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“Best Ever!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge

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Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge
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1101 Ring Rock Road, Ely, MN 55731   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 30 Specialty Lodging in Ely
Raleigh, North Carolina
1 review
“Best Ever!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2014

My daughter asked me for an adventure for Christmas and we went to Wintergreen for dogsledding. We've been home for 3 days and I can't stop thinking or talking about the trip. When I think of the memories we made I just smile. Our guides, Max, Jacob and Goose we're fantastic. They truly enjoy their jobs and made it special for all of us. They are engaging, knowledgable and so much fun. All 3 guys are remarkable people. Thank you guys! The dogs stole the show. I actually looked forward to feeding them at 7:30 am in -15 weather. Hearing their barking and howling as we walked toward them was heartwarming. Lena and Ole, xoxo. It was an honor to meet Paul and Susan Schurke the owners. What amazing things they have accomplished in their lives. I just finished Paul's book, "Bering Bridge." The man was part of bringing down the Ice Wall! Lastly the friendships we made with our fellow sledders was so special. It's a bond we will all share, forever!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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16 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Seattle, WA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

Our family is looking forward to our third Wintergreen Dogsled Vacation this 2014 snow season. Our three kids (7, 9 & 13) tell us it's the most fun they've ever had! They're especially looking forward to helping train in the yearling sled dogs that were born when we were there last year and to meeting Belle's 6 new pups born this fall! The lodge facility is perfect for family groups, the food is phenomenal and the delightful Wintergreen guides are so great with kids! At dinnertime a few weeks ago when we asked our kids what they wanted to do this winter, they all shouted in unison, "Wintergreen!"

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

The total experience was awesome. The dogs, the sledding, our guides, the food, the lodging, and the other guests who stayed at our cabin made the whole experience great. To see how pulling sleds is so engrained in the dogs was truly impressive. Their howling and singing that they broke into every time we approached them could be heard across the lake. Learning how to harness and unharness them as well as learning about mushing was a great opportunity. It was a fantastic experience!!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sonoma, California
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

My husband's 50th birthday was coming up and I surprised him with a 4 night "best" dogsledding lodge based package. We have Siberian huskies so we were excited to see Paul Schurke's Canadian Inuit dogs in action. His dogsledding tour was rated on National Geographic's 2012 Ultimate Adventure Bucket List. I can't recommend these guys highly enough. They make sure you have the correct clothes for the trip and constantly check up on you during the tour. Highly recommend renting all outerwear and boots from them - kept me nice and warm even in below zero temps. The guides are not only professional, but friendly and fun. And the dogs are uber friendly. There is an optional sunrise kennel care where you can spend extra time feeding them and putting their harnesses on upside down! The dogs must be used to this because they are so patient. Highly recommend this activity. Yeah, it's hard to get out of bed when it's -11 F out, but you forget the cold when the dogs are jumping up and down happy to see you. The first day of sledding is on a lake on 2 man sleds. You get a good feel of the sled's capabilities and how to manage the dogs. This is a good opportunity to practice getting on and off the sled as you will need that the next 2 days. The next 2 days are all day trips in rolling terrain. If you don't get off the sled on the uphill stints, the dogs will look back at you as if to say, "Dudes, help out!" My husband loved the experience and we are still telling everyone about out trip. We would go back in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plainfield, Indiana
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013 via mobile

Mere words can not describe the experience. The smell, comraderie, excitement and sound of the dogs is electrifying and addictive. And this is said by someone who really does not like dogs.

I came alone on the first trip of the year for the 4-day lodge to lodge trip and had a wonderful time. The food is excellent. You can participate in as much or little of dog care as you want. Being middle age and in good shape, I did not find it to be too physical. Occasionally, we would have to step off the sled and jog beside it to help get the sled up the hills. One could kick as if on a scooter instead. A repeat customer told me this rarely occurs on trips later in the year do to the trails being more snow covered and smoother. However, it will be colder later in the year.

I rented boots and parka and was comfortably warm. They are well organized and know what they are doing. They go out of their way to customize the trip to your abilities, needs and wishes. It was just two of us on our last day and we went into the Boundary Waters to look at pictographs, try our hand at cross country skiing, skijoring (pulled by dog on skis), zip sledding (1-man sled) and hiking. Throw in the Finnish sauana and I safely can say I experienced much more than I could imagine.

If you are on aware of who Paul Schurke is, google his name. Wintergreen is royalty!

If you are remotely interested in dog sledding, I highly recommend Wintergreen.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2012

I went on a 4 night lodge based dogsled vacation and had a blast. I went as a solo traveller and was welcomed by the other guests and guides. The cabin was super comfy, the food was super delicious and the guides were so knowledgeable and gracious. What an incredible opportunity to learn about mushing, sleds and dogs. The staff know their stuff, go out of their way to help and really make sure you have a good experience at every turn. From getting the dogs ready in the morning, to gear, to ice caves, and stopping run away sleds it is clear that this is a place run by professionals who know their stuff and love what they do.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
147 helpful votes 147 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2011

My husband and I had an amazing experience dog sledding with Wintergreen.

What piqued our interest was watching Samantha Brown dog sledding with Wintergreen on the Travel Channel. I then proceeded to check out other outfitters from Ely to Grand Marais. After a lot of research Wintergreen is clearly in a class of their own versus other outfitters. They have monumental history, experience, professionalism and passion in what they do. The design of their sleds was also a selling point as my husband and I could share a sled standing side by side. So we figured if Wintergreen was good enough for Samantha Brown, National Geographic, etc. they are good enough for us too.

Before embarking on a several day journey we decided to try a day trip first. They were very accommodating with our reservations. We were treated like family the way Sue and Becka welcomed us into their lodge for orientation. We provided them with our age and physical abilities in advance so they could design a custom day trip dependent upon our capabilities and wants/needs. Sue and her furry companion Izzie were our guides for the day on cross country skis in front of us and Becka followed our sled. We started out on the lake to let us get accustomed with the sled and let the dogs rid some energy. We then proceeded onto trails and had light snowfall that made for a serene setting. There were times when going uphill we had to pedal kick or one person would get off the sled to give the dogs a break, but it was not demanding and made you feel part of the team. We did take a tumble or two in the snow but that was part of the fun! The dogs Clark, Sweet Pea, Kirsch, Jack and Jill were amazing. My husband was especially fond of Jill and wanted to take her back home with us.

We are in our mid-forties and mid-fifties so if we can do this, just about anyone can. As a matter of fact, we have been back now for a week and we still can’t stop talking about how much fun we had – to each other or to anyone that will listen. We are now trying to enlist friends for a return 3 or 4 day trek.

Sue and Becka were wonderful guides, photographers and historians. Paired up with those beautiful dogs, they gave us memories that we will cherish forever.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge

Address: 1101 Ring Rock Road, Ely, MN 55731
Location: United States > Minnesota > Ely
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 30 Specialty Lodging in Ely
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
For 30 years, Wintergreen has provided lodge-based dog sledding vacations and dogsled camping trips. Mush your own team of our friendly Canadian Eskimo dogs on beautiful northwoods trails with training by our expert guides. Lovely lakeshore lodging & fine meals by our French chef. Open to all ages, no experience needed, clothing & boots available. Youth, family & group discounts. Cited as "best in the business" by National Geographic Adventure. Mush a team of our friendly, beautiful Eskimo dogs in northern Minnesota's spectacular border country on guided vacation trips. You'll be in good hands-- Wintergreen is the nation's only lodge devoted exclusively to dog sledding and it's directed by Paul Schurke, one of the top winter skills experts. Winter is what we're all about -- we do it very well! Wintergreen offers a dog sledding experience to suit all ages and interests: Our Lodge-based Dogsled Vacation Packages are suited for persons ages 8 to 80 and require no experience or gear. On these unique get-aways, you'll drive a dogteam on wilderness trails each day accompanied by our guides & naturalists. Each evening you'll enjoy great northwoods cabins and great meals. Offered in 3- or 4-night itineraries, standard or deluxe packages. Our Beginning Dogsled Camping Trips are 5-night comprehensive winter camping courses suited for complete beginners. You'll spend your first two nights at Wintergreen learning dogsledding, snowshoeing, skiing and winter camping skills. Then with our guides you'll enjoy a 3-day, 2-night trek exploring the boundary wilderness -- capped off with a final festive evening back at Wintergreen. Lots of learning and lots of fun. Our Advanced Camping Trips and our Arctic Treks get you deeper into the wilderness by dogsled, ski and snowshoe, and offer more in-depth skills instruction. These 1- to 2-week trips are suited for persons who've had previous summer or winter camping experience. They are truly outstanding adventures and they're often led by Wintergreen director Paul Schurke. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Wintergreen Dogsled Hotel Ely

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