Dog Sledding in the present day is widely considered to be a fun, exhilarating tourist experience available in snowy vacation destinations such as Jackson Hole. Once upon a time it was an essential means to cover miles of ground during the cold, winter months. Artifacts suggest this mode of transportation was developed over 20,000 years ago, and in North America was most likely invented by the native Inuit people in modern day Northern Canada. Traditionally dog sledding was used to transport supplies and not people, but as new age technology like snowmobiles became more available this essential service developed into an exciting wintertime sport. Historical dog sledding races still exist today, such as the incredible Iditarod which is an average of 1000 miles long or the 300-mile Pedigree Stage Stop Race which originated in Wyoming.
Here in Jackson Hole, you don't just have to be an onlooker when it comes to dog sledding, you can be a participant! If you want the full experience of dog sledding there are three amazing companies near Jackson, WY that provide this service: Call of the WYld, Jackson Hole Iditarod Dog Sledding Tours and Continental Divide Dog Sledding.
Looking for a quick ride in between skiing sessions? The Call of the WYld company offers private, hour-long sledding experiences and is conveniently located at the Teton Village. This company has been operating since 2019 and maintains a healthy dog team primarily composed of Greenland, Alaskan and Siberian Huskies. When envisioning a team of dogs, you might have the misperception of only Siberian Huskies pulling the sled. The fascinating reality is that due to the historically high demand for sled dogs in North America the Siberian Huskies were crossbred with a myriad of domestic dog breeds to create the ultimate competitor- the Alaskan Husky. The lineage of the Alaskan Husky can be traced back to breeds like greyhounds, labradors, pointers and setters. If interested in just meeting the diverse team of dogs that make Call of the WYld possible, consider stopping by for their Yappy Hour Wednesday-Monday from 12-1pm to show those hard-working pups some love!
Looking for a longer, more immersive dog sledding experience? Check out the Jackson Hole Iditarod Dog Sledding company. Both full day and half day tours are available. The full day trip includes lunch and a visit to the natural Granite Hot Springs pool, which in winter can only be accessed by over snow travel. So not only do you get to enjoy the thrill of gliding down a snowy trail, pulled by a team of overly eager Alaskan Huskies, but also swim in the geothermally heated waters of a spring nestled in the wilds of the Gros Ventre Mountain Range. Jackson Hole Iditarod Dog Sledding tours is the first company that began offering guided rides to visitors. This business is co-founded by Frank Teasley, who is an eight-time Iditarod race veteran- so he knows what goes into caring for the magnificent canines that happily pull those sleds. Both half and full day tours include access to hot beverages and soup to make sure you stay toasty along your tour.
East of Jackson Hole is where Continental Divide Dog Adventures operates. This company offers morning and afternoon half day tours near the- as the name implies -the Continental Divide, the very geological formation that separates the western and eastern watersheds of North America. These tours begin from the Togwotee Mountain Lodge, which is higher in elevation than the town of Jackson, WY. This often equates to more snow cover, and the possibility for pristine views of the stunning Teton Mountain Range. If you cannot get enough of the winter wonderland of Wyoming, Continental Divide Dog Sled Adventures offers the option of having lunch along the trail. While you might think the Alaskan Huskies would enjoy a lunch break during the tour, you will likely be met with a chorus of barks, yips and howls as soon as the sled stops. These dogs are bred to run, born to pull. Holding still is a greater feat for them than hauling you and that sled down the snow laden route. In regard to appetites- these sled dogs can consume an average of 10,000 calories a day to maintain their strength and stamina!
A dog sledding experience is a unique family friendly adventure available to those visiting Jackson Hole in the winter. Do not hesitate to book a tour with one of these reputable companies! Just make sure to dress warm, as if you were skiing or going out to play in the snow. A cozy hat, hood and scarf are highly recommended considering the dog teams can pull the sleds at speeds of 6-8 mph, which can result in chilly gusts to your face and head. The sleds will be equipped with a windproof cover to go over your legs and potentially a warm blanket as well. So don’t let the cold be a deterrent! If interested in a tour, reach out directly to one of the dog sledding companies, or if you have questions Visit our Visitor Services Centers or give the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce a call at (307) 733-3316!