- "mush" a team of our friendly Eskimo dogs on beautiful north woods trails
- suited for individuals, pairs, groups or families (discounted for youth)
- each trip typically includes 8 guests, 2 guides and 4 of our extra wide and stable sleds that are driven by 2 persons
- 3 days of guided dog sledding to sites of scenic, historic and wildlife interest
- lodging varies but generally involves our and Timber Trail Lodges
- double-occupancy bedrooms/shared bathrooms (single occupancy when available with surcharge)
- indoor lunch 1st day; trailside lunches other days plus snack breaks
- dinners prepared by our French chef Bernard Herrmann or our staff cook, served family-style
- evening socializing at the fireplace and north woods 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
Guest Profile: 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 5 to 73, average age was 43. A sample roster last year 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).
Meals: You’ll enjoy great food – and plenty of it! Our food service director, French chef Bernard Herrmann, prepares the dinners himself most Wednesdays through Saturdays. On other days, our staff cook prepares the dinners under Bernard’s direction, along with your indoor lunch on the first day. Your guides, who love to cook nearly as much as Bernard, will prepare your breakfasts and your campfire lunches on the 2nd and 3rd days of dog sledding. Meals are served family-style around a big long table with guides and guests eating together and sharing tales from the trail. Guests are welcome to bring their own wine.
Day 1: Arrive in Ely early afternoon by car or airport taxi shuttle. Visit Ely's International Wolf Center if time allows (tickets compliments of M17077, winter hours: 10-4 Sat/Sun). Visit M17077 store for any rental clothing needs, continue to lodge for check-in and site tour. Meet your guides and 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 "Dog sledding 101" training. The big moment arrives as your guides help you launch your team and accompany you on a dog sled training trip. Return to lodge midday for lunch, skills review and rest break. Afternoon dog sled trip. Return to lodge 4-5 pm. Treat and water your dogs. R and R. Dinner. Optional socializing around the fireplace.
Dy 3: Kennel care and breakfast followed by full day of mushing with trailside campfire lunch and rest stops at scenic sites. (Note: If your itinerary involves changing lodges on Day 3 or 4, your luggage and vehicles will be shuttled ahead). Our 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 and water your dogs. Optional skiing/snowshoeing or R and 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 our adventures.
Day 4: Kennel care and 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 and 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).
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 the Wolf Center on your check-in day (winter hours Sat/Sun 10-4), we can often arrange a visit to the wolf viewing area on your check-out day.
Check in 4-6 pm first day
Check out 9-11 am last day
Prices for 2008-2009 Standard Trips:
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USA Minnesota Outdoor: Land Rambler Dogsledding Ecotourism
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