John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon

January 26-29, 2018

The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is the longest sled dog race in the lower 48 states. World class mushers including Susan Butcher, Jamie Nelson, John and Jason Baron have competed in the nearly 400 mile event – facing off against other seasoned competitors as well as the extremes of northern Minnesota weather and the deceivingly rugged terrain of the trail. The “Beargrease” is a qualifier for the famed Iditarod race in Alaska.

The organization hosts a Mid-Distance Race as well; like the marathon mushers, the mid distance racers also travel through the rugged Sawtooth mountains and up the Gunflint Trail in Northern Minnesota. Gunflint Lodge & Outfitters own onsite musher, Adam Treeful, will be competing in the Mid-Distance race this year.

All check points and road crossings are easily accessible to the public and provide many opportunities for photographers, winter camping or simply quality time around a campfire with good people, hot chocolate and the thrill of seeing these amazing canine athletes and their hardy handlers in action. Come visit the Gunflint Trail between January 26th and 29th, 2018 to experience this spectacular race. For more information, please see the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon webpage.

This three day package will give you the opportunity to watch the race, as well as to meet our onsite musher and Beargrease competitor Adam Treeful, and his team of sled dogs and maybe try a little dog sledding yourself. Arrive on Friday to meet Adam and his team of dogs from 2:00 to 5:00. Adam will be demonstrating dog mushing, answer your questions, and may even have time to give you a quick ride with his team.

On Saturday, you may sign up for a dog sled ride with Adam. Or you may choose to cross country ski, snowshoe, or hike on the nearby trails. You can purchase tickets separately to attend the Opening Ceremonies and dinner in Two Harbors or you may choose to dine in Justine’s at Gunflint Lodge.

The race starts Sunday, January 28, at Two Harbors. You may choose to eat meals in our Lodge, or we will pack you a breakfast to go and a bag lunch to take with you to the race if you want to get an early start. When you return from watching the race, you will enjoy a hot meal in front of the fireplace in the dining room and can return to your cabin to relax in front of a fire or in your in-room sauna or whirlpool.

The 400 mile Marathon will go past Trail Center, right here on the Gunflint Trail, and the Mid-Distance Race will finish there. You can watch the race as it comes up the Gunflint Trail, and you can attend the Mid-Distance Race Awards Banquet at Trail Center Monday afternoon.

The Beargrease Race package includes

  • Three nights accommodations in a lakeside fireplace cabin
  • All meals from Friday dinner through Monday breakfast (Saturday Opening Ceremony tickets must be purchased separately from the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon webpage for an additional charge
  • Meet the Musher event Friday afternoon with Adam Treeful
  • 30-minute dog sled ride (based on availability)
  • Cross Country skis, snowshoe, and Nordic kicksled rental included
  • Guided Naturalist activities

Package pricing

$449 per person in a Classic Cabin
$649 per person in a Romantic Cabin or Gunflint Lake Home
$49  additional for a single person in a cabin
Prices based on double occupancy. Base cabin occupancies apply.

Taxes, service charge and trail pass additional




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