Twila Baker is the owner of Quinault Alaskan Malamutes in Garrison, Montana. Quinault breeds Malamutes, runs races, and operates mushing tours.
The tours include spectacular views of Western Montana’s mountain ranges, alpine lakes, and streams. Tours include trails in the Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge, Talulah Creek Gorge, Dahl Lake, Fisher and Pleasant Valley Rivers. Guides are always alert, willing and eager to point out wildlife: deer, elk, moose, bald eagles, and bears.
Half-day tours last 3 to 4 hours and are available for groups up to 4 people. Tours start out with a meet and greet with the dogs – all purebred Alaskan Malamutes. A “Sleddog 101″ introduction to the basics of running sled dogs; including commands, gear, and what to expect on the ride. Prices for the half-day tour are $515 to meet at the trail, $585 with basic transportation to the trail, and $685 with luxury transportation to the trail.
For those looking for a more in-depth program, Quinault operates 3-day weekend trips for groups of four riders. These weekends also allow extra time for cross country skiing and snow shoeing. Departures are on Friday afternoons and returns to base on Sunday mornings. Typical cost for weekend trips is $950 per person.
Once a month, the Hansen’s Park Loop is offered over 5 days and 4 nights. Riders enjoy the scenic highlights of the Granite Mountains, with the Pintlers on one side and the Saphires on the other. Visiting this beautiful country late winter through early spring is a real treat. January means short days, brisk temps and generally clear skies, February is slightly milder but with deeper snow. March is lovely with deep snow, mostly sunny days and warmer temps. Day 3 at Hansen’s Park is reserved for snowshoeing and skiing opportunities. Typical cost is $1,275 per person.
Quinault is planning to run a ‘Red Lantern’ team in the Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Alaska in 2014 with purebread Alaskan Malamutes. This will be a unique endeavor, because the Iditarod is over 1,100 miles long and Malamutes are not typical long distance racing dogs!