BlogSnow Buddy Dan

A different kind of Steamboat Adventure

As a world-renowned ski town, Steamboat Springs is blessed with the kind of legendary snowfall that makes more than just skiing possible in the Yampa Valley. Sarah and Dan Piano have set out to bring a whole new kind of adventure to Steamboat locals and tourists alike. Each with more than 20 years of guiding experience, it was only fitting that they should start their own tour company, Snow Buddy Dog Sled Tours.

The experience

This epic adventure begins in Southern Routt County in the Flat Top Wilderness area, just a short 45-minute drive from town that brings you into a picturesque scene. When guests arrive, a team of over 2 dozen dogs along with Sarah, Dan, and the Snow Buddy staff greets them. To get started, guests are introduced to their individual guides and taught how to harness and hook their dogs up to the line. After a detailed orientation on care for the dogs and the commands needed to get started its time for takeoff! As you cruise along the backcountry trails, you may find your mind drifting to thoughts of Alaska and competing in the Iditarod, a famous 1,000-mile dog sled course. Throughout the journey drivers take turns mushing the sled while Sarah and Dan’s team cruise along on a snowmobile snapping photos. At the end of the journey guests are greeted at hunting camp complete with a hot stove, warm cookies, and an assortment of hot beverages. The overall experience created is something out of a fairytale. What Sarah and Dan have done is unlike any other dog sled tour in Steamboat. While sitting in the tent and warming up, guests are given the opportunity to chat with Sarah and Dan and ask questions. It’s clear this is where their true passion lies. With 38 dogs at home in total, some retired from dog sledding, there is such care and attention given to each and every one of them.

About the Owners

A native to Colorado, Sarah grew up ranching, so taking care of a large number and wide variety of animals was nothing new to her. Arriving to Steamboat in 2004, Sarah was spending her seasons chasing rivers around the world as a raft guide. Years later when she decided to stick around in Steamboat through the winter and began working for a dog sled tour company, it sparked a new passion. Nearly a decade ago, Sarah decided she wanted to start her own company and brought home 7 dogs to her and Dan’s (at the time) 700 square foot home.

Growing up in Connecticut in a family that would typically only have one dog at a time to later in life having 38 dogs was a new experience for Dan. As a carpenter by trade, he also has over 20 years of guiding experience. With a passion for the outdoors and love for sharing that passion, taking on this adventure with Sarah was a natural fit.

About the dogs

Each sled dog is a breed of husky; Alaskan, Siberian, or a mix and each of them are retired race dogs. With connections in Alaska and Canada, racers contact Sarah and Dan when they have race dogs that are ready to retire and they take them in. The dogs on the teams used for the tours are between 2 and 8 years old and they have a few retirees working hard at home on their retirement life.

Adoption Opportunities

Sarah and Dan’s passion for dogs doesn’t just stop at dog sled tours. Over the years, people from around the world have contacted them to take in dogs and help find them a home. When some of their sled dogs are ready for an easy retirement life spent inside cozied up by the fire and being smothered with love, they also help them find a new home. In the last 7 years, Sarah and Dan have found forever homes for 28 of their sled dogs. For information on adoption, please contact Sarah and Dan.

For more information on dog sled tours please contact The Porches concierge.