Enjoy 3 days of dogsled fun on these "GOOD" trips which 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 "BETTER" trips accomodate 6 guests with private bathrooms for each pair, and our "BEST" trips include up to 4 guests.)
- Enjoy "mushing" a team of our friendly Eskimo dogs on beautiful northwoods trails
- Suited for individuals, pairs, groups or families with kids ages 6 & up
- Discounted for youth: ages 6-11 get $200 off, ages 12-17 get $100 off
- Families discounts of up to $300 off per child
- Each trip typically accomodates up to 8 guests with 2 or more guides
- 3 days of guided dogsledding to sites of scenic, historic and wildlife interest
- 4 nights at Wintergreen (or at Timber Trail Lodge, with a visit by dogsled to Wintergreen)
- Double-occupancy bedrooms (or private single rooms, with surcharge)
- Indoor lunch 1st day; trailside campfire picnic lunches other days plus snack breaks
- Dinners prepared by our Wintergreen chef or staff cooks, served family-style buffet
- Evening fireplace socializing and northwoods stories with your guides
- Optional chance to try snowshoes, skis, "ski-jouring" and our Finnish sauna
- A special welcoming dinner on your first night and send-off brunch on the final "Mushers Graduation" morning
Our 4-night Standard trips involve our largest groups and thus our most diverse social mix. Last year, about half our guests on these trips came as family groups, 25% as couples, 15% as pairs or groups of friends and 10% as singles. 57% were female, ages ranged from 6 to 73, average age was 43. A sample roster included a dad treating his daughter to a special graduation gift, a group of women friends on a 30-year college reunion, an elderly man from the Philippines and newly weds from Texas. This diversity of ages and backgrounds coupled with a common interest in adventurous vacations makes for interesting mealtime chatter (along with animated evening card games!)
These trips typically involve 4 nights at Wintergreen Lodge (or at Timber Trail Lodge, generally in the White Pine group cabin). At either lodge, the 8 persons that typically comprise each group choose among 3 shared bathrooms and 5 bedrooms which include single, double & triple options as needed. Singles are welcome and can opt to share a room with a guest of the same gender or secure a private room (when available) for a $50/night surcharge. Lodge dress is very casual (loafers & a sweat suit are just fine!)
You'll enjoy great food and plenty of it! Dinners are prepared by our professional chef at Wintergreen (and catered to Timber Trail cabins as needed). On most trips you'll enjoy a sit-down lunch at Wintergreen on your 1st day dogsledding as well. Your guides, who love to cook nearly as much as our chef, will prepare your breakfasts and your trailside campfire lunches on the 2nd and 3rd days of dogsledding. Meals are served family-style around a long table with guides & guests eating together and sharing tales from the trail. Guests are welcome to bring their own wine.
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 your lodge 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. 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 followed by 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 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 & breakfast followed by another great day of mushing. Now that everyone "knows the ropes"), the group can help the guides decide among alternate route options or activities throughout the day. Arrive at lodge mid to late afternoon for "R&R" followed by celebration dinner (be sure to bring the cord that connects your camera or camcorder to a TV so that you can share in the fun show that evening) Optional evening "What's for dinner?" program at the International Wolf Center to observe the wolves feeding (on Saturday evenings only).
DAY 5: Kennel care, breakfast, "Mushers Graduation" event, kennel visit to bid your dogs adieu, check-out mid to late morning (or early if your travel plans require). If you weren't able to visit Ely's International Wolf Center or North American Bear Center (winter hours Fri/Sat 10-5) before your dogsled trip, we can sometimes arrange a visit to the wolf viewing area or bear exhibits on your check-out day.