Trail Conditions in Cook County

Gunflint Trail


Welcome to winter on the Gunflint Trail! Cross country skiing is one of the #1 activities on the Gunflint Trail in winter.

Cook County MN has the largest network of largest cross country trails in North America with 400KM of pristinely groomed ski trails. Find complete Gunflint Trail ski trail conditions report below.

Trail reports are updated weekly once the season begins, typically mid-November – April.


Central Gunflint Trails - Gunflint Trail

The Central Gunflint Trail Ski System is located about midway up the Gunflint Trail. The trail system is primarily maintained by two resorts in the area, Bearskin Lodge and Golden Eagle Resort. More than 70K of beautiful groomed trails through the woods and wilderness are available for skiers. Bearskin Lodge and Golden Eagle Resort focus on silent sports only. Both resorts are owned and run by skiers; they are very serious about the quality of their trail grooming. The trails are groomed by two Kassbohrer Pisten Bully Snowcats; Bearskin’s section of trails are also groomed with a Tidd Tech G2 when conditions call for it. This is a trail system that was specifically built for skiing. All trails are tracked for traditional skiing; large portions of the trails are also groomed for skate skiing. Both resorts have a section of trails lit for night skiing. Both resorts also have snowshoe trails. Equipment rentals are available.

The Central Gunflint Trail Ski System is privately maintained and is not part of the Minnesota Ski Pass system. Trail tickets are complimentary to guests at Bearskin Lodge and Golden Eagle. Other skiers may purchase daily ski passes, multi-day passes or season passes. The fee for skiing on these trails covers the high costs of trail grooming. The experience of skiing through such beautiful, pristine wilderness is well worth it.

Note: Grooming frequently occurs between the release of new trail reports. Expect trail grooming after every significant snowfall. For the most up to date grooming information, as well specific trail conditions, please contact Bearskin Lodge (1-800-338-4170) or Golden Eagle Lodge (1-800-346-2203).


Trail Conditions Update

  • Date: 11/22/2022
  • Trail Base:
  • Snowfall Last 24 Hours:
  • Snowfall Last 7 Days:
  • Average Depth off the Trail:
  • Trail Conditions Update/Notes: 11/22/2022: The Gunflint Trail received more than 20 inches of light, powdery snow last week, a great start to the season. Good preparatory snow — this snow compacts after grooming to a much smaller amount, but it’s a great start. Summer Home and Campground Trails have had two rounds of grooming, and the trails have pretty good early season skiing conditions. In the next few days our temps are going to get above freezing so things will probably get icy, but we have so much snow yet to come. Grooming for the 2022-23 season will begin December 1st, 2022, or as early as conditions allow. See you on the trails this coming winter season!
  • Firsthand Trail Reports, from Nov. 26: Skied both classic and skate up and down Summer Home Road thru the Campground Loop and the Lower Beaver Dam Trail. Skate deck was hard when I started but softening fast and by mid afternoon, skating was slow and the deck softening. I switched to classic which was much better. Track was well formed and fast. Lower Beaver Dam Trail has been groomed but has quite a few big rocks uncovered and one bare spot but not a problem to get around it. I used B skis due to debris, stubble, and a few rocks showing. (Tim Nelson)
  • Firsthand Trail Reports, from Nov. 25: Great skiing at Bearskin Thursday and Friday. About 10k perfectly groomed. Skied Summerhome and Campground trail. Beaver dam was also groomed, but didn't ski there. Trails perfectly groomed for classic and skate. A very occasional rock was poking through so probably B skis (I used my good skis).(Matt Sargent)


Upper Gunflint Trails - Gunflint Trail

The Upper Gunflint Trail Ski System is privately maintained and is not part of the Minnesota Ski Pass system. Passes are available at Gunflint Lodge (800-328-3325), Gunflint Pines (800-533-5814), or Heston's Lodge (800-338-7230). 

Funds raised from these passes pay for land lease fees and grooming expenses. Daily, weekend, week, and seasonal passes are available.

Detailed trail information about the Upper Gunflint ski trail system is available from any of these three resorts on Gunflint Lake. Valuable information can be learned prior to a skier’s trek. Feel free to call and ask questions and enjoy over 100 km of some of the greatest Nordic skiing anywhere. We hope you enjoy!

Trail Conditions Update:

  • Date:
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Banadad Trail - Gunflint Trail

The Banadad Trail System is a public ski trail managed by the Banadad Ski Trail Association, in agreement with the Gunflint Ranger District — USFS and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

History of the Banadad Trail: The Boundary Waters Act of 1978 called for the construction of ski trails within the Boundary Waters and authorized snowmobile grooming on some of these trails. The Banadad Trail was created when the United States Forest Service reopened the overgrown Finn and Tucker Lakes Logging Roads that traversed the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA).

Free public parking is provided at the Eastern and Western Trail Heads. The System consists of the 27 kilometer Banadad trail, a single tracked intimate trail through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), and another 14 kilometers of trails taking off from the Banadad's eastern end. All the trails are single tracked. The Trail is centrally located along the 200-kilometer Gunflint Nordic Trails. The eastern end of the Banadad connects with the Central Gunflint Trails and at the western end skiers can ski into the Upper Gunflint Trail System. Trail access for the Eastern Trailhead is located along the Little Ollie Road. The Western Trailhead is off the Gunflint Trail, 1/4 mile south of the Loon Lake Public Landing. Other trail access is across Poplar Lake at the Swamp, Lizz and Mead Lake Portages. In the summer the Banadad Trail is an interesting hiking trail, providing you with a glimpse of what much of the interior of the BWCAW looks like when not viewed from a Boundary Waters lake. While Nordic Skiing is normally considered an eco-friendly sport, the Gunflint Nordic Trails have taken this one step further. Many years ago the Banadad Ski Trail became carbon neutral ski trails. In addition to the Banadad, the trail system consists of the Lace Lake, Tall Pines and Tim Knapp Trails. The Banadad is the BWCAW's longest tracked ski trail and likely the longest wilderness tracked ski trail in the USA. For more info call 218-388-4487.

Maintaining and Grooming the Trails: The Banadad Trail Association (BTA) manages, maintains and grooms 41 kilometers (K) of public trails, including The Banadad Trail (27 K), the Lace Lake Trail (5 K), the Tim Knopp Trail (3 K) and the Tall Pines Trail (3 K). Our partners in trail management include the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the United States Forest Service and many trail clearing volunteers who contribute hundreds of hours of annually. Skiers are required to have a Minnesota Ski Pass and a BWCA day permit (free and are available at U.S. Forest Service permit boxes located at either end of the Banadad). The Trail Association is providing free public parking at both ends of the Banadad.

Your support for this grass roots organization is vital to the future of the Banadad Trail System. We encourage you to join us. Your small investment will make a big difference. Thank you!

For more information go to

Ski Pass Required: Minnesota Ski Pass required. More information on the pass and a link to purchase on-line is located at

Trail Conditions Update

  • Date: 11/21/2022
  • Packed Trail Base: 6"
  • Snowfall Last 24 Hours: 2"
  • Snowfall Last 7 Days: 22"
  • Average Depth off the Trail: 13"
  • Trail Conditions Update/Notes: 11/21/2022: East End Trails packed and groomed for first time this year. Lots of snow but some wet areas as some water crossings; not totally frozen. Use B skis Lace Lake, Tall Pines, Tim Knopp and first mile of main Banadad Trail. This is pretty early for us to be packing and grooming. Only our East End trails (partial) are packed and groomed.
  • Firsthand Trail Reports: 

The Banadad Trail, the BWCA’s only wilderness tracked ski trail, is a 41 km ski trail system completely maintained by volunteers. Most of the trail system is within the BWCA.


Andy Jenks, President

Banadad Trail Association, 651-387-9600


Grand Marais Trail Conditions

Cook County MN has the largest network of largest cross country trails in North America with 400KM of pristinely groomed ski trails. Find the complete cross country ski trail conditions report here.

Lutsen And Tofte Trail Conditions

Cook County MN has the largest network of largest cross country trails in North America with 400KM of groomed ski trails. Find complete cross country ski trail conditions report here; updated weekly once the season begins.