Our BEST dogsled vacations feature our BEST lodging option and are limited to 1 or 2 pairs of guests per trip. Perfect for couples (or pairs of friends or family members) who prefer the privacy of their own bedroom suites on separate floors of 2-story deluxe lakeshore cabins. (NOTE: In comparison, our "GOOD" trips accommodate about 8 guests, and our "BETTER" trips are limited to 6.)
- A top-notch dogsled experience each day & fine lodging & meals each evening
- Featuring our smallest group size (up to 2 pairs per trip) & most flexible itinerary
- Ideal for couples or pairs of friends (or book as a 4-some for your own private trip)
- Mush with your friend or spouse on our extra wide & stable 2-person sleds
- 3 full days of guided dogsledding with options tailored to your interests
- Enjoy 4 nights in our finest lodging (deluxe new "Wintergreen" & "Evergreen" Cabins)
- Luncheon at Wintergreen Lodge where you'll arrive by dogsled for kennel tour & buffet
- Hearty dinners prepared by Wintergreen's chef and served in your cabin dining room
- Northwoods stories with explorer Paul Schurke (pending his schedule) or your guides
- Special welcoming dinner on your first evening & final "Musher's Graduation" morning
- Option to extend your stay a day or two in same cabins at discount rates
Last year, nearly half of our these trips were booked by pairs of couples or family groups as their own private, custom dogsled vacations. On the other trips, 80% of the guests came as couples (ave. age 42), 20% as pairs of friends. While mealtimes are social, these trips offer couples time to themselves mornings/evenings as they choose in their private suites or cabins.
Depending upon trip dates, each pair of guests will stay in their own private lakeshore log cabins at Timber Trail Lodge OR Timber Trail's new luxury lakeshore retreats in which each pair of guests will have their own floor with private bedroom suite and full bath. All lodging options feature dining and living room with fireplace and lakeshore view.
Dinners are prepared by Wintergreen's chef and served at your cabin. Some sample menus: champagne chicken with wild rice, sliced roast pork with oven roast potato or corn fritters, beef stroganoff with Italian pasta, baked caramel custard with almond lace cookies. Guest are welcome to bring their own wine as they choose. We are more than happy to accomodate any dietary requests including low fat, diabetic, allergies, vegetarian, vegan, gluten &/or lactose free. The itinerary often includes a special indoor lunch at Wintergreen where you'll arrive by dogteam and enjoy a kennel tour. Breakfasts are specially prepared in your cabin by your guide to your taste.
Sample Itinerary (may vary with trip dates)
DAY 1: Arrive in Ely early afternoon by car or airport taxi shuttle. Stop at Wintergreen store for any rental clothing needs, continue to your lodge for check-in and site tour. Meet your guide & sled dogs. Welcoming dinner at 6 pm followed by trip orientation session and clothing check.
DAY 2: Sunrise kennel care (optional) followed by breakfast and "Dogsledding 101" training. The big moment arrives as your guide helps you launch your team and accompanies you on a dogsled training trip. Midday lunch in lodge, skills review, extended rest break. Afternoon dogsled trip. Return to lodge 4-5 pm. Treat & water your dogs. R&R. Dinner. Optional socializing around the fireplace.
DAY 3: Kennel care & breakfast. Depart on full day of mushing with trailside campfire lunch and rest stops at scenic sites. Your Wintergreen guide accompanies you on skis, providing tune-up tips on your mushing skills and sharing natural history info along the route. Return to 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: Now that you "knows the ropes," the guide will plan the day based upon your interests -- choose between easy or challenging trails and a longer or shorter routes. Scenic stops might include the ice caves, the Murphys Falls overlook, the river bluff, the old growth forest and you may opt to include time for skiing/snowshoeing or to try "ski-jouring" (being towed on skis by a sled dog). Return to your cabin mid to late afternoon (or earlier if one or both pairs of guests would like more R&R in their cabin). Dog treats. Celebration dinner. Time to yourselves or optional evening activities which include (depending upon trip dates) "What's for Dinner?" program at the International Wolf Center to observe the wolves feeding or fireside arctic stories with Wintergreen director Paul Schurke.
DAY 5: Kennel care (optional), "bon voyage" breakfast buffet, "Mushers Graduation" event, kennel visit to bid your dogs adieu, check-out mid to late morning (or earlier if your travel plans require). OR if you'd like to extend your stay an extra day or two, we can often arrange for you to continue the same lodging at discount rates. 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.