,” said Martha as we mushed on.
The combination of happy dogs, wind in my face and sparkling snow made for a spectacular outing. It will definitely be one of my fondest travel memories.
The Friday dog sled excursion at Snow Mountain Ranch is available to guests only and is approximately 50 minutes. Their standard rides are available to anyone and are just 15 minutes. If you have always wanted to go dog sledding I recommend booking a lodge room, cabin or yurt and then scheduling this amazing outing. Learn more at SnowMountainRanch.org.
Thank you to Snow Mountain Ranch for hosting us on this amazing dog sledding experience!