Enjoy the splendor of winter in the North Woods while sampling the activities it has to offer. Dogsled across frozen lakes. Cross-country ski through snow-covered pine boughs. Snowshoe under the stars. Enjoy the benefits of a wood-fired Finnish sauna, followed by a polar-plunge in the lake. Relax at night by a cozy fire in the lodge recounting the day’s adventures.
ItineraryExpand All Fields
Day 1: Arrive at Camp Menogyn and participate in dogsledding orientation.
The trip starts in the late afternoon at Camp Menogyn near Bearskin Lake in the BWCA. You will hike about a mile across the frozen lake to access the lodge. Upon arrival, settle into your accommodations before enjoying dinner. Afterwards gather around the wood burning stove for introductions to dogsledding and learning how to dress for the weather.
Day 2: Dogsled under the towering pines through backcountry trails before an afternoon hike to Caribou Rock.
After breakfast and great coffee you will break into groups for half or full day activities. Options include dogsledding, hiking to Caribou Rock, snowshoeing down the Back Trail, cross-country skiing to Rose Falls, or trying your luck ice fishing (don't forget your license). Enjoy dinner with the group before experiencing the stillness of a North Woods winter evening. You'll have the option to sleep under the stars in a quinzhee tonight!
Day 3: Enjoy a morning snowshoe adventure before relaxing in the lakeside sauna.
If interested, rise early to assist the mushers with feeding and caring for the dogs. Try a new adventure or develop a recently learned skill as you decide between half or full day activities. A relaxing afternoon by the lodge's wood burning stove is always an option too! Enjoy one last dinner and then brave the sauna and polar-plunge in the lake, if you dare.
Day 4: Enjoy one last outing and then say farewell to your trip mates.
Early risers can enjoy one last ski or snowshoe outing before breakfast. After, pack and transfer personal gear back across the lake for the trip home. The trip officially ends in the late morning before lunch. If you use WI's van transportation you can expect to arrive back in Minneapolis by evening.
What to Expect
TERRAIN/ROUTE: You will ski, snowshoe, and sled over lakes and through the woods. The frozen lakes provide level and open terrain. Portage trails through the woods can be hilly. The Boundary Waters offers a wide range of route options from easy to very difficult, perfect for every level of adventurer.
TYPE OF TRAVEL/DISTANCE: You will use cross-country skis, snowshoes, dogsleds, and pulk sleds. Pulks are one-person sleds, powered by another individual, used for transportation. An average day consists of 2-6 hours of activity, depending on weather conditions. Dogsledding is extremely dependent on weather, snow conditions, and the dogs. You can expect at least a 15-minute ride, but if conditions are right plan on a much longer experience. Travel distances vary from 3-8 miles per day. No previous experience is needed to participate on this trip.
WEATHER: Temperatures in the winter months range from -40 F to +40 F. With proper gear and clothing you can stay very comfortable.
YOUR GROUP: The group size ranges from 15 to 20 participants, plus 2 or more Wilderness Inquiry staff in addition to the Camp Menogyn dog mushers. Each group consists of people of various ages, backgrounds, and abilities. Our trips are collaborative in nature. WI staff will assist you in whatever areas you need, however, most people pitch in where they can.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Participants share rooms and sleep in bunk beds. Camp Menogyn is a modern facility; however, most people will be asked to use an outhouse. An indoor bathroom is available for those who are unable to venture outside easily. Bathing is done the “Finnish way” in the sauna on our last night.
MEALS: All meals will be prepared for you by Camp Menogyn. You can expect fresh fruit and veggies, nutritious meals, and snacks throughout the day. If you have special dietary restrictions, be sure to let Wilderness Inquiry know ahead of time.
EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING: Wilderness Inquiry will provide all group equipment. You will need to provide your personal gear as outlined in the packing list. If you are new to outdoor activities, you do not need to spend a lot of money. Wilderness Inquiry can usually arrange for you to borrow most items.Read more »
Frequently Asked Questions:
Where do we meet?
Standard Meeting Places and Times
Start: Grand Marais, MN- Super America Gas Station at 1:30 PM (local time)
End: Grand Marais, MN- Super America Gas Station at 11:00 AM (local time)
This trip officially begins at 3:00 PM at the landing for Camp Menogyn on Bearskin Lake off the Gunflint Trail. The trip ends at 10:00 AM at the same location. You can use your own transportation and meet us at Camp Menogyn or take WI’s van transportation from Minneapolis for an additional fee. To ride in the WI Van, meet at Wilderness Inquiry Headquarters in Minneapolis at 7:30 AM on the first day of the trip. The shuttle returns to Minneapolis at 6:30 PM on the last day of the trip. For those driving on their own, Menogyn is about 6 hours northeast of Minneapolis, and 3.5 hours from Duluth, MN. Detailed meeting place instructions will be sent to you when you are confirmed for the trip. Booking a Flight? We recommend flying in to the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport the night before your trip, and flying out from Minneapolis St Paul International Airport after 9:00 PM.
Do you offer financial aid?
Yes - we believe the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors should be available to everyone. To keep our programs as financially accessible as possible, each year we raise funds to support need-based scholarships. Certain restrictions apply. Financial aid is available for a select number of trips only and typically not available for international trips. Click here to apply for financial aid. This website also shows a list of trips that are currently eligible for financial aid. Check back often, as this list is updated regularly! Call 612-676-9400 for more information.
I am riding in the Wilderness Inquiry van to the trip starting point. Where can I park my car?
Wilderness Inquiry has no participant parking available in our lot. We recommend you make arrangements to be dropped off and picked up at WI. If you are unable to make a drop off/pick up arrangement, you can park your car near WI for $5-10/day. Long-term street parking is not available.
What is your cancellation/refund policy?
We require a nonrefundable deposit of 10% of the trip fee or $100, whichever is smaller. So, for example, if the trip fee is $250, the deposit would be $25. If the trip fee is $3995, the deposit would be $100.
If you choose to cancel your trip:
For trips in the continental United States:
• 6 weeks prior to start date — we will refund fees paid minus deposit.
• Less than 6 weeks — we will refund 50% of the total trip fee, or 100% of fees paid can be transferred to a future trip.
• Less than 1 week— no refunds will be issued.
For trips outside the continental United States:
• 12 weeks prior to start date— we will refund fees paid minus deposit.
• Less than 12 weeks — we will refund 50% of the total trip fee, or 100% of fees paid can be transferred to a future trip.
• Less than 2 weeks — no refunds will be issued.
In the rare event that WI cancels a trip, or we are unable to serve you, all fees are immediately refunded, including the deposit. Unfortunately, we cannot be responsible for personal expenses such as airline tickets. To protect your investment in your travel plans we recommend purchasing travel insurance. Information on travel insurance is included in your trip confirmation packet. If after registering you wish to switch trips, you may do so subject to availability. Fees may apply.
Under certain circumstances, such as death of a family member, change in health status, loss of employment, etc., we may make exceptions to our refund policies. Please let us know immediately if your plans change!