Dog Sled Races in Canada

Undoubtedly for those who want to enjoy the great sport of dog sledding, they should be aware of what races are the most popular. With Canada having cold winters and lots of snow, it is the perfect environment for dog sled racing.

Yukon Quest

This race is often referred to as a race through the gates of hell. It is considered to be the world’s most challenging dog sled race. Part of the race takes place through the Yukon while the other half occurs in Alaska. This is great for spectators as they have lots of opportunities to watch segments of the race if they want to attend in person. In total, it is comprised of 1,600 km, and it is a gruelling event from start to finish. The trail itself is full of challenges. It follows an old gold rush trail where participants have to manoeuvre through mountain passes, then tackles the riverbeds that are winding and confusing. They have to be on guard for predators such as wolves along the way. Then they have to deal with the bitter cold.

The Canadian Challenge

This is a competition that has the main goal of promoting this sport in Canada. It is organized by the Gateway North Sled Dog Race Association. This sled dog race used 12 dogs for each racer and is a continuous mid-distance race. It takes place in Saskatchewan, which is usually the perfect environment for this type of race. The distance that must be covered is comprised of about 600KM.

It has gained the reputation for being the longest sled dog race for Canada and is so popular it attracts teams from many different countries.

Provincial Races

Many of the provinces throughout Canada that have a snow environment support the dog sledding events. Ontario is one of these, and there are usually several events taking place throughout the year. Some examples are:

  • Marmora Snowfest and Races
  • Haliburton Highlands Derby for Dog Sleds
  • Eldorado Gold
  • Kearney Dog Sled Racing

These racing events usually take place between January to March. These are sprint races, and there are a variety of races that are run that even include racing events for children.

These short races are a great way to introduce the sport of dog sledding. They allow an opportunity for spectators to get a taste of what watching these events is like. If they enjoy it, then they can become fans of some of the bigger races, which in turn helps to support the sport. It also an excellent introduction for those who are thinking of becoming participants in these sports at a higher level. With these smaller races growing in popularity, it may be an enticement for other provinces to offer the same form of sporting entertainment.