5 Days, 4 Nights|
Guides, double occupancy lodging, sledding equipment and instruction, all meals and all group equipment. |
Transportation to and from Grand Marais, MN, winter clothing and accessories. Winter boots are available for rent.
Experience winter at its finest as you spend your days exploring the Boundary Waters Canoe Area by dogsled, then retreat to the warmth and comfort of our cozy northern lodges for four nights to enjoy the well-earned luxuries of delicious meals and warm fires. Learn the basics of dogsledding during the day - everything from harnessing and driving the dogs to navigating the frozen lakes and snowy trails. In the afternoon and evening you’ll have the opportunity to explore on your own, trek a few more miles to the local ski trails or relax in the sauna.
Day 1: We'll meet at our lodge in Ely between 4 PM - 6 PM. We'll get to know each other over a welcome dinner and have time to review the week's itinerary and learn some of the history of dogsledding.
Day 2: We'll breakfast at the lodge and then it's time for Dogsledding 101. We learn the basics of dog handling, and pair up for our first day's travel along the beautiful trails of the Boundary Waters. We'll stop along the way for a warm lunch around a fire. In the late afternoon we'll head back to our lodge for a delicious meal and comfortable night indoors.
Days 3 & 4: Each day offers a chance to refine our dogsledding skills and explore new areas of snowy wilderness as we travel the many trails and frozen lakes of the area. We spend about 5 or 6 hours on the trail before settling down to a wonderful dinner at one of the hospitable local lodges. Evenings may feature sleigh rides, some optional night skiing, or just relaxing in the sauna or hot tub and around the fireplace.
Day 5: We make our farewells over a sumptuous breakfast, and depart to drive home or catch our planes in Duluth. **This is a lodge-based trip and the itinerary is subject to change.
- Two pair wool, polypropylene, capilene or silk long underwear top/bottom NO COTTON
- Three pairs socks- wool or synthetic
- Liner socks can also be beneficial
- Mukluks or snowpac boots (Sorels or snowmobile type w/removable liner) (Can be rented from Northwest Passage)
- One or two pair wool or pile (fleece) pants
- Wool or pile (fleece) shirt
- Wool or pile (fleece) sweater/jacket
- Wind jacket with hood- large enough to wear over other layers
- Wind pants large enough to wear over other layers
- 2 wool or pile (fleece) hat- one thinner and one thicker with a windblock layer
- Face mask (optional)
- Synthetic glove liners that can be worn under mitts
- Wool or synthetic mitts w/water repellent outer mitts
- Warm parka with hood (optional if you have good layering system)
- Swimsuit for jacuzzis
- One set casual clothing for lodge
- Dufflebag or similar to carry gear
- Maps (optional)
- Small daypack or similar for extra clothing/gear you want to have with you during the day
- Headlamp with extra bulb and batteries (optional)
- Matches or lighter (optional)
- Pocket knife - good for all around use (optional)
- Sunscreen and lip protection Toothbrush, toilet articles Water bottle (widemouth Nalgene® or similar)
- Camera & film (optional)
- Thermos bottle (optional)
- Small towel (optional)- linens are supplied at lodges
What is special about this trip?
Ely is famous as an access town for the Boundary Waters, but few people experience the beauty of Minnesota’s north woods during the winter. Dogsledding and skiing in the breathtaking, pristine backcountry is an unforgettable experience. And a hot shower and delicious dinner in a heated lodge after a day on the trail isn’t so bad either!
How do I get there?
You drive up the whole way along highway 53 or fly into Duluth and take 53 the rest of the way.
How and where will you meet me?
We will meet you at the lodge, or, if you are flying into Duluth, we can arrange a shuttle from the airport to the lodge.
How long will it take me to get there?
The drive from the Chicago area takes about 10.5 hours, and it’s well worth it.
Where should I stay overnight around there?
If you plan to arrive early or stay late, give the office a call for a recommendation on a great place to stay.
What money should I take?
You won’t need any money during the trip, but many folks wind up buying gifts in Ely.
Do they take plastic there? Are there cash stations?"
They accept major credit cards and have ATMs in Ely.
What's the weather like?
The daily highs range from about 20 degrees to the single digits with overnight lows below zero.
What are the accommodations like?
We stay in a very comfortable heated lodge, with hot showers and a even a sauna.
What do I need to bring?
We will send you a gear list upon registration.
Can I drink the water?
There is potable water in lodge, which we will bring with us on a dogsled outings. We may also purify lake water during lunch stops.
What's the food like?
The food is very delicious and there’s plenty of it. The lodge employs a classically trained professional chef, and we enjoy energizing trail lunches while we’re dogsledding.
What time zone will I be in?
Ely is in the US Central Time Zone.
How can people reach me in an emergency? Can I call home?
We will provide you with the lodge’s contact information upon registration. Also, there is nearby internet connectivity, and cell phone reception is improving each year in the Ely area.
How much time do we spend traveling each day? How many miles? Do I have free time?
We typically travel for about 4-6 hours a day, usually covering between 4 and 10 miles. You have free time at the lodge in the afternoon.
What kind of equipment do you use?
We use professional grade sled equipment, backcountry style cross country skis and very energetic (and quite stately looking) huskies.
How many people are on this trip? How many guides? Who are the guides / what are their qualifications?
We typically take between 4 and 15 people on this trip. The guides are very experienced dog handlers and mushers. They are also certified in Wilderness First Aid.
How can I prepare physically for the trip? How much prior experience is needed?
No doglsedding, skiing or winter camping experience is necessary for this trip.