Dog Sledding in Canada – Our Favorite Whistler Day Trip
When we booked our holiday vacation to Whistler, we expected that the skiing would be exceptional. What we didn’t expect was to have an equally exceptional experience dog sledding in Canada’s Soo Valley with the Whistler Sled Dog Co. We planned this Whistler day trip to be a surprise for our sons. It turned out to be their favorite travel adventure EVER, which is incredible considering how much of the world they have seen.
The Soo Valley is a short 20 minute drive from Whistler Village, which is amazing considering its remote and pristine nature. When we arrived at the staging point, we were greeted by dozens of noisy, cheerful dogs and their friendly mushers. It became immediately clear that the people in this operation are absolutely devoted to the health, safety and happiness of their dogs, and that the dogs LOVE their human drivers and their job.
The dogs were incredibly friendly and gentle, with kisses for everybody. Everyone on the tour, including children, participated in helping the dogs into their harnesses and attaching their harnesses to the sleds. Once they were ready to go, the dogs went WILD they were so eager to start their journey: they howled and yipped and pulled at the reigns with anticipation.
I decided to let my seven year old drive with the musher after I was comfortably tucked in with cozy blankets inside the sled. Then we were off. The dogs loved working as a team, and responded happily to our praise. The route we took along the river was gorgeous, and we learned a lot about the history of dog sledding in Canada and the individual histories of the dogs on our team.
After the tour, there was time for plenty of healthy and delicious snacks in front of the warming hut’s toasty wood stove. There was more information about the history of dog sledding inside the hut, and the mushers were more than happy to share their experiences with us. The boys were also thrilled to purchase small stuffed huskies to take home, and I was very happy with the professional photos taken of us on our tour.
A testament to the humane nature of this sledding company is that when a dog decides on his own accord to retire (whether he is two years old or 12), he remains a member of the company until he is adopted by a worthy family. Some of the dogs who refuse to be harnessed still choose to run alongside the sleds, keeping their human and canine friends company on the tour. It is truly heartwarming to experience the incredible relationship of musher and sled dog.
As for my son, he will never forget the names of the beautiful members of our team: many many thanks to Robin Hood, Question, Inky, Coal, Gretzky and Eagle, for the experience of a lifetime!
How to Book
This Whistler day trip is easy to book on line or via phone. Check out http://www.whistler.com/dog_sledding/. You can choose from a variety of tours, but the most common takes about three hours. The sledding company will pick you up via van at a location conveniently located near Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa in the Whistler Village. A single sled will hold up to two adults and one child; you have the option of hiring as many sleds as you require. Children are welcome, as long as they are over 4 years of age. It’s a good idea to wear whatever you would on the ski mountain, including snow pants, snow mittens and goggles. Don’t forget to also wear a warm pair of waterproof boots.
Please remember that mushers are often motivated and rewarded more by the love of their dogs than by financial gain. Please consider tipping your mushers so that this incredible experience remains available in the future.
- Read more about family vacations to Whistler, Canada.
- See all of our vacation photos from Whistler.
- Read all of our tips and articles about skiing.
Our Hilton Mom Voyage team members live throughout the U.S. and have traveled by air and car all over the world with their families!