4-Night Deluxe Lodge-based Dogsled Vacations
Our "BETTER" 4-night Vacation (Our most popular trip option!)
Ideal for pairs or couples, but single bookings may be an option on certain trip dates. No experience needed!
- Each trip features small groups of about 6 persons each plus 2 guides
- Ideally suited for couples or pairs of friends (contact us for singles & 3-some options)
- 3 days of guided dogsledding on 2-person sleds & solo sleds as available
- deluxe dinners prepared by our French chef Bernard Herrmann
- 4 nights at lovely Wintergreen Lodge with our lakeshore-view bedrooms (& where you can spend time visiting our kennel & puppies, and with our chef!)
- OR (depending upon trip dates) 4 nights at Timber Trail Lodge's beautiful Diamond Willow retreat with stone fireplaces (some trip dates may include 2 nights at both Wintergreen and Diamond Willow)
- Private full bathrooms for each pair of guests at both lodges
- Optional chance to try snowshoes, skis, ski-jouring and Finnish sauna
- An evening of fireplace stories or films with Wintergreen guides or director Paul Schurke (pending his schedule)
- A special welcoming dinner on your first night and send-off brunch on the final "Mushers Graduation" morning
Last year, 80% of the guests on these trips came as couples whose ages ranged 28-76; 20% came as pairs of friends or family members (and about half of these trips were booked by private groups). The moderate group size of 6 makes for very congenial socializing over meals and around the fireplace each evening. Our guests often comment how fun it is to make new friends with like-minded adventurous travelers from around the world.
These trips include 4 nights at Wintergreen Lodge OR 4 nights at Timber Trail Lodge's beautiful Diamond Willow retreat (and a few trip dates involve 2 nights at each). Each pair of guests has their own private bedroom (with single or double beds as desired) and associated full bathroom. At Wintergreen, the bedrooms feature the larger of our 6 rooms, all with lakeshore views. At Timber Trail's Diamond Willow retreat, guests can choose among 5 bedrooms and 3 full baths.
Dinners and first-day luncheons are generally prepared and served at Wintergreen by our chef (and catered for dinners at Timber Trail). He knows exactly what our guests want after an invigorating day of dogsledding -- an interesting, tasteful meal with fresh top-quality ingredients. We call it "comfort food with class." Guests are welcome to bring their own wine or other adult beverages. Consider these mouth-watering sample menus:
- almond-breaded chicken with light curry sauce and steamed rice, Brazilian Tres' Leche cake
- sliced roast pork with apricot sweet & sour sauce, cous cous, oven roast potato or corn fritters, baked caramel custard with almond lace cookies
- roast turkey with sauteed brussel sprouts and mashed sweet potatoes, fresh-baked herb bread, truffle chocolate mousse
- old fashioned beef pot roast with steamed pasta & vegetables, petite pans, baked Alaska
Sample Itinerary (may vary with trip dates)
DAY 1: Arrive in Ely mid to late afternoon by car or airport taxi shuttle. Stop at Ely rental store for any rental clothing needs, continue to lodge (Wintergreen or Timber Trail's Diamond Willow retreat) 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. Lunch in lodge, skills review and rest break. 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. Depart on full day of mushing with trailside campfire lunch and rest stops at scenic sites. Wintergreen guides accompany your group on skis, providing tune-up tips on your mushing skills and sharing natural history info along the route. Return to your 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's arctic adventures.
DAY 4: Now that everyone "knows the ropes," the guides will plan the day based upon group interests with such choices as easy or challenging trails and a longer or shorter routes. Scenic stops might include the 'ice cave,' 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 lodge mid to late afternoon. Dog treats. R&R. 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, "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). 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.