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

January 19, 2021
Trail Base: 3"- 6"
Snowfall
Last 24 Hours: 1"
Last 7 Days: 1"
Average Depth: 9"- 11"
Comments:
Jan 19: Ski trails were all re-groomed today after a much needed 1 inch snowfall on Martin Luther King Day. The trails groomed up nicely though some debris is still present in places of thick tree canopy cover. The lakes have solidified enough with plenty of ice that we were able to groom across them with the PB100, including all of North-South Link. Even in cooler temperatures, expect fast trails. The trail base is very solid but you can still get a good edge in. B skis are recommended on a few trails otherwise everything else is clear for good skis.

Firsthand Trail Reports: www:skinnyski.com/Jan 13: Fresh corduroy and bluebird sky at Golden Eagle Lodge today! I skied all the trails north of Flour Lake and conditions were sublime. The folks at Golden Eagle have put their new PistenBully to good use, and the trails are in very good condition. It's true that they could use more snow as there are occasional brown spots, hence the B ski rating, but these are easily avoided. The deck is firm and fast and the tracks are deep and crisp. Great scenery and great skiing up here. (Bob Amis)

Important Day Skier Notes: You need to buy a Central Gunflint Trail pass to ski on our system. This is not a Minnesota state-funded ski trail, so the state ski pass does not apply. Both Golden Eagle and Bearskin Lodge are selling passes. You will need a mask to buy tickets (not needed to ski), and only one person from your group should come inside to buy tickets. Use your car as a base, there is no inside waiting area at either resort. No bathrooms available at either lodge — Golden Eagle has a shower house bathroom open, Bearskin Lodge has those delightful blue outdoor porta-potties for day skiers. Ski rental is not easy this year — know your shoe size exactly, since trying on numerous boots outside is awkward and cold. Boots are Euro sizes, but almost every shoe these days is labeled with both US and Euro sizes. Save yourself some trouble, and look at your exact shoe size beforehand. Parking on busy ski days is always more available at Golden Eagle Lodge — drive the extra mile and you’ll have easier parking (and a slightly warmer bathroom.)

Check out the Bearskin Virtual Nordic Race Series where you can Race Northern Minnesota’s premier ski trails, on your own time. The Race Series is a season long Nordic ski event. Throughout each month skiers will race a set course on one of the trails at Bearskin Lodge, and record their time. Prizes will be awarded to the top male and female finisher of each month’s races, and a grand prize will be awarded to the overall winners based on their finishes through out the season. All participants will be entered in a season ending raffle for additional prizes. Each race completed will be worth one entry into the raffle.

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).

A Central Gunflint Trail Ski Pass is required to use the ski trails. Passes are for sale at Bearskin Lodge, or at Golden Eagle Lodge.

Upper Gunflint Trails - Gunflint Trail

January 20, 2021
Trail Base: 5.5"- 7"
Snowfall
Last 24 Hours: 2"
Last 7 Days: 2"
Average Depth: 14"- 19"
Comments:
Jan 20: Trails are skiing hard and fast due to the dip in the temperature. We’re hoping to get out on the trails and refresh the system as soon as temperatures warm up a bit. Again, please use caution on the bigger hills, especially on Highlands, Overlook, and Rabbit Run. Repairs were made to Rabbit Run and a portion of Ham Lake due to some unauthorized snowmobile use.

The 40 miles of the Upper Gunflint Ski Trail system is maintained by the Gunflint Lake Trails Group, and requires an Upper Gunflint Trail Ski Pass for usage. Funds raised from these passes pay for land lease fees and grooming expenses. Daily, weekend, week, and seasonal passes are available.

Passes are available at Gunflint Lodge (800-328-3325), Gunflint Pines (800-533-5814), or Heston's Lodge (800-338-7230). 

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.

Banadad Trail - Gunflint Trail

January 20, 2021
Trail Base: 5"-10"
Snowfall
Last 24 Hours: Trace
Last 7 Days: Trace
Average Depth: 15"
Comments:
Jan 20 - Wednesday we finished tracking the Banadad Trail. All segments now tracked. We have only had dusting of new snow but the trail is good shape. (Andy Jenks, Banadad Trail Association)

Jan 18 - Today we re-tracked the Banadad Trail from Mid Trail Junction to the East End Trail Head. Saturday we re-tracked the entire Lace Lake and Tall Pines Trails on our eastern end. Tomorrow we plan on re-tracking the remaining west end segment; Mid Trail Junction to the West End Trail head parking lot. (Andy Jenks, Banadad Trail Association)

Firsthand Trail Reports: www:skinnyski.com/Jan 18: Had a beautiful ski on the east of the Banadad (MLK holiday) as the first skier on a newly groomed trail. No snow in a month so the grooming is appreciated, and grooming leveled out a few spots with lots of moose traffic. Track depth remains 8" with a foot of snow in the woods. (John Craddock)

Firsthand Trail Reports: www:skinnyski.com/Jan 16: Skied the Banadad from West to East today. Still good snow coverage but enough brush and occasional rocks poking up to warrant B skis. Very fast conditions with the light rain that's been falling intermittently. Some of the downhills in the middle of the trail were quite challenging. Plenty of moose activity throughout, but tracks otherwise in good condition. It's a fantastic trail and amazing that they are committed to grooming it! (John Leaf)

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. The Minnesota Ski Pass is required to ski the trail. 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.

See www.poplarcreekbnb.com.

For more information go to https://www.banadad.org/newsletter

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