Silently gliding through the snow on a sled powered only by an experienced team of Alaskan Huskies is downright blissful. Dog sledding in Jackson Hole isn't far behind the Iditarod itself; OK, maybe a more relaxing version.
Snow-covered trees flash by as the cold, dry air fills your lungs. The only sound is polished steel carving its line through the freshly fallen snow.
Working as one with a team of sled dogs is different than cross-country skiing or speeding through the backcountry via snowmobile. The snow is the same and the terrain is the same, but feeling the reins and natural energy exuded by these powerful, winter-loving dogs creates an experience unlike anything else.
Jackson Hole Dog Sledding
There are a couple of outfitters that offer a wide range of options and itineraries for day or even overnight expeditions into our glorious backcountry wonderland. Go via this historic method of winter travel to Granite Hot Springs for a day trip, or experience overland travel the way they do it in the Iditarod by heading out to a well-stocked yurt for a night or more.
Let's be honest, the dogs used by the local outfitters are really the stars of the show. Nobody knows this more than the outfitters whose lifelong attachment to dog sledding and Alaskan Iditarod racing is quickly evident. Most Alaskan-racing Huskies have already competed at top North American endurance races or are being groomed to do so. Each dog in their kennels is receiving careful and impressive training for racing. Meet these wonderful dogs and you'll be wowed.
Experienced local guides know the dogs intimately and view them as true partners, many of them having raced in real Alaskan Iditarod competition together. Aside from being expert handlers and caretakers for the dogs, the guides also know how to show their human guests the best trip possible. They know the local geography intimately and will point out wildlife and special points of interest along the way. Tasty and warming meals are generally provided on a full day or longer outings.
Dog sledding tours have a wide range of costs because they are very customizable. Half-days, full days, multi-overnights and various destinations are in play. When you call the outfitter they can recommend the best tour for you.
Either way, be sure to dress super warmly.
Whatever the winter temperatures are outside, they will feel colder on your face when you're running fast through the open woods on a sled. Typically there is a warm, blanketed area on the sled to keep warm, but you'll be having so much fun that you may not even fully register the cold—nevertheless, layers are key. They are easy to stash on the sled for when you need them. Obviously a very warm hat and ear coverage is a must. Deep snow boots are also essential for the off-trail places you'll be heading.
For tips or suggestions on packing or how to layer up for an outdoors expedition like this, read our related article: Packing for Winter in Jackson Hole.
The Last Word
Feel what it's like to mush a dog sled team all on your own or lie back in the wrapped up warm pouch of the sled as you hurtle through the snow-laden landscape at amazing speed. And definitely ask to take a turn mushing. There's nothing quite like it!