Skiing with Dogs
The Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club welcomes dogs on about 1/3 of our trail system.
Twenty-five years ago, there were approximately 300 members and a small number of people who skied with their dogs. There were very few issues, if any. Today we have a membership of about 1300 (not including day users) and 35% of those people ski with dogs. With a much higher volume of skiers, children, families and dogs, the risk of incidents also increases. Dog Trail is one of our most used trails and is enjoyed by all members, with and without dogs. Children play and practice between the ski Stadium and Telemark Hill, which is why we are asking to keep your dog on leash until the far side of the hill.
The first and foremost priority of the Ski Club is to ensure the safety of all skiers and to provide an enjoyable experience. This is achieved by skiers exercising proper trail etiquette, installing adequate signage, and maintaining the trail network to reduce chances of injury.
Dog Rules - Code of Conduct for Owners:
- Maximum of two dogs per skier, four dogs per group of skiers. When travelling in groups, please spread out between Dog Parking Lot and Harvey's Hut. It can be intimidating for other skiers to encounter numerous dogs together on the trail.
- Dog owners are responsible for their dogs and assume the risk that other dogs will be encountered on these trails.
- Dog owners are subject to City Bylaws.
- Dog owners can face serious legal issues if they are found liable while skiing with their dog(s) on the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club trails.
- Dogs must be on a leash in parking areas - McIntyre Parking Lot and Dog/Sundog Parking Lot.
- Dogs must be on a leash on Dog Trail from the Dog/Sundog Parking lot to Telemark Hill in order to prevent any potential encounters with children and/or families using that area. Dog Trail is one of our busiest trails. The first kilometer is relatively flat and easily accessible from the Stadium so many novice skiers and children use this trail and many school groups use it for lessons.
- Dogs must be on a leash from the McIntyre Parking lot to the tie up area (Dog Barking Lot) near curling rink and from there on Chalet Trail to the bridge, Copper
- Trail to Ketza Connector, Ketza Connector and Dog Trail to Telemark Hill.
- When waxing your skis, keep your dog in your car until you are ready to ski or tie the dog at the designated area.
- Please remove dog feces from trail surface. Pick up and place waste in the receptacle provided. There is a dispenser with plastic bags provided at the trailheads. In other areas it is sufficient to flick waste off the trail and into the bush. Trowels hanging on trees from the Dog Parking Lot to the first hill are available to dispose the waste.
- Please keep dogs under control when approaching or overtaking other skiers and use a leash where requested.
- Dogs should wear a light in the dark at all times.
- Rules are in effect throughout the ski season, as long as there is snow on the trails.
You can download the policy here: Dog Policy
Where Can You Ski With Your Dog?
- Chalet to Ketza, Ketza Connector
- Dog and Sundog Trails
- Logan Burn Trail
- Lower and Upper Valley and Connectors
- Copper Trail from Harvey's Hut to Copper Haul Road
- Copper Haul Road
- Mt. McIntyre Ascent and Descent
- Jack Fraser Loop - after November 15 each season
The Canadian Canine Good Neighbour Test
It is a certification program that tests and identifies dogs that have the training and demeanor to be reliable family members as well as good-standing community members. The program tests dogs in simulated everyday situations in a relaxed atmosphere and is open to both purebred and mixed-breed dogs. Dog owners are encouraged to take the Canine Good Neighbour Test!
Access points for skiers with dogs
- Dog/Sundog Parking Lot (off Hamilton Blvd, west of Sumanik Dr) is the best option for skiing with your dog. A day pass or membership must be purchased before using the ski trails, including Sundog Trail.
- Mt. McIntyre Recreation Centre Parking Lot - Skiers may walk their dogs from the Mt. McIntyre parking lot around the west and south sides of the curling rink, to a tie-up area adjacent to Chalet Trail. The 'Dog Barking' area is located 50m south of the Wax Room. It is recommended to keep your dog in the car until you are ready to ski as this is often less stressful for your pet. Dogs on leash may be escorted from here southwards over the overpass and down Ketza Connector to Dog Trail.
- Sumanik Drive Near the Dirt 'n Soul Bike Park - Skiers with dogs are allowed to access Dog Trail via a portion of Copper Trail and Ketza Connector by parking at the Valleyview Reservoir 'Upper Lot'' parking area, just off Sumanik Drive.
Map provided by Jim Gilpin
(Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing Etiquette)
- We are a no tracking club. Faster skiers should step around slower skiers when it it is safe to do so. A friendly greeting is also recommended J
- Trails are two-way unless noted – use caution on hills and keep right.
- Downhill skiers have the right of way.
- Snowshoers should use the skate lane and avoid snowshoeing directly on the classis tracks. Please move to the right when approaching or being passed by a skater.
- Please pack out all litter.
- If walking is necessary, stay to one side and avoid walking on set tracks.
- If you fall, move off the track and fill in any holes left behind so it is safe for the next skiers.
- Keep to the right when meeting oncoming skiers. Skaters should step into tracks when possible to provide more room for oncoming skaters.
- Where there is only one track, all skiers should keep to the right regardless of which side the track is on.
- Keep clear of the track when not skiing. Stay well to the edge if re-waxing, chatting or resting. Don’t stop at the bottom of hills or on blind corners.
- Be courteous and helpful to fellow skiers.
- Always follow the proper direction on one-way trails. This includes snowshoers.
Before heading out...
- Check the weather forecast and bring along proper clothing and equipment.
- Sunlight can burn even on cold and cloudy days. Protect your skin and eyes from the sun and wind.
- Know your route. You may want to get a trail map to keep with you.
- Bring sufficient water with you to stay hydrated, and be on guard for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
- Understand the trail difficulty symbols to help you ski within your abilities.
Easiest More Difficult Most Difficult
Snow conditions will change trail difficulty!