The Mayor’s Travel Memories from the Road (Dog Sledding!)

Right now, I’m not traveling thanks to the pandemic, and I’ve been writing about various travel memories I have made on the road. Of course, anything involving animals is a bright spot, like feeding a baby yak in Crawford, watching the horse drive in Maybell, and cuddling lambs at The Living Farm.  

The Mayor’s Travel Memories from the Road (Dog Sledding!) Snow Mountain Ranch. HeidiTown
Snow Mountain Ranch

Personally, I think dogs are the best beings on the planet. They are better than people and yes, slightly better than cats (although I have one of those too). My point is that dogs rule, and I have felt this way since I was born.

In high school, one of my teachers had a brother who competed in the Iditarod. I watched every year and subsequent years after high school. I longed to go dog sledding one day.

The Mayor’s Travel Memories from the Road (Dog Sledding!), Dog Sleds of Winter Park 2013
Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park

I moved to Colorado in 1999 and had no idea that there were dog sledding outfitters here. The first time I had the opportunity to go was in 2013, in Winter Park. This company no longer operates but it was an exciting experience and resulted in some beautiful wintry photographs.

RELATED: Dog Sledding with Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park, Colorado

This was a sit-down ride and I longed to dog sled like a real musher. Three years later, I got my chance at Snow Mountain Ranch also in Grand County, northwest of Winter Park. We were staying at this YMCA property and so we got to go on a longer, Friday excursion that lasted approximately 50 minutes. It was one of the best 50 minute periods of my life.

I stood behind a musher named Martha Sortland and we rode over the hills and through the woods on a perfect, slightly foggy winter morning. I think I spent a lot of time yelling joyfully in poor Martha’s ear, but it was fun. It felt like flying. 

RELATED: Dog Sledding at Snow Mountain Ranch

My latest experience of dog sledding came in 2019 in Durango, and this one was special. Not only was this a fast and exhilarating ride, but I also got to cuddle with a sled dog puppy. This was especially wonderful because earlier that year we had lost our German Shepherd of 15 ½ years. 

The Mayor’s Travel Memories from the Road (Dog Sledding!) Durango Dog Ranch. HeidiTown
Durango Dog Ranch. If this little guy had fit in my pocket I might have taken him home.

This is a super easy dog sled experience because Durango Dog Ranch is located near Purgatory Resort. On my trip, Ryan went skiing and I went dog sledding (my pick up spot was in the ski resort parking lot).

It was February when I visited and the track was fast. I felt like we were racing across the crusty snow.

If you have the opportunity to go dog sledding this winter, do it. There are outfitters across Colorado and it’s an outing every dog lover will enjoy.

Do you have a memorable winter experience? Share it here in the comment section.


  1. I might have to try that this year if they’re open! I volunteered at the Iditarod in 2016. 17 days with the dogs! We’ve sponsored Decaf on SP Kennels team since he was a pup! Love the sport.


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