DENVER (CBS4) – If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to participate in Alaska’s Iditarod, you don’t have to go too far from Denver to get an idea.
The Iditarod is an annual 1,000 mile race where sledders traverse rugged terrain pulled by a team of huskies through the sometimes harsh and variable climate of Alaska.
While the race typically begins in Anchorage, this year it was forced several hundred miles north to Fairbanks, due to a lack of snow.
Thankfully, a lack of snow has not been a problem this season for the mountains of north-central Colorado.
Snow Mountain Ranch, just off U.S. 40 between Fraser and Granby, offers dog sledding much closer to home.
According to their website the last day for sledding this season will be April 4.
Beginners can take a 2-mile trail through an open meadow with gorgeous views of the mountains.
Advanced riders can take a 5-mile course deep into the woods filled with steep inclines and sharp turns.
While the overall experience is very similar to the Iditarod, there are a few subtle differences.
The sleds are a bit larger and there aren’t quite as many huskies used to pull sledders along the trails.
Snow Mountain Ranch has 19 huskies, 3 of which are puppies.