Surely you’ve heard of the Iditarod—the most renowned dog sled race in the world. How about the story of Balto? Or maybe you’ve seen the movie Iron Will? No matter what your introduction to dog sled racing, it’s a fascinating sport that you can experience during your Steamboat ski vacation!
That’s right, learn to be a musher and run your very own team of sled dogs! Back before modern technologies, horses and dogs were a primary method of transportation, apart from skis that is. Take a step back in time with these Steamboat dog sledding experiences.
Snow Buddy Dog Sled Tours
This family-owned and operated dog sled tour business is known for treating their guests like part of the pack! Dan and Sarah Plano have been guiding for over 20 years and share their passion for the sport and the outdoors with every guest. The Plano’s are the Jack & Jill of all trades! A long-time friend of Snow Buddies is Jimmy Lebling, one of their guides and an Iditarod competitor. Instead of racing through the winter, he has decided to take some time off and join the team.
Snow Buddies operates their tours on Dunckley Pass in the backcountry of Routt National Forest. Travel the snow-packed trails in the Little Flat Tops winter wonderland. Take in the views and learn about mushing from the ground up!
Adventures With Snow Buddy Dog Sled Tours
Three Hour Adventure
Take your pick of driving your own team or enjoy a fully-guided, exhilarating experience on Dunckley Pass. This three hour tour gives you the full on, in-depth tutorial on mushing. Learn about everything from harnessing and hooking up the team to actually driving them out on trail. Enjoy the beautiful scenery around you and take a break at their wall tent secluded deep in the Routt National Forest. The dogs will get a rest and you get to enjoy some homemade snacks and hot beverages while you get to know your guides and snap some photos. Then, head on back to the trailhead to wrap up your tour!
Pricing for this tour is $180/adult and $115/child (100lbs & under). There is a maximum weight of 400lbs. per sled. If you would like shuttle service from Steamboat, that is an extra $30/person and there is a $90 minimum. Tour times are at 9am and 1pm.
Learn To Mush
If you want more than the three hour adventure, then this is your tour! You will learn about everything from driving the sled to comprehensive animal care. This tour will not disappoint—it’s a full day excursion! Explore Dunckley Pass with your guide, take in the views of the Flat Tops, Zirkel Wilderness, and Steamboat Ski Area from your remote location.
This tour is by appointment only, so be sure to give them a call for reservations and pricing! There is a max weight of 285lbs. per driver. Unfortunately, there are no passengers allowed on this tour.
Snow Buddies offers an exclusive, romantic dog tour that takes couples (no more than 5 people from the same party) out to their rustic camp located in Little Flat Tops. There, guests are provided with a gourmet dinner catered by a local gourmet restaurant and presented by your guide. You will be surrounded by tall aspens, moonlight reflecting off the snow, and the starry night sky above. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss, and perfect for a grand romantic gesture!
The cost of the Dinner Tour is $575/couple. There is a 450lb. weight limit and the tour begins at sunset—a time that will vary throughout the season.
Reservations With Snow Buddy Dog Sled Tours
Reservations are made easy as can be! Just click here to book online. Or, call the Snow Buddies team at 970.291.1114. Be advised that reservations are recommended to ensure your spot. They do require a credit card and a deposit to book and hold your reservation.
If you need to cancel, call at least 48 hours in advance. There is a $100 booking/cancellation fee that will not be refunded. If you cancel within 48 hours, you will forfeit the full cost of your tour.
Grizzle-T Dog & Sled Works
Learn how to run a team of sled dogs from an Iditarod competitor! Kris Hoffman and his wife Sara own and operate Grizzle-T. This kennel has a 34 year history of racing and breeding Alaskan Huskies for the Iditarod. Kris has been racing and breeding since 2000 and loves to see the smile on someone’s face when they step on the runners for the first time. Plus, he gets to go to work everyday alongside his best four-legged friends! So, how about learning from the best?
Tour Options With Grizzle-T
Learn to drive your own dog team along 12.5 miles of backcountry trails! This 2 hour on-sled tour is located abut 20 minutes west of Steamboat in Milner, CO. Your team of Alaskan Huskies will take you and your sled partner through the beautiful snow-covered trails. One person will start as the driver and the other as the passenger. Half way around the trail, you will stop and switch drivers, if your passenger is an adult.
The cost is $185/adult (80lbs. and over), $110/child (under 80lbs.), and $45/lap child (typically 2 years old). Peak season (December 22 to January 5) pricing does go up to $200/adult and $120/child. There is a complimentary shuttle that will transport you to and from the kennels from your hotel/condo in Steamboat. Pick up times are at 8am returning to around 12pm and 1pm returning to Steamboat at 5pm.
Tom Thurston, an Iditarod racing veteran and guide for Grizzle-T runs the South Trail. This 8-mile trail winds along the shores of the Stagecoach Reservoir, located about 30 minutes South of downtown Steamboat. Out here, they have two different options to choose from. There is the “Drive Your Own Team” tour where you get to actually drive the sled. Or, if you would rather be a passenger, then jump on the “Guide Driven” tour and experience mushing at the hands on one of the worlds best. Guide Driven tours do have a weight restriction of 350lbs. Mix and match any combo of adults and children without maxing out that weight for your ride!
Pricing for the “Guide Driven” tour is $390/sled with a maximum weight of 350lbs. During Peak Season (December 22 to January 5), pricing is $415/sled. The “Drive Your Own” tour pricing is $185/adult (80lbs and up), $110/child (under 80lbs), and $45/lap child (typically 2 years old). Peak season pricing is $200/adult and $120/child. The South Trail also has complimentary shuttle service to and from your hotel/condo in Steamboat. Pick-up times are 8:30am returning to Steamboat at 12pm and 1:00pm returning to Steamboat around 4:30pm.
Reservations With Grizzle-T Dog & Sled Works