Twenty of the world's top athletes and explorers share their wildest dream trips—a dazzling list of never attempted feats daunting to even these world-class competitors. For the rest of us, consider their must-do adventures—and start planning. —Kate Siber

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Photo: Dogsledding
A musher on a Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge expedition in Minnesota.

Photograph by Layne Kennedy

Will Steger

Polar Explorer

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is one of the U.S.'s most visited wilderness areas in summer and fills with droves of fishermen and canoeists, but come winter, it’s deserted.

“Being in the Boundary Waters is almost a spiritual experience for anyone who goes there,” says Will Steger, who lives in Ely, Minnesota, and honed his own polar-travel skills there.

Outfitter Paul Schurke runs day trips out of his Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge as well as multi-day camping trips. Opt for the latter to get a suggestion of the sort of wilderness Steger experiences on his own expeditions. Guests learn how to steer the Canadian Inuit sled dogs, build snow shelters, and camp in comfort in subzero temperatures, but the most memorable parts are immaterial—taking in the spray of night stars, the trees encrusted in white, and the other wonders of a vast silent wilderness.

Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge’s five-night guided dogsled expeditions in the Boundary Waters include two nights in the lodge, equipment, guides, and meals and cost $1,175.

Next: See Will Steger's Dream Trip: Traverse the High Arctic

See the Ultimate Adventure Bucket List 2011

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Explorer Bio

Photo: Portrait of Will Steger
Will Steger

Polar Explorer

Over more than 45 years, Will Steger has traveled tens of thousands of miles by kayak and dogsled. He led the first unsupported dogsled trip to the North Pole in 1986, completed the longest unsupported dogsled expedition ever with a 1,600-mile trip across Greenland in 1988, and completed the first dogsled traverse of Antarctica in 1990. He established the Will Steger Foundation, which educates and inspires people to engage in climate change solutions.