The first time I met a sled dog I fell in love. There was something about the wild nature of the Alaskan Husky that spoke to me. Today, dog sledding in Steamboat is a passion I share not just with my family and friends but with guests who travel to see us from around the world.
My name is Tom Thurston and my journey with sled dogs began with one. What started as desire to have a companion for back country exploration soon grew from one dog to two and eventually from two dogs into the forty dogs we now have. Over the past ten years I have traveled tens of thousands of miles with my best friends both training and racing. We are proud to have been awarded race victories, veterinary awards for care of our dogs and sportsmanship awards. For four years I traveled up to Iditarod, Alaska to race in the Last Great Race on Earth where my furry companions and I traveled 1,049 miles to Nome, Alaska retracing the original Iditarod trail that brought serum to Nome where they were battling diphtheria. Today, my focus is on sharing what I love with visitors to Steamboat Springs. Dog Sledding Steamboat is more than just another adventure. When you meet your team of dogs, you will feel the loyalty and love of these dogs. When you step on your sled you’ll feel the strength of these dogs. When the dog sled tour is over, you may just say like so many of our clients have that this has been the greatest experience of your life. We certainly hope so.
Join us today and book your dog sledding adventure in Steamboat Springs. We look forward to meeting you.
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Steamboat Spring Boat Rentals is officially closed for the season and now our full attention turns to our dogs. An executive decision was made to name our summer litters after Harry Potter characters. So don’t be surprised if next year you bump into Harry, Hermione, Ron, Snape, Dumbledore and more on the trails. They are growing quickly and are socializing well. They get out to play around in the yard and climb the hills behind our house and love doing it. Our retired dogs are always excited to get out for a walk on a cool morning or afternoon and with the sheep herders bringing their sheep in soon more trails will open up to us for the fall and winter. Our Christmas season is booking up quickly so if you want to head out on a dogsledding adventure in Steamboat for the week between Christmas and New Years, be sure to book now! and ask for the South Tour!
We are excited to announce that an image of Tom mushing his dog is being considered for this winter’s Steamboat Visitor’s Guide. We can’t wait.
If you want to experience dog sledding in Steamboat for yourselves, you may be able to go on a tour as early as late November this year. Our business is dictated by the weather. Some years we’re open by Thanksgiving and other years it’s closer to Christmas. After taking a look at the Farmer’s Almanac, we may see Snowfall “above normal in the north and below normal elsewhere, with the snowiest periods in late November, mid- to late December, and mid- to late February.” If that’s true, booking an early season dog sledding tour is your best bet. Beat the crowds and feel like the wilderness is all your own. If you have a larger group you would like to accommodate we may be able to give you a private tour. Get in touch with us at 970-846-0249 for more details on private tours or visit our booking site at: http://www.steamboatdogsledding.com/tours.html
Happy Trails. This time of year is always bittersweet for us. Steamboat Springs Boat Rentals is wrapping up their season, so it will soon be time to say good-bye to afternoons on the lake but on the plus side, we are working on putting together a dog sledding race team. Tom Thurston’s (the owner) eldest daughter is going to race this year and we expect to have some amazing dogs for her to work with. Training puppies is always inspiring as most of them know what to do after their first or second time out on the run. The energy and passion they put into their work always pushes me to do better in my own life. If you would like to come out and drive your own dog sled team this winter, call us today and book the Steamboat Dog Sledding South Tour!
Fall 2016. Elton, one of our retired Steamboat Sled Dogs, had a stellar morning with an hour walk through the neighborhood. Unlike the city, our neighborhood is filled with sage, fox, deer, hawks and other critters. Elton kept up a good pace this morning and his old lope came back as he ran to find out what our house dog, Alma Rose, was sniffing here and there. We can’t wait for this season to start and to meet all the new visitors to dog sledding and welcome back those who have been here before. Reservations are already being made so if you are coming out for Christmas or New Years’ Eve be sure to call ahead so we can take you out on your preferred day. Remember to ask for the Steamboat Dog Sledding South Tour.
August 9, 2016. The mornings are finally cool enough for us to start four wheeler training. The dogs know. Summer is for play but the fall and winter and spring are for working. Steamboat dog sledding season is just around the corner and with the morning air getting cooler and cooler each day our sled dogs are crazed with excitement to get back to work. You would not believe the strength, love and loyalty these dogs give.
This summer we switched to Red Paw food for the sled dogs and the change has been incredible. The dogs’ coats are shinier and thicker. The dogs hardly ever leave a nibble behind. Good appetites are a key ingredient to a healthy sled dog. Once tours and racing starts, with cold winter temperatures, the dogs burn a ton of calories. Being excited to eat means they will keep on the weight they need so they can run as much as they want. While we know the dogs can’t wait to start our dog sled season in Steamboat, neither can we.
We spent the last couple of weeks upgrading the dogs’ living facilities so they can enjoy more play time and more comfortable accommodations. The mornings are finally starting to cool off a bit which means four wheeler training will begin soon. When August rolls around, you can tell the dogs are ready to get back to work. Their energy levels increase and they seem to be saying ‘let the adventures begin!
Steamboat Springs, CO. This has been an epic year for snow in Steamboat. Our early season base combined with day after day of snow just before Christmas and some fresh powder to top things off has created incredible running conditions for our Dog Sledding Steamboat Tours. Each day the dog’s energy seems to increase as we load them up in their customized dog truck. Friends are paired together for the short ride to Stagecoach Lake. Once their, our sled dogs are unloaded and get to relax while we set up sleds, gang lines and harnesses.
When the guests arrive, our dogs’ tails start wagging and the barking and howling begins because they know they will be running soon. Each dog is introduced to our guests along with a bit of history about their breeding and racing history. Guests are invited to harness the dogs, pet the dogs, or relax while we do the work.
As we begin hooking the dogs up to their lines, the excitement reaches its peak. Dogs jump and tug against their lines wanting to be free to run and run and run. Once the sleds leave, the hardest job our guests have is stopping them at each resting point. We check on our guests and dogs frequently during the dog sledding tour, to make sure everyone (people and dogs) are having fun. We also allow time for plenty of pictures.
Stagecoach Lake provides a scenic backdrop for our technical ride with lots of turns. For those who might be nervous at the thought of driving, our guides offer excellent instruction before and during the tours. We have had guests drive in their eighties as well as kids (as long as they meet the weight and height requirement) as young as 13 drive. We are alongside in snowmobiles in case any questions or concerns come up during the ride.
Once back at our warming hut, our sled dogs are allowed a well-deserved rest, but are always happy to get a few more pets and snuggles from guests or pose for pictures. We serve hot chocolate and cider and cookies and have some great t-shirts and books for our guests to peruse to end the experience.
With such a great year, we hope to see you out dog sledding Steamboat soon!
This week we had an 89 year old woman come out for a ride and she had a blast: They posted on Trip Advisor for Dog Sledding Steamboat:
What a great time- I took my 89year old
Mother and she loved it! She was as snug as a bug in a rug! It was so much fun learning to drive the sled and the dogs were fantastic! I loved the curves- just enough to be fun but not too much to be scary! We were super bundled up and were warm thanks to Rob and Amy- they made sure we had the right equipment. The instructions to drive were very well done – I didn’t have any problems.
One of the best parts of our job is getting to see young and old alike take their first trip with our sled dogs. When people experience the energy, love, determination and excitement of our dogs, it makes for an unforgettable day each and every day.
Last week we finally had some warmer weather but temperatures have dropped back into the negatives this week. Cold weather makes for spunky dogs and our retired dogs, Elton, Jumbo and Hank can’t wait for their walks in the cool morning air.
If you are in Steamboat Springs and are looking for a dog sledding Steamboat experience, book your tour today!
Yesterday we woke up to 14″ of snow. Plowing the driveway, so we could get the dogs to their tours, took 40 minutes. After the driveway was plowed it was on to Stagecoach Lake to groom the trail out there. Many people have seen movies about dog sledding and think sled dogs can drive through waist deep snow if they have to. They can, but convincing them they should is a much different matter, not to mention that injuries are much more likely to occur when dogs are working through deep snow conditions. Like humans, they usually prefer a nice, groomed trail where they can find their footing and keep a steady pace. Especially when we are working with younger dogs, we want each run to be a positive experience for them so they continue to be excited to do what they do. After plowing their trail it was off to pick up our guests and run! More snow is expected tonight and temperatures have warmed up a bit making tours more comfortable for our mushers and their passengers. If you want to experience the beauty, power and unforgettable experience of dog sledding steamboat, call us today.
Snow, snow and more snow. Steamboat is blanketed in snow and we are looking forward to a long, full season of dog sled tours. January is a bit of a slow month for us and the dogs are looking forward to when things pick up so they can all be on the trail at least once or twice a day. The energy of these dogs is amazing especially when they get in shape! We had some friends from Steamboat out to dog sled for the first time this week. They had a blast! Until you have been on a sled and felt these dogs pull, you can’t imagine how these dogs, pound for pound are the strongest pulling animals in the world. All we can say is, we love our dogs! They amaze us every day!
There has been a ton of snow in Steamboat Springs over the last week, which means early mornings of getting up around 3:00 a.m. to groom the trails so the dogs aren’t punching through the snow during their runs. With high winds we often face a lot of snow drifts on the trails that can blow up higher than a dog’s head. The groomer helps make sure the dogs are having as much fun during dog sled tours as the people are. With winter turning the corner towards spring we’ll start harness training a few of our young puppies soon. With just a few puppies, it’s easy to get them to understand what’s going on. We take the out to the trailhead and let them watch the other dogs get hooked up for a few days and try their harnesses on so they know how a harness feels on their backs. To train, I go out with the guides, pair up the puppies with older, more experienced sled dogs and take it nice and easy for them. It’s amazing how quickly they understand what I want them to do and how excited they get to do it. This year we’ll be training Brie, Blue and Muenster, our litter named after cheeses. The idea for the cheese litter came from one of our passengers last year, a young girl who had some amazing ideas of what to name dogs!
A huge part of why I love guiding dog sled tours in Steamboat is the people I meet. From philanthropists to NHL hockey players, to kids whose eyes open wide when they meet all the dogs, we have so many interesting people visit us. This week we had people out enjoying some warmer weather than we’ve been having in Steamboat this winter, as well as slightly slushy afternoon conditions. When the snow starts to melt we run the dogs a little more slowly to help keep them from overheating. Surprisingly 20-30 degrees can be hot for a sled dog. Their ideal running conditions are zero degrees and below. In those temperatures the dogs can run, can exert themselves without getting too hot. Think about running in the middle of summer versus crisp, cool fall conditions. The sun has been a nice change from all the snow we’ve had this year, but after a few more days of the sun we’ll be ready for another snowstorm! If you want to experience what it’s like feel the power and experience the beauty of sled dogs, book your dog sled ride in Steamboat today!
Here are a few of our latest TripAdvisor reviews. We love our guests!
Dog sledding has been on my bucket list, but my wife was excited to give it a try. The total experience was more than what we expected. The owner did a great job introducing us to the dogs, the equipment, how to work with the dogs and operate the sled. We were both able to run the sled on the great 7.5 mile course. I also enjoyed talking to Tom, the owner, about his experiences racing the Iditarod sled dog race.
We had a beautiful experience sledding around Stagecoach. The care and knowledge by Tom and his staff was superb! The dogs were so sweet and my 4 year old son enjoyed petting and loving on all of them. It was amazing to see the dogs so eager to work, and then as soon as we hit the trail it was so silent. I found myself drifting off in dreams of what the Iditarod would be like. I highly recommend this experience for everyone! It is something that the whole family can be involved in, learn from, and enjoy!! We are blessed to have such an amazing activity in our community.
We went for a Girl’s Trip in mid-February to Steamboat Springs and we didn’t want to ski, so we basically decided to do everything else. I was the one who was dying to go dog sledding, so we called and researched the local dog sledding companies and checked the reviews on TA. Grizzle-T Dog Sledding was the one who accommodated our little group the quickest and was willing to come pick us up. We did the South Tour, which was about 7.5 miles long. Cody (our driver and one of the guides) picked us up and was very sweet and personable answering our questions about the area and about the experience itself. The set-up these guys have is great. The dogs are very sweet and eager to run. They make sure you are safe and comfortable throughout the experience. Tom, the owner, was great giving directions and guiding everyone with the snowmobile. The set up for us was Tom (snowmobile), 2 dog sleds, Cody (snowmobile), 2 dogs sleds, and another guide on a snowmobile taking up the rear. My friend and I flipped the sled within 5 minutes of leaving, but Cody was right there to help us and give instructions on what I did wrong. Mind you, we never flipped again. I’m not going to lie it was a scary experience, but it was also one of the most wonderful and empowering experiences I have had and would do again with Tom and his team in a heartbeat. I would highly recommend this excursion and this team to anyone considering dog sledding.
My family and I, two kids and my husband, were just in Steamboat for Christmas week. We did dog sledding on Christmas Eve, the South Trail. It was an incredible experience. You actually drive the sled yourself. My husband got the hang of it quickly. The dogs are really fast, so get ready for a ride. This is their flat trail, but it’s not quite flat. It’s got some twists and turns, so it will definitely not be a disappointment. It was a very cold day, so do dress warm, like you’re going skiing. The guides were great. They are right there with you if you have any issues. A lot of fun if you’ve never done it and want to add some adventure to your trip.