Winter Wilderness Adventure Starts in Ely, Minnesotawidesled_high-res


In Ely, Minnesota, winter is more than just a season—it is a snow-packed playland. Located on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, this vast expanse of forest and ice-covered lakes is a destination to cross-country ski, snowmobile, photograph, fish, snowshoe, or dog sled. With an average annual snowfall of 64 inches, Ely offers an unparalleled experience for winter adventure seekers.


Dog Sledding

A dog sled excursion is an exhilarating adventure deep into the wilderness. No experience required! Outfitters teach you everything you need to know; learn to harness the dogs and guide the sled. Trips range from family-friendly guided day outings or overnight lodge-to-lodge treks to more challenging camping trips.



If snowmobiling gets you excited about winter, then you need to ride in the Ely area! The trails stretch through state and national forests—over 250 miles of groomed woodland trails with many spur routes that take you through remote areas for a true wilderness experience.


Cross-country Skiing

The cross country ski season in Ely is longer than anywhere else in Minnesota. There are over 80 miles of groomed trails meandering through beautiful rolling terrain and backcountry user-tracked trails through forests and across snow-covered lakes—all offer the opportunity to see wildlife.



Frozen lakes have plenty of hungry fish and hard to access lakes are easier to get to by snowmobile, skiing or dog sled. Your fishing trip can be as comfortable or as rugged as you like. Combine winter camping with an extended trip to an area lake or drop a line in the comfort of a heated fish house.



Want to experience a whole different world where the only company is the wildlife you will see? Snowshoeing gets you off trail, allowing you to go places where skiers and snowmobilers cannot go. It’s the perfect way to take a wilderness trek.


The late CBS news journalist, Charles Kuralt, named Ely his “No. 1 vacation destination” and in 2009, National Geographic Adventure Magazine named Ely to its 100 Best Adventure Towns. Come find out why Ely, Minnesota is called “the last great pure experience.”


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