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. For additional area cross country ski trail conditions reports, click here.
Report are updated weekly once the season begins typically mid-November – April.
Central Gunflint Trails - Gunflint Trail
Groomer's Report: 1/20/2020: Fresh snow once again! MLK weekend’s total snowfall accumulation has measured in at 13 inches for the Central Gunflint! The groomers have been busy, grooming every day, sometimes twice a day, to stay on top of all the new snow. Conditions are excellent across the board! Total winter snowfall has now broken 70 inches on the season, more snow than was received in all of the 2017 and 2018 ski seasons, and it’s not even February yet! All trails are open. Lakes are groomed – no slush. Skate lanes and classic lanes on all trails. Beautiful scenery. Wonderful skiing!
Note: Grooming frequently occurs between the release of weekly trail reports. Expect trail grooming after every significant snowfall. For the most up to date grooming information, as well specific trail conditions, please contact Golden Eagle Lodge (1-800-346-2203) or Bearskin Lodge (1-800-338-4170).
A Central Gunflint Trail Ski Pass is required to use our trails. Passes are for sale at Bearskin Lodge, or at Golden Eagle Lodge. You can access the ski trail from either resort, you just start in different sections of the system. Parking in the day skier lot can become challenging on Fridays and Saturdays after about 11:30 AM, so we encourage you to come early and make a full day of it. Bearskin Lodge has chili and soup available all weekend for lunch, or enjoy an espresso, hot chocolate, or a glass of wine or beer in front of the lodge fireplace. 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).
Upper Gunflint Trails - Gunflint Trail
Groomer's Notes::January 22, 2020: The Upper Gunflint Nordic Ski Trail System is in great shape! Our total snowfall for the season is 62.25 inches. I measured a trail base of 11 - 15 inches, with 21 - 27 inches of snow off trail. Our trails were last groomed on January 19, 2020. It was a slightly foggy day today. I skied on parts of the Overlook and West End ski trails.
Most of the Upper Gunflint Nordic ski trails are suited for the intermediate skier. However, there is plenty of good skiing for beginners and some challenging parts of the trails for the advanced. Everyone can enjoy the trail system from any of the three resorts on Gunflint Lake. The system is designed with many loops that permit easy day outings. Signage is made available to inform the skier of trails and trail information.
All the Upper Gunflint ski trails are groomed with gyro groomers and track setters. Most of the trails are double tracked for skier enjoyment. A few trails are single tracked, they are narrower and more remote but offer the skier a sense of being one with his or her environment. The staff from the three resorts are out on the trails every few days making sure everything is kept in the best shape.The winter snowshoe trails are open around Gunflint Lake. Our easy options include the Lookout Point and Lonely Lake Hiking Trails. The Hidden Trail is of moderate difficulty. Our Lost Cliffs and High Cliffs Hiking Trails are very challenging, and should only be attempted with snowshoes or other extra traction devices.
Detailed trail information is available from any of the three resorts on Gunflint Lake: Gunflint Lodge, Gunflint Pines Resort and Heston’s Country Store and Lodge. From these businesses that know these trails, valuable information can be learned prior to a skier’s trek. Feel free to ask questions and enjoy over 100 km of some of the greatest nordic skiing anywhere.
Ski Pass Required: Upper Gunflint Trail System. 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.
Banadad Trail - Gunflint Trail
Groomer's Notes: January 20, 2020: All trails tracked, skiing excellent, lots of great snow!
"Firsthand Trail Report" January 5, 2020: Skied 5 miles down the North end of the Banadad. Fresh 2 inches of snow. Could easily find the tracks. Kick and glide was stellar! Some skiers were on new scales and some on waxables with Toko red. Lots of moose tracks, grouse tracks and rabbit tracks. Temp was 25 degrees. Very enjoyable afternoon ski! Thank you Ted and Curry for keeping the Banadad Trail alive and well! Big time fun! (Ross Jacobsen)
"Firsthand Trail Report" January 4, 2020: The trail is in perfect condition. Snow is deep and 27K trail tracked for classic skiing. This is the longest groomed trail into the BWCA. Skiing conditions are ideal. (Flannery Delaney)
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.Parking and access to the Banadad is from a small parking lot on the Gunflint Trail on the western end. It is marked by a sign - if you get to the Loon Lake boat access, you've gone too far! The eastern access is from a small parking lot at the end of Little Ollie Road. To get to Little Ollie Rd, turn left off the Gunflint Trail on the Lima Grade (FR 315) and go approx. one mile to the Little Ollie Rd. You can also get to the Banadad from the Central Gunflint Ski Trails. 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