Dog sledding in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

by | Jan 23, 2015 | Michigan, Travel

I said to Chuck while we were planning our winter vacation to the U.P., “We should try dog sledding, wouldn’t that be a hoot?” He needed little encouragement and before I could bat an eye, I was bundled up and on a dog sled in Munising, Michigan.

Everyone should try dog sledding

Dog sledding Munising - U.P. Winter - 2014 -9

Dog Sledding Map

When the a packet of papers arrived in the mail from Triple Creek Kennel, I said, “Chuck what have you signed us up for?” I wasn’t really expecting a reply, but he said, “No worries, I have an adventure map so it will be fine.”

Dog sledding Munising - U.P. Winter - 2014 - 22

Let the Adventure Begin

With the adventure map, a case of Redbull and snow falling at an alarming rate, we exited the Holiday Inn in Munising and loaded into the Tahoe. I was mildly concerned, but I kept my thoughts to myself.

Dog sledding Munising - U.P. Winter - 2014 - 17

Chuck explains the Dog Sledding Adventure.

We clearly couldn’t follow the directions on the adventure map. We had to call for help when we found ourselves at the Seney turn. We eventually found the sign and the road. Not sure how we missed the sign! I think the only thing they want us to know is U-Drive.

Dog sledding Munising - U.P. Winter - 2014 -13

When we called to ask for directions at the Seney turn, we were assured the road was plowed. I’m not sure how plowed is defined.

Reached our Destination

Dog sledding Munising - U.P. Winter - 2014 -13

We found our guide, Matt. He was a little surprised to see us too. He wasn’t sure if we would make it because of the snow. We assured him that we were never concerned, but I can assure you, we were all worried we wouldn’t leave until Spring.

Dog sledding Munising - U.P. Winter - 2014 -13

Gear up for Mushing

The flyer we received with the map provided the following warning: “Mushing is one of the most unique sports, exciting and invigorating of all Michigan outdoor activities. It offers the thrill of speed, the quiet of the forest, the challenge of threading a sled down a winding narrow timber path, and the excitement of the dog team in harness, barking in eagerness. The Musher will test your physical fitness in working with the dogs as they pull the sled up hills and over obstacles. Like all sports, the prepared participant will fare much better. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan can be a harsh and unforgiving environment. The key to enjoyment of the mushing experience centers around warm clothing.

Dog sledding Munising - U.P. Winter - 2014 -21

Dog Sled Lessons

Matt provided us with instructions:

  1. Stand on the rails
  2. Stand on the pad to break
  3. Always stay on sled and when you stop, put the snow hook in the snow and put one foot on the hook and one foot on the sled
  4. The dogs know where to go so don’t worry about driving

Harness the dogs

While Matt was harnessing the dogs, Angie and I poked around the door yard and Chuck helped by shoveling some snow. Jeff made friends with the dogs.

Dogsledding Munising - U.P. Winter - 2014 -3


Our YouTube playlist of videos from our dog sledding adventure gives you a taste.

The Dogs

The dogs were beautiful and very sweet. They were eager to run and it appeared they loved pulling the sled.

Dog sledding Munising - U.P. Winter - 2014 -20

Lay off the Bagels

Chuck was convinced the dogs were looking at him and thinking, “Lay off the bagels dude!” There was about a foot of fresh snow on the ground. Matt warned us that it would be slow going because of it, but the dogs would be fine. He was ahead of us on the snowmobile and Angie and Jeff were behind us on their dog sled. I’m not going to sugar coat it, Chuck was getting quite the workout. The dogs would occasionally stop and turn their heads and eye us. Matt commented during one of our breaks for Chuck to catch his breath, “It is a good thing you are in great shape, otherwise this would be really hard.”

Dog sledding Munising - U.P. Winter - 2014 -1

Stay in Touch

We had fantastic time during our 2014 Michigan Winter Vacation. We have many more pictures in our gallery and our upcoming itinerary blog post condenses the vacation into a single post. As always, you can keep in touch with us by signing up for our email or you can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Cheers!

Recommended Reading