Appreciate the Sierra with a family friendly dog sled tour |

Appreciate the Sierra with a family friendly dog sled tour

Cassandra Walker

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — Picture your dog’s excitement when you grab the leash, or say the “w-a-l-k” word. They’re stoked, they always want to go; yes it’s a great day for a walk, why are we still in the kitchen?

Now picture almost 30 dogs yipping, jumping, howling and barking at once — that’s the energy running through Wilderness Adventures Dog Sled Tours’ pack of beautiful Alaskan huskies before every single tour.

Brian Maas owns the company, running the business with his family.

“I love it,” he said after a sledding excursion on Wednesday. “I fell in love with the dogs when I had a couple as pets, and it’s grown just being such a peaceful activity getting to be outdoors with these dogs who are amazing athletes.”

Maas is an animal lover who used to play around with his two pet huskies, having them pull him on a snowboard. He wanted to be able to go farther distances and bring more things with him, so he got four more dogs, invested in a sled and was hooked.

The rest, as they say, is history. Now he, his wife and two kids care for the dogs as their pets (that also have jobs). They are able to make the amazing scenic tour opportunities available to anyone as a safe, fun alternative to skiing when you still want to be outside.

“They live to eat and run. They love this,” said Matt Byers, a musher for the Olympic Valley-based company who loves working with animals and being outside.

He also operates Alpine Meadows Stables — which will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year — during the summer.

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