Hiking Petiquette at Big White Ski Resort
Our Guest Services Manager, Bethan Wetheral and her 6.5-year-old French Bulldog, Monkey, have been living and hiking on the mountain for years. Bethan loves the variety of trails: “It keeps things exciting for my dog – there are some good climbing sections and nice flat terrain for a bit of a break, too." Together, they’ve figured out the best way to enjoy the great outdoors and be respectful of other guests at the same time. Here are a few tips from Bethan on how to get the most out of hiking with your pooch.
Bethan always packs a CamelBak and a collapsible water bowl, so both she and Monkey can stay hydrated while hiking. Since it’s usually about 10 degrees cooler on the mountain than in the Valley, you don’t need to worry too much about your pup overheating.
“Across some of the trails there are beautiful creeks so there is a chance for the dogs to get wet and have a drink, which is nice, too!” Bethan says.
A long leash and collar are essentials, too. If you are taking your dog on the chairlift, a harness is usually a better option than a collar, as you can have a better handle on the pup once you approach the top.
Don’t forget to pack food and poop bags – no one wants to step in your dog’s mess when they’re enjoying the beautiful scenery!
With mountain life comes mountain wildlife, so it’s always best to be alert, and to know if your dog will run if they see an animal – such as a deer or bird. That’s why it’s so important to keep your dog on a leash! If you are hiking outside our Hours of Operation, it’s always a good idea to make lots of noise in case bears are nearby.
“Although I haven't experienced any, on any alpine hiking trails, I recommend doing a good check for ticks when you get off the trails,” Bethan says.
Bethan’s favourite hike to take Monkey on is the Rhonda Lake Trail. “It is a great hike up with the most gorgeous scenery,” she says. “The start of the trail has shaded sections so it doesn't get too warm until you reach Rhonda Lake, and when you do, you and your pup can cool off with a swim – in the designated swimming area of course!”
Once you reach Rhonda Lake, make your way to the top of the Bullet Chair, a rockier trail with decent elevation gain. Complete the trip up by continuing on the Peak Trail which takes you to the top of the Cliff Chair – your pooch will definitely enjoy the view!
Please be respectful of other guests, and stay on the designated hiking trails (follow the orange Inuksuit). We love sharing Mother Nature’s beauty with all of you, including your furry friends, but we don't want to disturb the beautiful wildflowers homes!
And, be sure to share the cuteness by tagging #DogsOfBigWhite on Instagram – your fur baby may just be featured in our Insta-Stories!