Did you know you can go dogsledding in northern Alberta?
I didn’t until this winter (Jan 2022) when I headed up near Grande Prairie to experience Elevation Sled Dog Adventures as part of a tourism video project with Travel Alberta and my friend Chad Kruger Productions! Watch the video (who doesn’t love dog content!!) and learn more about Elevation Sled Dog Adventures below:
For this video, we met with Aaron Peck, the owner and lead musher (and actually, one of Canada’s lead dog mushers), of Elevation Sled Dog Adventures located near Grande Prairie in northern Alberta. Aaron has spent nearly 30 years running sled dogs. Aaron explained that historically, sled dogs were used for things like mail delivery, hunting, trapping and general transportation. Now it’s often recreational, or for competition.
In fact, it’s Aaron’s dream to have his sled dogs become the first Canadian team to win the world-renowned Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska. This race takes place annually each March and a Canadian team has never won. Aaron placed 14th last year, and acknowledges that he probably has many years to go before he mushes a team to the top spot, but he’s determined!
“We’ve been training hard all year to prepare for the big event. iIt’s the ultimate opportunity to spend a week and a half alone with my dogs in the wilderness,” Aaron says.
I loved hearing Aaron talk about his sled dogs.
“All the dogs are special to us in their own unique way, they’re all individuals just like people, they all have their own personalities,” Aaron says.
The dogs each have their own little shelters at the sled dog site, and also live together and train in a bigger space when they’re not running the recreational tours.
These dogs LOVE running. In fact, it’s in their blood. Just like it’s in sheep dogs to guard and move sheep and other livestock, it’s in sled dogs to love running and pulling the sled.
And we could tell. As soon as the dogs got hooked up, they couldn’t stop telling us how excited they were to get going (the barking in the video doesn’t really do all the excited barking we heard justice lol).
Elevation Sled Dog Adventures offers two types of sled dog tours: The Evergreen Expedition, which is a daytime run that lasts approximately an hour and a half and includes a short break at the halfway point to have hot chocolate and hang out with the dogs, as well as The Night Rider tour which is basically the nighttime version of The Evergreen Expedition. Real dog mushers have to navigate trails in the darkness with just a headlight, so this experience mimics the type you’d experience if you were a real musher. In both tours you learn how to harness and hook up dogs, how to sit or stand in the sled or behind it, and some of the common dog mushing commands. Both tours are incredible experiences!!
Having tried dog sledding once before with a different provider, I have to say I really loved Elevation Sled Dog’s because they have an expert guide come with to help guide the dogs.
The other tour company I had tried has the guests do the mushing and while that is a cool experience, it’s also a lot of pressure to put on a customer (I personally think lol) so I much preferred Elevation Sled Dog’s method—which allows you to enjoy the scenery and the experience more, and not worry about messing up the mushing—or causing problems for the dogs! Plus, it frees up your hands to take photos and video, which is also very important of course (lol).
I had such a joyful time and a truly unFURgettable experience going dogsledding with Elevation Sled Dog Adventures. Their season usually wraps up by end of February each year. I highly recommend you emBARK on this winter experience!
It’s also especially cool because Aaron’s dog sledding tours bring so much to the community—it’s an awesome attraction for tourists and Albertans acting as tourists, and while you’re in the area, you can check out even more great experiences in and near Grande Prairie.
“We’ve had so many wonderful people out that have had their time of the life and it brings us joy and fulfilment to offer that service,” Aaron says.
Right here in Grande Prairie, I feel you have probably one of the best sled dog experiences you can find anywhere.”
- Learn more about Elevation Sled Dog Adventures
- Read my 2016 blog post on Things to Do in Grande Prairie
- Read my 2018 blog post on Things to Do in Grande Cache
- Check out Travel Alberta’s Suggestions for Things to Do in Grande Prairie
- Check out the Grande Prairie Regional Tourism Association
- Check out more Dog Sled Adventures in Alberta
And be sure to subscribe to Travel Alberta’s YouTube Channel for more video ideas to explore the province.
Note: this post is NOT sponsored by Travel Alberta. I’m working with them as a contractor for video production but not for blog / social media (these are just things I’d share about anyway lol).
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