Chilly Dogs Sled Dog Trips in Ely, Minnesota

Book now for this coming winter, as spots are already starting to fill!


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Cancellation Policy


Chilly Dogs Dog Sled Trips.
Chilly Dogs Dog Sled Trips.

We define "cancellation"* as:

(1) any change to your confirmed trip date or time;
(2) dropping one or more person/s from your group’s roster; or
(3) complete termination of your confirmed trip reservation for all participants.

Your receipt of our emailed Chilly Dogs dogsled trip reservation confirmation, and the associated cancellation policy linked therein, constitute a binding agreement between you and us. Essentially, you are “pre-purchasing” a specific number of spots on a specific date and time; we are committing to holding those spots for you on that specific date and time and providing you with a quality dogsledding experience. If, FOR ANY REASON, you must make changes* to or cancel your reservation, please understand that you are still responsible to pay at minimum a $50 service fee up to the full cost of each person’s reserved spot that is being vacated, depending on the date of cancellation relative to the date of your confirmed trip reservation.

By providing your credit card at the time of booking, you acknowledge and accept our Cancellation Policy’s terms below:

If you *cancel your confirmed dog sled trip reservation FOR ANY REASON...

  • 31 days or more before your trip date, your deposit, minus a $50 fee (to cover the clerical and credit card costs that Chilly Dogs has incurred in processing your reservation), can either be refunded or applied to another trip date this season or next.
  • 15-30 days before your trip date, your deposit, minus the $50 fee, is not refundable, but is transferrable to a new trip date within one year (365 days) of the original trip date, rates in effect at the time of booking the new trip date prevailing, subject to availability.
  • 14 days or fewer before your trip date, your deposit is not refundable AND the remaining trip balance will be charged to the credit card on file for your party. This applies to all cancelling party members.

“If Chilly Dogs must cancel your reservations for any unforeseen reason, we will issue a full refund of your deposit, or transfer your deposit to a future date, whichever you prefer.”

(Note: Chilly Dogs Gift Certificates are treated like currency when being used to pay for trip costs, and, as such, they are subject to forfeiture or reduction in value in the event of a trip cancellation.*)

Here’s an idea: You may want to consider travelers’ insurance to protect yourself in the event of a last-minute trip cancellation, particularly if you have a larger and more expensive group reservation. A typical policy can cost about 5-10% of your total trip cost and may be able to reimburse not only that, but also lodging or airline expenses. A simple Google search can show you many options.

OUR TRIP LOCATION POLICY: We make every effort to run our trips on the trail system that is directly connected to our facility, as it is most convenient to both us and you. However, if snow levels and trail conditions call for it, we may need to run your trip at a secondary off-site location for the best experience. If this back-up site is necessary, we will contact you ahead of your trip to provide you with directions for travel to that site.

“Why the strict policy?”

We maintain a large kennel of sled dogs and the necessary staff to care for them 24/7/365 for the sole purpose of offering a fun and unique winter adventure to you and others. Our season for doing what we do is a short one. In fact, we have a seasonal average of only 60-80 days to earn the income needed to cover our annual costs of dog food and care, staffing, and overhead, not to mention the feeding and care of our own family! Every spot reserved and paid for makes that possible. We commit to you by holding your spots for you and turning away others desiring those same spots. As a small, family-run business, even one spot vacated—especially within a short time before the trip date (when there is less chance of filling that vacancy)—is felt by us throughout the year. We simply cannot absorb the losses due to cancellations like a large business can.

The fact that you do take on a risk when you book a dogsled trip (as with airplane tickets, cruises, etc.) is not lost on us. We greatly appreciate your willingness to do that. Thousands of people who have been here before will tell you it’s well worth it, so you, too, can...

Come travel at the speed of Dog!

Cancellation FAQs

“I need to cancel my trip in a few days, but I still want to come dogsledding with you on a future date. Why can’t I just move my money to a new date in the future? This is one of our most common cancellation questions, because most people think they are just postponing, and not cancelling their trip. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works on our end. Our season is short, and we fill our calendar early and very close to full capacity. When you cancel within 1-2 weeks of your confirmed trip date, there is very little chance of filling those spots, as most people have already planned their winter vacations. Not only would your first cancelled trip hurt us with the unpaid vacancies, but, what if something comes up for which you must cancel the second trip…?

“What if the weather forecast calls for snow or a winter storm?” It is your responsibility to take traffic and weather conditions into consideration to make sure you arrive here on time. This may mean you need to get on the road earlier than you had planned, and perhaps consider renting a 4-wheel drive vehicle for your mode of transportation here (always highly recommended). If you are scheduled for a morning trip, it is a good idea to stay in Ely or very close by the night before, so it’s an easy drive to our place in the morning. Remember this: if you arrive too late to attend the mandatory, in-depth training portion of our program, or if you miss your scheduled trip day altogether, you have nevertheless committed to pay the balance due for your trip, and your credit card will be charged.

“What if it’s really cold the day of my trip?” This is northern Minnesota, and it is normal to get very cold—that’s one of the reasons we love it here! Our dogs and guides LOVE to run trips when it’s very cold, and your trip will go on regardless of low temperatures. However, your safety is a top priority to us. Since most of our guests do not own a musher’s wardrobe, they often arrive unknowingly insufficiently prepared for the day’s trail conditions. Our experienced staff will discuss the importance of proper clothing and suggest rental options, if they see a need. Our rental clothing shelves are stocked with the right gear, and that is the key to enjoying a successful dog sled trip on even our coldest winter days!

“What if someone in my party gets sick, injured, or otherwise incapacitated before our trip?”While unfortunate, sickness does happen, and, for the sake of all our guests, our staff, and our family, we depend on your good judgment to know when to stay home due to illness. Our guides configure all our trips far ahead of time, down to the placement of every sled, guest, guide, and dog. We would greatly appreciate your informing us as soon as possible if someone is dropping out, so we can discuss the options with you.

“My friend can no longer make it. Can I substitute someone else?” Usually, yes, but you must EMAIL US IN ADVANCE, so we can confirm that the new configuration will work. For example, if you substitute someone of similar weight/fitness, then it should work fine. If, however, the substitution means we don’t have enough fit and able sled drivers in your group anymore, a substitution may not work.

“What if I need to cancel due to a personal emergency?” While we can sympathize with difficult things in life that would keep you from coming on your trip, please understand that we have a financial commitment to our staff, our dogs, and our families that requires us to stay firm on our policy. If there is any way that we can fill your vacated spots, we will try our best to do so and save you some money.

“What if I wake up late, take too long at the restaurant for breakfast, can’t get my car to start, get lost, run out of gas, get stuck in the ditch, or otherwise miss my start time?” Please notify us immediately when you know you are not going to make it on time, so we can determine the next steps. Our tours operate on a tight schedule, which includes required safety training for all the guests in each time slot. Depending on how late you are, you may or may not be able to go on your scheduled trip.

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