Husky Ranch USA

Minnesota, USA



The Experience

Fronteering is happy to partner with Points Unknown dog sledding ranch in the USA! Venture to the Minnesota’s North Woods of USA for the experience of a lifetime. This is the ultimate husky ranch and dogsled experience for the real explorers among us who are looking for an adventurous volunteer abroad project!

Experience living off the grid while helping with the daily routines involved in caring, grooming and dog-sledging with the beautiful dogs of our USA dog sledding ranch. They promote and actively maintains a kennel of traditional sled dogs including the Freight Alaskan and Hedlund Husky. Though this may be an awesome opportunity to get away from the bustling city life, it is important to take into consideration that this project is remotely located, well away from any towns. If this is no problem then come join us for an adventurous volunteering experience! You will have many opportunities to dogsled during the winter and of course play /care for the huskies! This project has excellent opportunities in winter however summer has its own advantages and many opportunities to hike, bike and it is a great place for wildlife viewing. The main activity is dog-sledging and mushing while taking care of them. Stay for a minimum duration of 4 weeks to a maximum duration of 12 weeks. This will be one trip to remember!


This Is Why

  • Play with huskies and go dog sledding!
  • Live off the grid in a cozy cabin for the ultimate north wood Minnesota experience.
  • Volunteer in one of the most beautiful sceneries in the world and explore the natural beauty of Minnesota.
  • Opportunities for Wildlife viewing in the surrounding property.

Project Details
  • Key Start Dates
    All year round (book early in advance to be assured of a volunteer placement)
  • Volunteer duration
    4 - 12 weeks
  • Package Price
    4 weeks  1695 US$
  • 6 weeks  1895 US$
  • 8 weeks  1995 US$
  • 10 weeks  2095 US$
  • 12 weeks  2295 US$
  • Average Work hours
    5,5 days per week starting at 7-8 AM to 6-7 PM (with enough break time in between).
  • Number of Volunteers
  • Volunteer accommodation
  • Housing Type
    Shared rooms in a cabin house located on the project. Bunk beds, toilet and bath all included in the cabins.
  • Internet Access
    Available. Please take note that access is limited and not meant for downloading as it is very costly in remote places
  • Who Are They Looking For?
    Love of the outdoors and a passion for wildlife is a priority. You should not be fussy, picky or hypersensitive about cleaning as this is one of the main chores.  We will not tolerate smoking, alcohol or the use of drugs. Please remember that you are a guest, therefore, respecting the rules is essential.

Fast Facts: USA

Where? North America, USA

Country Size: 9,826,675 km2
3,794,101 sq mi 

Population density? 33.7/km2
87.4/sq mi

Country Famous for? Statue of Liberty, Yellowstone National Park, Old West, Rocky Mountains, Hamburgers & Hotdogs, Everglades, Alligators, Hawaii, Vulcano's, New York, Statue of Liberty, Las Vegas, Hollywood

When to visit: All year round, many activities all year round with great mixture culture and nature!

  • What's Included
    • Placement
      Husky Ranch USA (Points Unknown)
    • Airport Pickup

      You will be picked up from the Thunderbay airport in Canada and from there picked up and transferred over the border to the project site located in USA in the state of Minnesota.
    • Accommodation
      Volunteers will be placed in shared rooms in a cabin house located on the project. Bunk beds, toilet and bath all included in the rooms. (Refer to the pics and vids for somepictures of the Accommodation).
    • Meals
      3 meals a day inclueded during your entire stay.
    • Ongoing service
      If there are any problems with your volunteer project we are always there to help you and mediate between yourself and the organization.
    • Tours
      Through FRONTEERING you have the possibility to book tours in the USA after you have finished your volunteer project.
    • 24/7 Emergency contact
      If there are any problems during you stay in Minnesota you can reach us 24/7 to assist you.

    What's not included: International Flights and Insurance

    Package Price:
    4 Weeks: $1695.00 US          6 Weeks: $1895.00 US,        8 Weeks: $1995.00 US,        10 Weeks: $2095.00 US        12 Weeks: $2295.00 US

    Volunteers and Interns are the backbone of the organization. Attitude is the first things this project looks at. These dogs are really well-known for their strength, will-power and determination as well as for their friendliness. Limited adventure participant positions available for motivated individuals to come join our team of women-led outdoor educators, sled dog handlers & tour guides at Points Unknown (a women-owned business)! No specific experience required but a background in dog obedience or dog behavior would be helpful. We have an intense, detailed immersion training that will teach you what you need to know to work safely and confidently with our sled. With an adventurous spirit, positive attitude and a desire to learn, you will have an experience of a lifetime. Points Unknown is a one-of-a-kind sled dog facility, fully off-grid homestead, and small adventure business located in the Northwoods of Minnesota. We offer unique hands-on experiences ranging from Dog Sledding Tours, Mindful Paddling into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Hiking and Canicross Guiding, Girls’ & Women’s Outdoor Mentorship Programs, experiences in our on-site Beeswax Candle Studio, and more. The sled dogs are, of course, the focus. Our programs are immersive, unique, and intimate. We focus on providing quality outdoor education experiences for individuals, families and small groups. Points Unknown revolves around our kennel of traditional sled dogs and is powered by a tight-knit team of 4 people or less at any given time, including the owner. The atmosphere here in the woods is typically quiet and peaceful. In the height of winter things pick up and the environment tends to be more fast paced between sledding tours, caring for the dogs, snow removal and other off-grid tasks. Snow removal in and around the dog kennels is a big part of the winter activities. This position is best suited for a physically fit person who loves dogs, adventure, being outdoors, learning new skills, and is able to work long hours outside. While this job can be physically and mentally demanding, it is also immensely empowering and fulfilling. Those who value healthy communication, positive community, diversity and personal growth will excel here. Determination, flexibility, punctuality, and an ability to adjust based on constructive feedback will set you up for success in our unique learning environment.
    You will assigned to one of the following tasks:
    • Construction/maintenance/cleaning
    • Caring for the dogs including grooming and feeding.
    • Many various tasks that might come up. 
    • Assiting with dogsledding trips and training the dogs

    No matter what tasks you will do you will have a great time working in great team while dog sledding in your spare time!!!

  • Requirements, Guidelines & Policies
    • Age required: 18+
    • Volunteers must commit for a minimum of 4 weeks.
    • NO SMOKING is allowed on the property. Absolutely no smoking around the dogs; and never leave a cigarette on the ground because they are toxic to dogs.
    • Strong work ethics are required: reliable, responsible, honest, good sense of humour, dependable, physically and mentally fit.
    • Do not leave anything hazardous or any personal items around the dogs – out of curiosity, they may consume something toxic or harmful.
    • No animal allergies.
    • Positive attitude!
    • Must have health insurance
    • Routined Vaccination should be up to date
  • Volunteer Benefits
    • Go dog sledding!
    • Become an outdoor guide who is able to help, inspire and educate people of all ages who may be new to wilderness adventures; these experiences for some guests are life-changing.
    • Experience unique homesteading opportunities not offered to the public including maple tapping, traditional Wild Rice harvesting, Straw Bale gardening, photographing Northern Lights, finding agates on the shores of the world’s largest freshwater lake and more
    • Learn science-based practices for behavioral dog training and puppy brain development that build confidence, resilience, and well-rounded adult dogs
    • Gain keen observation skills in the wilderness, on dog-sled trails, and regarding canine mental and physical health
    • Develop in-the-moment problem solving skills by finding balance between time-tested dog-handling protocols and adapting to changing circumstances
    • Learn how to run a kennel dedicated to the highest standards of cleanliness, safety, and canine wellness. Points Unknown is a proud member of the International organization Mush with P.R.I.D.E.
    • Play with the dogs!
    • Accommodation included in the placement including the use of wireless internet. Apart from basic necessities, Enjoy the amazing nature of Minnesota!
  • Fast Facts
    • Project location
      North woods, Minnesota
    • Area Famous For
      Dogsledding, lakes, snow shoeing, snowmobiling, skiing, ice fishing, wolves, Polar bears, beautiful forest.
    • When to visit
      All year round!
    • Wildlife viewing
      You can view an abundance of wildlife. Wolf, Moose, Deer, bears often travel the path through this pristine land.
  • Itinerary & Details
    Day 1 - Arrive in the Canada;
    You will be picked up from the Thunderbay airport in Canada and from there picked up and transferred over the border to the project site in the USA in the state of Minnesota.
    For 4 weeks or more – Volunteer, dogsled and play with Huskies!
    For the coming 4 - 12 weeks you will have a great time working/volunteering with huskies while being surrounded by the beautiful nature of Minnesota! 
    Your last day
    - You will transfer back to the airport to take a flight back home. Of course it is possible to extend your stay in USA and travel around. 

  • Accommodation

    Volunteers will be placed in shared rooms in a cabin house located on the project. Bunk beds, toilet and bath all included in the rooms. (Refer to the pics and vids for some pictures of the Accommodation). 

    Things to bring from home

    • Clothes for cold temperatures as well as for summer for warm temperatures. Make these clothes are allowed to get dirty. Make sure to bring gloves, a toque and warm socks with you.
    • Comfortable walking shoes are essential, and you should also pack a raincoat and some sun block
    • Linen and towels will be provided.


    Meals are included. (breakfast, Lunch and Dinner).


    The Husky Ranch is located in Minnesota’s North Woods of USA . It is quite isolated so please keep this in mind. If you are not comfortable with the idea of living in an remote location, this is not the right volunteer opportunity for you. For more information about your host please visit: (please keep in mind that only applications send in through Fronteering will be considered).

Dear prospective handler,

My name is Lian and I was a handler for the 2015-2016 season starting from July until the end of March. It was an amazing nine months of my life. I was fortunate to learn so much from my time there about living off the grid, the dogs, mushing, and myself. If you are considering interning for Husky Ranch USA, know that you’ll work harder than you probably ever have in your life but you’ll be rewarded ten-fold. Working at Husky Ranch USA isn’t a job; it’s a lifestyle and an immersive experience. Since you live on site, expect to be readily available and partake in household chores. 

Year-round hard work is required and not just during the busy winter season. It takes alot to keep a kennel operational and prepare for winter. Living on site also gives you all the dog and puppy time you could ever want. There is ample time to play with and get to know the dogs, whether through training or other activities like canicross hiking, taking dogs to town or to the beach, bringing them into your bedroom to sleep with you or just running around with them in the large play areas. Husky Ranch USA is a paradise for dog lovers. You’ll wind up dreaming of dogs practically every night (and that’s not a bad thing!). If you love dogs and getting out into nature, the location of Husky Ranch USA is ideal. 

The remote area is beautiful. Living off grid isn’t for everyone but for being “off grid,” it’s pretty cushy. You may not be able to use the microwave or do laundry whenever you want, but there is still limited internet, phone service (depending on your provider), indoor plumbing and satellite TV, which is a lot more than most people off grid have. I have always enjoyed unplugging a bit and getting back to the basics. While you are living remotely off grid, the nearby town of Grand Marais has all the basic necessities. The local coffee shop and library became my regular haunts on my days off when I found myself in need of some unlimited internet to binge watch my favorite TV programs. The surrounding area and towns also have some beautiful hiking, canoeing, and all around outdoor recreational opportunities. If you have particular skills you want to learn or improve upon, just ask. Linda was very accommodating while I was there. I knew I needed more public speaking for my resume and she arranged to have me give a presentation about the kennel. 

The educational opportunities are endless. How to keep a wood stove burning, fence mending, trail grooming, sled rope tying, are just a few things of many that you’ll learn aside from dog training and mushing. It’s a physically demanding job. It sometimes requires early mornings, late nights and everything in between. Caring for the dogs requires flexibility, commitment, attention to detail, and initiative. Without a doubt, it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. There is nothing like the first time standing on the back of a sled, or listening to the chorus of dogs howling, or seeing the Northern Lights dance above the kennel. If you’re considering interning at Husky Ranch USA, prepare to be immersed in a whirlwind adventure!

Lian Law

In short: it was the best time of my life! I found myself and my direction while being among all those dogs. 

My name is Sarah, I’m from Germany, and I was at Points Unknown for three months. It was an amazing experience and the dogs are so special: Every single one in their own way. 

From time to time there was another volunteer. They were all from different places so it was really interesting to talk with them and I found some new friends. To get some help was also good- especially for the poop shoveling! Yes you do that every day and you take care of the dogs every day. What they give you back is so much more. It’s so much fun to work with them. Every day you learn new things and every day is a new challenge. 

The wilderness area is really peaceful. It’s so quiet and in the morning you can hear the dogs howl. Every time I got goosebumps and a smile on my face.

In winter you can enjoy the snow, the dogsledding tours and of course the snow shoveling. In summer, I came for a second visit and the landscape is completely different. Everything is so green and you can go on great hikes for example to the High Falls or Mount Josephine. There is also a chance to go on a canoe trip.

Next to taking care of the dogs, part of being in this lifestyle is that you also help in the household. So sometimes you cook dinner or clean the porch. Here is the best part of cooking: The cook gets to eat first and doesn’t have to do the dishes!

After these 12 weeks it wasn’t just a project anymore. I got a family - every single dog, the squirrels and Linda, the owner of Points Unknown, my teacher and friend. She knows a lot about dogs and humans, loves her dogs and the work with them and shares her knowledge with you. She explains everything she does and the reason why she is doing it this way (for example her training methods). 

Linda teaches you how to hold the dog leashes and the first rule of dog mushing which is “Never lose your dog. Never lose your team.”  I’m sure you will know the real meaning of this sentence after your stay.

I wish everyone who decides to help at Point Unknown the same wonderful time!

Sarah from Germany










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