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
Central Gunflint Ski Trail Report: March 16 - We are still skiing! All trails are re-groomed again today. All ski trails are now being tilled as we will be experiencing your typical March spring skiing conditions for the remainder of the year. Expect very fast trails this weekend. Base is still firm yet the surface is soft enough to get good bite with your skis. Plan to bring extra kick wax with you on the trails if you classic ski as this kind of snow wears off the wax faster than other conditions.
- New Snow Last 24 hours: 1.25""
- New Snow Last 7 days: 6"
- Trail Base, Staked: Average 11" - 13"
- Snow in Woods, Staked: Average 24" - 30”
- Groomed with classic track: 70 km
- Groomed with skate lane: 58 km
- Surface Conditions: tilled snow
- Last grooming day: 3-16-2019
- Total season snowfall: 96.28”
Note: Grooming frequently occurs between the release of weekly trail reports. Expect trail grooming after every snowfall.
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
Upper Gunflint Ski Trail Report: March 23 - From Gunflint Lodge naturalist John Silliman; "We still have snow on the Upper Gunflint Trail, and our ski trails are in good condition for this time of year. I skied on the Little Pine Trail today and found the trail base snow depths to be 7 - 13 inches. Off the trails, I observed everything from bare ground to 23 inches of snow. Overall, we have had 88 1/2 inches of snow this season.Due to the spring conditions, we are often seeing soft snow or ice on the trails (depending on the air temperature). I did not see any bare spots on the actual trails, but it would probably be best to come up to ski relatively quickly as we are seeing a fair amount of melting. Unless we get another big snowfall, grooming is done for the season.
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.
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
Groomers Report: March 12 - Today I groomed the west end of the Banadad and all of our short loops on the east end: Lace Lake, Tall Pines, Tim Knopp and the first mile of the Banadad. It was a beautiful day to be out on the trails no matter what you were doing. Planning on grooming the entire east end of the Banadad tommorow. (Curry Thompson)
Groomers Report: March 8 - The entire Banadad Trail is in good shape. We groomed earlier in the week. The might be a few areas where the moose have messed up the track, but that would be minor. (Andy Jenks)
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