Most people know Sundog Trading Post for its kicksledding tours and homemade ice cream. Soon, you can add Yellowknife Bay sauna rental to the list.
Richard McIntosh, who co-owns the business, said the plan is to rent out a 10-person sauna by the hour near his houseboat on the bay. Details will soon appear on the Sundog Trading Post website.
McIntosh and co-owner Christine Wenman started their kicksledding business with two NWT SPCA rescues – Pyper and Wacko – and in the following years trained more huskies.
“Kicksledding is a super unique experience,” said McIntosh. “You get to really work with the dogs. People love dogs and the dogs love pulling the kicksleds, so it’s a good combination.”
The company’s kicksledding packages include a tour to the Back Bay cemetery and ice caves and an extended tour, both of which offer discounted rates for children under 12 and are free for children under five.
Sundog has also partnered with Bluefish Outfitting to offer a combination tour, where guests kicksled out to an ice-fishing hole, spend the afternoon ice fishing, then take Bluefish’s warm SnoBear ice-fishing machine back to town.
Lastly Sundog offers kicksled and party tours. These are booked up to Christmas but McIntosh is taking reservations for the new year for this winter package, which includes a warm wall tent and an optional sauna rental, as well as access to a sliding hill, bonfire, and activities like snow golf.
Party tours can host between four and 12 people.
“I take four people kicksledding at a time and the other part of the group will have a bonfire and the heated wall tent, and we can cater it from Sundog Trading Post,” explained McIntosh.
“It’s a really great opportunity for either small personal parties or staff parties.”
McIntosh also offers snowshoe tours, skijoring and bikejoring for people looking for a different adventure on the frozen lake or a way to tour the ice caves and houseboats.
Since outdoor activities aren’t for everyone, McIntosh also has plenty of gift options inside the log cabin-styled Trading Post on Latham Island.
“The Trading Post is like the one-stop shop for booking your tours or to buy retail. We have a huge selection that’s all from local artists, from authors to Robbie Craig’s Christmas ornaments to coffee mugs, and we have a wide selection of locally produced art,” he said, adding gift certificates for Sundog’s restaurant are also available.
Like other small business owners, McIntosh said having community support is essential to success.
“When it comes time to shop for Christmas, often people find it difficult to find a physical thing to give somebody because they have so much already,” he said.
“Give them the gift of experiences … offer them an activity, and they’ll have memories that last.”
This article appears as part of a paid partnership with NWT Tourism inviting northerners to Give the Gift of Experience this holiday season. Watch out for six articles highlighting different experiences you can try in the Northwest Territories, even if you already live here.