No one loves snowy fun more than Spot. Include him in your next getaway.
When packing for your next winter escape, don’t forget the essentials – your parka, your poles, even your pup – because the latest winter fun craze includes man’s best friend. Skijoring, Norwegian for “ski driving,” is a mash-up of cross-country skiing and dog sledding, and has skiers and canines happily panting along snow-packed trails like never before.
With origins as a quick means of transportation, skijoring can be traced back thousands of years. As a sport, the fun made its way to North America in the early 1900s. Connected by a rope, both owner and dog (or dogs!) hit the trails in special gear. While the skier wears a comfortable belt, Fido and friends are outfitted in harnesses designed for weight-pulling activity without restricting their natural gait.
With the power of momentum from the skier, however, the heavy lifting doesn’t fall completely on your lab, husky, or retriever. It’s truly a joint push-and-pull activity, great exercise for all, and as long as your pet is fit, willing, and weighs at least 35 pounds, just about any breed can participate. All you need is some basic equipment and a few snowy trails – which there is no shortage of this time of year at Devil’s Thumb Ranch.
In addition to private and group cross-country skiing lessons, the Nordic Center offers specific skijoring clinics – and the necessary rental equipment – to learn how to work as a team with your favorite crew. Even better, the Ranch also has several designated pooch-friendly cabins* to turn dog days into woof weekends.
If your trusted companion is more of a “lap dog” than a “let’s run laps dog,” fear not. Leashed pups of all sizes are welcome to take a leisurely stroll on any of our dog-friendly trails.
For skijoring information, call 970-726-8231.
*Dog-friendly cabins are on a first-come, first-served basis with an additional nightly fee of $50 per dog (two dogs maximum).