Fall Moose Viewing On the Gunflint Trail

October 1, 2019

Written By: Joseph Friedrichs

Where can we go see a moose?

It’s a question we get quite often here at Gunflint Lodge.

And while we wish we had a simple and direct answer, the truth is, there’s not a perfect location that is a guarantee to find a moose whenever we want. In fact, when it comes to spotting a moose near the Gunflint Trail, it’s mostly about good old-fashioned luck. However, for many, luck is not too hard to find during the fall months!

Now while we can’t tell you exactly where to go find a moose, we certainly can offer you sound advice. With that in mind, here are some suggestions that could help you find a moose during your visit to the Gunflint Trail this fall:

1. Venture out early, late and often. Our first suggestion is very basic, but it’s perhaps the most important when it comes increasing the odds of finding a moose on your visit. Some people are fortunate enough to happen upon a moose by simply driving from Grand Marais to the shores of Gunflint Lake. Most people, however, have to put in a little more work. We suggest driving the Gunflint Trail from our base on the shores of Gunflint Lake and in the morning heading south on the Gunflint back toward Grand Marais. Take the Gunflint to the unpaved Lima Grade Road and follow it to South Brule Road. This gravel road loops back to the Gunflint Trail. All told, this loop should take about 90 minutes or possibly two hours if you drive slow, which we suggest doing to increase the chances of finding a moose. In the late afternoon toward evening, we suggest heading to the end of the Gunflint Trail to look for moose. This is a shorter excursion and there’s still a good chance to spot Minnesota’s favorite ungulate on your evening drive.

2. While driving gives you the chance to cover a great deal of ground in a relatively short amount of time, we’re smack in the middle of canoe country here at Gunflint Lodge. As much if not more so than driving, paddling a canoe offers abundant opportunities to see a moose near the Trail. Canoes are also much quieter than automobiles, which increases the probability of finding a moose browsing on vegetation along a lakeshore or in the water. A few of our favorite lakes to paddle in the fall while looking for moose include Iron Lake and Little Gunflint Lake. Getting to Iron from Gunflint Lake involves transporting a canoe down the Trail by vehicle, and we are more than happy to provide shuttle services and help get you set up for a day trip around this long, beautiful lake that is known for moose activity. Little Gunflint Lake is also a spot where you have a good chance to spot a moose, and there’s the added luxury of being able to paddle right from Gunflint Lodge to reach this charming stretch of water on the Canadian border.

3. Walking on hiking trails or portage trails also allows for an opportunity to find a moose near the Gunflint Trail. However, when bull moose are in the rut (mating season), as they are in the fall, these enormous wild animals need to be given space, as they can behave quite aggressively. Also, cows (a female moose) are still protecting calves even late in the season, and they should not be approached under any circumstances. Binoculars are great for hikes where you are hoping to catch a glimpse of a moose. The Magnetic Rock Hiking Trail and Crab Lake Spur Trail are excellent examples of places where you might spot a moose at a safe distance and be able to soak in the beauty of autumn in the North Woods.

Our main piece of advice when it comes to finding a moose near the Gunflint Trail would be to venture out as much as you can and have some fun doing it! We also offer guided Moose Calling packages during the fall to help you increase your odds of seeing a moose.

To Book Your Moose Calling Trip Click Here