When I knew I was coming to Canada, I started researching what to do and the first thing that jumped out at me was dog sledding. Therefore on discovering I could do it from Banff, it was a no brainer and I signed up. Luck was certainly on our side since it was the last trip of the season.
On arrival to our sledding trip, we soon discovered why they are called howling dogs. There was a chorus of dog hoooowling as the huskies were getting very excited about the impending trip.
Not to take any risks with the cold, I made sure I was rugged up with layers of thermals and my super duper down jacket. I thought sitting on a sleigh for 2 hours could get quite chilly after a while, but the tour company had it sorted. The sleigh was like a bed on snow. I had heaps of blankets to wrap myself up in. In fact for the first time in Canada I was actually too warm!!!
Eventually all snug in my “bed on snow” and we off, dashing through the snow. It was great fun, but very, very bouncy. My bum kept hurdling out of the sleigh and then crashing back down again. I think sitting in a sleigh is only for short period otherwise your bum would get pretty sore.
Before the trip I did have a few reservations whether it was cruel getting some poor doggies to lug my fat butt around, however now I have no shadow of a doubt they love their job. The only part they hated was the stopping!!! Every time we stopped they’d turn their heads impatiently towards the guide as if to say “What now? Can we go, can we go, can we go!!!!!”
Half way through the tour we stopped for a hot chocolate break and then much to the dogs’ delight we are on the road snow again. This time I braved the back of the sleigh. I’m sure the guide did it on purpose, but each time we started he’d just go without any warning. It’s definitely more exhilarating balancing haphazardly on the left rung of the sleigh and holding on for dear life.
Dog sledding is definitely something to experience once in your life.
Info: Obviously this is only a winter time activity, in the summer the dogs are on holiday. I did the sledding tour with Howling Dogs Tour. Unfortunately, like most tourist attractions in Western countries, you pay a premium. 2 hours cost $155 per person plus tip. The price included pick-up from the hostel, 2 hours sledding, hot chocolate and biscuits, and solid boots to prevent you falling.