Province/Territory: Alberta

Ghosts of Fortune Mountain: Mushing in the Rockies - Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours

  • 06 dogs pulling your sled
  • 80 kilometres of trails
  • 02 days and one night in the winter wilderness

Immerse yourself in a pioneer mode of transportation of the frosty frontier. It's an overnight excusion on the Ghosts of Fortune Mountain tour with Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours. Discover the skills of mushing your own sled dog team in the Rocky Mountains near Canmore, Alberta. Experience the thrill of commanding your team to run over frozen lakes and drifted mountain trails. See the power of the dogs as they lunge up a hill, leaving you breathless. Then – feel the wind freeze a smile on your face as the team races towards the camp set in the snow far from civilization.

As you mix a hearty supper for the dogs, the guides from Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours prepare your gourmet dinner over a warm camp fire. Sit back and discover the legends and lore of the Canadian forefathers and the magestic mountains that surround you. Watch the clear sky for shooting stars before slipping into your tent to drift into slumber listening to nothing but the wind whispering through the trees. Daybreak has your team ready for action. By the end of the day over 80 kilometres have slid beneath your sled. As you un-harness the team for the last time, the friendship bond of the dogs holds you long. What may have been a walk in the park for them was the ultimate Canadian outdoor experience for you.

Why you should visit
  • Learn to confidently mush your team of huskies for two days along mountain trails and on frozen lakes.
  • Prepare your team for the day; harnessing, feeding and cuddling each dog is all part of the job.
  • Two guests per sled run the dogs over 80 kilometres on the two day excursion.
  • Enjoy fine indigenous cuisine by the warm glow of the campfire.
  • Hear tales of lore, legends and beliefs while your dog team curls up in the snow for the night.
  • Sleep in a warm fur lined expedition tent under a crisp winter Alberta sky.
  • Watch for signs of wildlife and listen for their calls.
  • At the end of the journey reward yourself with a soak in the famous Banff Upper Hot Springs in Banff National Park.
  • Dog sled tours are winter experiences but if you are in Banff in the summer, consider the kennel tour.

Weather

  • The weather in The Canadian Rockies is unpredictable with snow creeping into the forecast any month of the year, so be prepared by bringing a variety of layers. The sun at these alpine altitudes is strong year-long, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat for protection from UV exposure is suggested.
  • Canmore enjoys warm summers with occasional unseasonably hot days, but it is not uncommon to have cooler temperatures. July and August daytime highs sit at an average of 21°C dipping to 7°C in the night. Canmore receives 50 mm of rain each summer month.
  • The fall season is short for Canmore with the leaves quickly turning colours in September and chances of early snow in October. In November, watch as the snow works its way down the peaks with night time temperatures starting to dip below freezing. With daytime highs hovering around 10°C, it’s best to bring warm clothes.
  • Winter is wonderful in Canmore but cold. December brings frosty air with an average daytime high of -5°C dipping to -14°C at night. Cold spells of -30°C can occur so heavy coats and warm boots are essential. If a Chinook wind blows through expect to see the temperatures rise above 0°C. Kananaskis Provincial Park sees an average of 2.5 metres of fluffy dry snow to fall over the course of the winter months.
  • Springtime is a mix of all seasons so bring some lighter weight clothes as well as some thick sweaters and waterproof coat. The snow stays quite long into the season with spring daytime average high temperatures of 14°C.
  • Discover local weather information. Research local weather pattterns at Environment Canada's Canadian Climate Normals Website.
Visitor information
  • Ghosts of Fortune Mountain tours are pre-arranged only.
  • Other tours of varying lengths are offered daily throughout the winter through reservations or based on availability.
  • Dog sled tours are only offered during the winter season usually November through April.
  • Summertime is perfect for visiting the dogs to learn more about their history, training and tours of the kennels.
  • On-site gift shop at the office and store in Canmore Alberta.
When to go
  • As long as there is a good base of snow on the ground the dogs are ready to go. Generally November through April.
  • First tracks at 9 am offers the chance to see more wildlife.
  • The afternoon is warmer weather but more popular.
  • To avoid crowds, plan for a midweek tour.
Need to know
  • All dog sledding adventures need warm winter clothing. High quality gear is available for a small rental fee.
  • Bring sunscreen, lip balm, and any medication that might be needed for medical conditions that are effected by high elevations.
  • Guests on the Ghosts of Fortune Mountain two-day tour are expected to drive their own dog sled and help take care of the dogs as well they should be moderately fit.
  • Guests have the option of having the guide drive the sled on shorter adventures of up to eight hours where there is no level of fitness requirement.
  • Short tours with Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours are accessible for many guests with special needs and/or small children.
Getting Here
  • All tours meet at the Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tour office in Canmore, Alberta.
  • Approximately 1.0 hour from Calgary on the Trans-Canada Highway (Hwy. 1). Canmore is 20 minutes east of Banff on the Trans-Canada Highway.
  • Hotel pick ups can be made in Banff and Canmore.
  • Company vans take guests to the base camp trailhead.