Dog Sled Trips with Musher Erik Simula
Winter 2016/2017: Erik's schedule and rates for the coming winter will be set up in November. Normally his first trips begin right after Christmas. Trips end sometime in March, depending on weather and ice conditions. If you're interested in booking a trip now, call us and put your name on the list. We'll email you as soon as Erik sets up his schedule and rates.
Experience a dog sledding adventure into the deep wilderness at Bearskin Lodge on the Gunflint Trail this winter. Dog sled trips into the Superior National Forest on the edge of the BWCA wilderness will be offered on weekends and most week days in 2016. Reservations ahead of time are recommended. Tours allow participants the opportunity to ride the runners, an exciting way to experience what it is like to drive the sled and dog team.
Each trip involves extensive time getting to know the dogs and the musher, and learning about the dynamics between them. Erik treats each interaction as an educational experience. You may choose whether you want to ride warmly bundled in the sled, ride on the sled runners, or play a role in driving the team — or perhaps you would like to have all these adventurous experiences during your trip. This year’s team is a group of eight Alaskan Huskies with an interesting alpha male/alpha female hierarchy. You’ll enjoy seeing and learning about their instinctual pack behavior.
Planning notes for your adventure:
- Our dog teams can pull a group of about 350 pounds, plus the weight of the musher.
- When you make your reservation we will ask for the weights of your group members and help you plan the trip accordingly. If Erik thinks a pair of riders may go over the weight limit, you can do the interpretive time together, and then go out individually — this is always the best way to get memorable photos!
- Our mushing program takes one dog sled out on a trip at a time. If your group includes a larger number of riders than will work for one trip, we can schedule back-to-back trips. There will be an initial group orientation, then the rest of the group can enjoy our warm lodge or wait in the tipi while the first group goes out. Plan to get memorable photos as your friends or family members take off and return in the dog sled.
- You will need to dress warmly and wear boots or footwear appropriate to walking in snow. Check the temperature outside when you dress for your dogsled trip day. We may be able to provide you with extra layers, but you will get the most enjoyment out of your trip if you are dressed warmly.
2015-2016 winter dog sled trips and programs
1-hour trip, 8-dog team:
Receive an introduction to mushing: get to know the dogs and the musher, learn about the social dynamics of the dog team, help harness the dogs, and ask every question you’ve ever wanted to know about dog sledding. Travel eastward towards the BWCA Wilderness. Actual distance covered will depend on snow conditions, but the entire experience will last about an hour.
- Rates for trip: $95 for adults — $75 for kids under 12 – $140 for single riders.
- Trip times: 10:00, 11:15, 1:00, 2:15
- Call our front desk for current openings.
- Trip dates: December 26, 2014 – March 22, 2015 (or for as long as snow conditions will allow–the snow is often too wet by 3/15, but not always.)
- Please arrive for your trip at least 15-30 minutes before you are scheduled to go. There are waivers to sign, payments to deal with, bathroom stops to make, plus there is a 5 minute walk to the mushing tipi. You will have a better, fuller mushing experience if you don't spend any of your trip time on these details.
- If you are driving from another lodge or resort, allow yourself ample time to drive here. Better to be too early and perhaps spend extra time in the comfort of beautiful Bearskin Lodge than to come squealing in at the last minute and then have a frantic beginning to your dog sled adventure.
Morning Interpretive Kennel Program:
Free 15-minute Morning Interpretive Kennel Program: 9:30–9:45 AM Wednesday-Sunday (daily during holidays)
Come out and meet the dogs and the musher each morning at Bearskin Lodge. Complementary; this is a great chance to learn about dogs and mushing and decide if you would love to experience your own dog sled adventure.
Erik will be available for trips every day from December 26th – January 1st, and over Martin Luther King and President’s Day Weekends. Monday and Tuesdays will be rest days (no tours except for special requests) with Tuesdays and Wednesdays as rest days following holidays.