Enjoy 2 days of dogsled fun on these shorter 3-night "Extended Weekend" trips which, like our 4-night "GOOD" trips, typically include 8 guests in lodges with 4-6 bedrooms and 2 or 3 baths. Depending upon the guest configuration (singles, pairs, 3-somes, etc.) this may involve some use of shared bathrooms. Open to singles, pairs, or groups. No experience needed! (NOTE: In comparison, our 4-night "BETTER" trips accomodate 6 guests with private bathrooms for each pair, our 4-night "BEST" trips include up to 4 guests.)
- Suited for singles or pairs, specially discounted for families with kids ages 6 & up
- "Mush" a team of our friendly Eskimo dogs on beautiful northwoods trails
- Each trip my include about 8 guests, plus at least 2 guides
- 2 days of guided dogsledding to sites of scenic, historic and wildlife interest
- Double-occupancy bedrooms (or single private rooms, with surcharge)
- Indoor lunch 1st day; trailside lunch on 2nd day plus snack breaks
- Great dinners prepared by our chef, served family-style
- Evening fireplace socializing and northwoods stories with your guides
- Optional chance to try snowshoes, skis, ski-jouring and our Finnish sauna
- Welcoming dinner on first night and final "Mushers Graduation" morning
- Discounted for youth: ages 6-11 get $200 off, ages 12-17 get $100 off
- Families discounts of up to $300 off per child (& special 'kid-sized' dogsleds!)
These trips often overlap with our 4-night standard trips and thus have a similarly diverse social mix, with about 50% of guests as family groups, 25% as couples, 15% as pairs or groups of friends and 10% as singles. Our 3-night trips have our highest percentage of youth, with about 20% of guests 16 or younger. Last year's ages ranged 6-78. If you're considering this as a family vacation option, chances are there'll be other kids on board for yours to connect with.
You'll enjoy great food and plenty of it! Dinners and 1st day luncheons are prepared by our staff cook under the direction of our Wintergreen chef. Your guides (who love to cook nearly as much as dogsled!), will prepare your breakfasts and your campfire lunches on the 2nd and 3rd days of dogsledding. Meals are served family-style around a big long table with guides & guests eating together and sharing tales from the trail.
Some of these trips are based at Wintergreen. Others are based at Timber Trail Lodge (generally in the the White Pine group cabin). Some of these trips are "3-night/4-night combos" meaning that some guests book them as a 4-night itinerary (see our 4-night Standard Trips) and stay on for an extra day. Lodge dress is very casual (loafers & a sweat suit are just fine!)
Sample Itinerary (may vary with trip dates)
DAY 1: Arrive in Ely early afternoon by car or airport taxi shuttle. Visit Ely rental store for any rental clothing needs, continue to lodge (Wintergreen or Timber Trail) for check-in and site tour. Meet your guides & dogs. Welcoming dinner at 6 pm followed by trip orientation session and clothing check. Optional night visit to the kennel (a chance to 'howl' with your dogs at the moon and watch for northern lights!)
DAY 2: Sunrise kennel care (optional) followed by breakfast and "Dogsledding 101" training. The big moment arrives as your guides help you launch your team and accompany you on a dogsled training trip. Return to lodge midday for lunch, skills review and rest break. Depart on afternoon dogsled trip. Return to lodge 4-5 pm. Treat & water your dogs. R&R. Dinner. Optional socializing with guests & guides around the fireplace.
DAY 3: Kennel care & breakfast followed by full day of mushing with trailside campfire lunch and rest stops at scenic sites. (If your itinerary involves changing lodges on Day 3, your luggage and vehicles will be shuttled ahead.) Wintergreen guides accompany your group on skis, providing tune-up tips on your mushing skills and sharing natural history info along the route. Arrive at lodge late afternoon. Treat & water your dogs. Optional skiing/snowshoeing or R&R. 6 pm dinner. Optional evening activates include Finnish-style sauna, campfire gathering, fireplace stories, and/or 'film fest' to view the National Geographic documentaries on Wintergreen adventures.
DAY 4: Kennel care, goodbye breakfast, kennel visit to bid your dogs adieu, check-out mid to late morning (or earlier if your travel plans require). If you weren't able to visit Ely's International Wolf Center (www.wolf.org) or North American Bear Center (www.bear.org) during their winter hours (Fri/Sat 10-5) before your dogsled trip, we can sometimes arrange a special visit to the wolf viewing area or bear exhibits on your check-out day.