Cross Country Skiing 

There are many Nordic ski trail systems throughout the state. However, not many can really boast of such beauty, reliable snow conditions all season, and first-class grooming as the Upper Gunflint trails. The trails meander through the various landscapes of rolling hills covered with stands of virgin white pine, spruce, aspen, and balsam fir. The skier takes the trails through beaver valleys, up pretty scenic vistas and overlooks, and into the winter moose yards. The trail names give the skier a hint of some of their character: Big Pine, Aspen Alley, River Trail, Magnetic Rock, Rabbit Run, Lonely Lake Trail, etc. These are some of the prettiest, most varied trails in the Midwest, and once skied, never forgotten.

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 a PistonBully. 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 cross country ski resorts here in Northern Minnesota are out on the trails every few days making sure everything is kept in the best shape.
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 70 km of some of the greatest nordic skiing anywhere.

View current trail conditions here

View the Trail Map

Type of Pass

Ages 13+

Youth ages 7-12

Family (two 13+, two youth)

Day $18 $10 N/A
3 Day $36 $20 $90
7 Day $72 $40 $180
Late (after 2pm) $10 $5 N/A
Season $95 $48 N/A

“Guaranteed snow when there was none in the Twin Cities! Specifically, we enjoyed the included X-country skis, access to groomed trails, and hiking the foot trails with our dog who loved being outside.”

Jarrod A., 2019

Our main reason for booking at the lodge was to ski, and we wanted to ski as many trails as we could. We were so lucky to arrive just after a major snow fall so the trails had been freshly groomed just hours before we arrived. The trails were in excellent condition and for two full days we were the only ones out there so it felt like we had them all to ourselves. The view from the top of several gruelling climbs was well worth it!

Christy M., 2019