They’re back…And we’re glad they are!
It’s been 16 years since the last sled dog races were held in the Truckee area. Scheduled for March 2nd and 3rd, the races have returned. The Jack London Commemorative Sierra Sled Dog Derby is the charity portion of the annual Snowfest! celebration and will benefit local animal welfare organizations.
1915 — The first sled dog races held in the continental United States in Truckee. Jack London attended the Truckee Winter Carnival where the race between a team of “Huskies”, a team of “Siberian Wolf Dogs” and a “Malamute” team, was the highly publicized featured event. The sled dog races recognized the contribution that dogs made to the local economy in delivering mail, providing transportation, working with law enforcement and assisting in search and rescue and continued until 1997 when, due to inconsistent snowfall, the races were susupended — until now.
This year the races will be hosted by Sugar Bowl and held on Donner Summit in Soda Springs. Races begin each day at 9 a.m and end at 4 p.m. There are a number of race classes in which mushers compete — 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8 dog teams — following the sanctioning and rules of the International Sled Dog Racing Association.
The finish order in each race class is determined by the combined time over the two days with awards given for lowest time the various classes.
Parking will be available at Sugar Bowl Resort where spectators can catch a shuttle to the race staging/start area on the Royal Gorge Acquisition Land. An alternative viewing location is the Village Lodge at Sugar Bowl where the races pass in front as they make a loop back to the start area.
There is no admission fee for this exciting event so bundle up, toss the family in the SUV and enjoy the excitement of “the call of the wild”!