I first experienced dog sledding at Snowy Owl 3 years ago. My wife and I loved it so much that we organized a special trip for our extended family to experience this first hand. We had relatives fly in from Asia, the USA and Canada.
We returned to Canmore this February and took the 2 hour "Powder Hound Express" tour with Snowy Owl Tours.
Let me share with you our experience.
We arrived at the Snowy Owl office and were greeted by a friendly worker. We had reserved via their 888 number so everything was already set. We only needed to take care of the payment and then we waited a little bit for the shuttle to take us to our dog sledding adventure.
The shuttle driver safely drived us up winding mountain roads to the Spray Lakes. We were greeted by a very enthusiastic and friendly lady. She encouraged us to meet the dogs that were eagerly awaiting to go on their morning treck. Our family went over to pet these loveable dogs and to snap up some pictures.
The lady called the participants and asked us to gather around her. She proceeded to give us the basics on dog sledding -- commands, encouraging the dogs, helping out the dogs by getting off the sled and running when you are going uphill, etc.
We then paired up in teams of three wihtin our family. One person would be mushing the dogs for the first leg of the treack while the other two would be comfortably tucked into the sled. When everyone was ready, we were off!! A Snowy Owl employee rode ahead of everyone else and would periodically pause to look back and see if everyone was doing OK with their team of dogs. The terrain was great... a mixture of hills, flat parts and an opportunity to take the dogs over a frozen lake.
At the midpoint, we got the chance to change roles between "mushers" and "passengers".
At the end of the trip, a photographer is waiting to snap up pictures of you and your team (they will sell it to you for $30 - we purchased them... the pictures were really good and quite frankly it's the only way to snap a good picture of your team in action).
After thanking your team of dogs for their work (and taking a lot of pictures with them), you warm up by the fire and are offered hot chocolate and cookies.
The shuttle then arrives with another series of adventurers and you are whisked back to the Snowy Owl office.
We can't wait for you next dog sledding adventure at Snowy Owl in 2 years!