Dan and Sarah Piano started Snow Buddy 11 years ago with a lot of broken and borrowed stuff and a big dream. They began in their very small back yard in downtown Oak Creek with 7 dogs, doing all kinds of silly things to keep dogs and humans out of trouble! They took in those first dogs from a kennel shutting down in Glenwood Springs, CO, and have since kept their promise to build a home and kennel for animals with no where else to go, bringing in dogs from all over the world. Since that first group of rag-tag misfits (themselves included), they have brought in, trained in harness or maintained in training and later adopted out as pets over 100 dogs! Snow Buddy Headquarters is now a 10 acre compound built to house up to 45 dogs comfortably and operates as a refuge for mostly Alaskan Huskies (AKA Heinz 57 supermutts bred to endurance race). From day one, Snow Buddy has maintained a gorgeous trail in the Little Flat Tops, showcasing the best of what the Colorado Backcountry has to offer and honoring the age-old sport of mushing with an authentic off-the grid experience. If you love getting outside and getting put to work (and hot homemade cookies too), please come and join us on the trail! Our great, big family is waiting for you!
THE TRAIL AWAITS
Our trail ranges in length from day to day, depending on snow levels, temperature, time of year and animal conditioning. The weather can change almost instantly in the backcountry at elevation, so we maintain different options with regard to trail distance in order to put the dogs and safety first. Our trail begins at approximately 8,400' and climbs to around 9,800'. It will range in length from 7.5 miles to 12 miles depending on the day, but all guests are guaranteed at least 30 minutes actually driving behind the team.
For the best experience on the trail with us, please take note of the following:
Our location is remote! GPS do not work reliably and a vehicle and driver well equipped for winter travel are both required to get to us safely. Book the shuttle if you are unsure about either!
There is no bad weather, just bad gear! Dressing well in layers is a must. Temperatures in the dead of winter at altitude are often below zero. We lend every guest pac boots, as most people don't own them, and we have all the additional winter gear people could need at no additional cost, but please let us know if you think you will need to borrow gear and which items.
Our sleds are double drivers and we encourage pairs of adult people to double drive together for best control, with some exceptions based on conditions and at our discretion. Smaller children must go on guided sleds for safety reasons. We take the safety of children in the backcountry seriously. Kids will be invited to drive the team just as adults do, simply with help and supervision from a pro! Very small children and babies may ride in the lap of a parent on a guided sled. Adults booking with one child can all ride and drive together, but when it's the child's turn to drive a guide will step in and help, not the child's parent.
When booking, please provide accurate information! We use the information you provide when you book to plan ahead; from building teams based on pulling power to whom will travel with whom, all the information on the booking form is important. If you leave things out, it leaves us all unprepared. Thank you and again, call or email with questions!
"Hanging with the Snow Buddy Team for our 9th year in a row and every year it continues to be such an incredible experience!"
~ Brent Mason
"Sarah, Dan and their team are exceptionally knowledgeable about mushing and are wonderful caregivers to their teams. They're also very fun, but the dogs are the best."
~ Karen Thompson-Shaheen
"Worth every penny. There’s no better dog sledding anywhere! You can help harness, feed the dogs and drive the sled! The mid-point stop with hot chocolate and cookies in a heated tent is terrific."
~ Wayne and Peg Stanford