3.18.2018 Great spring skiing conditions continue

ski trail march 17

Trail photo from March 17 by Robin Nicholson


Spring offers a nice mix of ski conditions on the Central Gunflint Trail system. Our trails don’t look as perfect as they do in February. The daily cycle of warming and softening, followed by nightly refreezing is not ideal for trail maintenance. The trade-off is you get bright sunny days and such pleasant temperatures. Skiers are loving it.

We have had very minimal snow loss. Our trail base still averages 9 – 13 inches, with about 19 inches of snow in the woods. We’re grooming and tilling trails regularly in the early morning, before it gets too sunny. Morning skiing before lunch is the best. A review on Skinny Ski by Robin Nicholson on March 17 sums up conditions nicely: “Skied today from 10:30-12:30 on Logging Camp Trail, North-South Link, and Summer Home Rd. It was hard and fast but not icy. It looks like plenty of snow cover. Perfect spring skiing with ideal snow!”

Trail conditions change daily depending on day and night temperatures, but we see no immediate end coming for the good spring skiing. We still have a lot of snow up here. Our upcoming weather forecast includes a few days with cooler temps and a bit of fresh snow.

weather week of 3.18

The aurora could also make a few appearances this week, based on the current predictions. On this chart, larger KP numbers indicate a greater probability of the northern lights. We occasionally see lights at 3 KP here, but 4 or above indicates a better chance. Days near the spring equinox often offer a little light show, so there are a few chances this week that the numbers and clear skies will converge.

northern lights forecast 3.18.18

3.10.2018 Good spring ski conditions continue

With regular grooming, we still have great spring skiing conditions on the Central Gunflint Trail.  The snowshoe trails are perfect, and everyone is loving the new Cranberry Trail Snowshoe Trail, which ventures far into new territory on our property.  The Fat Bike trail heading towards the “arms” of East Bearskin Lake has held up nicely and, amazingly, even the broomball rink has survived winter in fairly food condition. There’s still time to enjoy winter fun on the Gunflint Trail.

Golden Eagle did a bit of trail measuring on the Central Gunflint Trail this week.  They report that the average trail base is 10″-14,” with about 20 inches of snow in the woods. Ted Young of the Banadad Trail system (not on our ski pass, but a favorite side trip for many guests) reports recent grooming and good conditions, with only a few icy spots on the long trail.

We’re grooming and tilling the Central Gunflint Ski Trail almost daily. Conditions change quickly on these sunny spring days, so morning skiing is usually the best.

The upcoming forecast looks like typical March weather, with sunny days and slightly warmer winter temps.  The snow should hold nicely, as the temps aren’t super warm.

forecast March 2018

The real forecast excitement is the good Northern Lights forecast for March 14 – March 18, especially the 18th.  Bring your camera and tripod. We haven’t been on a good run of great lights this winter due to the constant cloudiness, but the upcoming forecast includes so many dates that’s there’s bound to be a least one clear night.

KP auora lights forecast march 2018

3.9.2018 Excellent spring skiing, lots of snow

Ski conditions continue to be quite good. Lots of snow that we are grooming almost daily to maintain nice trail conditions. Skiing is best early in the day, as is typical in March.

There are many, many skiers here this weekend, so expect parking to be an issue at Bearskin after about 11 AM.  Drive longer and hit the trails from the Golden Eagle side if you find parking to be full here.

We’ll have soup and chili available all day, as well as wine, beer, and hot chocolate.  Make a day of it.

2.25.2018 Snowy week on the Central Gunflint Trail System



A little over a week ago, we were wishing we had more snow.  It wasn’t that we lacked snow depth; we groomed for the first time on November 4, and we’ve had skiable snow ever since. But it was getting to be old snow. The snow had survived a few warmish days, had been tilled up and packed down numerous times, and it didn’t have that sparkly look and feel that a new fresh snow has.

As they say, be careful what you wish for.

New snow is not a problem anymore. We received  over 8 inches of snow over 48 hours early in the week, followed by 3 1/2 more inches on Friday, and a good 10 inches on Saturday night.

Groomers were out right way Sunday morning and the trails are in excellent shape.

2.21.2018 More snow, more grooming, more to come


It snowed again, we groomed the system again, and now we’re expecting more snow. We’ve had about 10 inches of snow in the last week. The tree boughs are nicely coated in snow again, so everything is quite picturesque. The snow has that sparkly, fluffy look again.

All trails are in excellent shape. Ted Young reports that the Banadad system has also been freshly groomed.

We have a couple cabin openings left for the weekend. It’s not too late to plan a ski getaway. Call us or email stay@bearskin.com

2.19.2018 Fresh snow, newly groomed trails

2.19.2018 ski trail grooming

Yes, it snowed! We received about 8 inches of fluffy, sparkly new snow. Quinn was out early this morning with the Pisten Bully and at this point, mid-afternoon, he is just finishing up grooming all the trails on the Bearskin side. Golden Eagle is also out on the north side of the system with their groomer.

This really freshened up the trails. Now we’re ready for the next snowfall, which is supposed to start tonight.  We’re not expecting a huge amount of new snow. We’re good with that. 🙂

Here’s the forecast for the week ahead:

weather 2.19.2018

2.15.2018 Weekend ski update for Bearskin Lodge

Popcorn clouds at sunset February 14 at Bearskin Lodge. Photo by Karen Reynolds.

The 3-day weekend is coming up and the forecast for winter fun at Bearskin looks great. We’ve had an unusually cold winter, like most of the state, and it’s taken a little of the fun out of being in a winter wonderland. But it looks like we’re finally crawling out of the deep-freeze, with ideal winter activity temperatures forecast for President’s weekend.

Trails are all newly groomed and in good shape.  We had a small snowfall on Tuesday, followed by a very warm day on Wednesday.  Quinn groomed this morning and thought the tiller successfully removed all iciness.

Our expanded snowshoe trail system (go farther, get lost less often!) and our fat bike trail system are exceptionally nice now. We do not allow fat bikes on our ski trails, of course. As skiers, we understand that fat bikes and well-groomed ski trails are incompatible. But we’ve created a system that allows you to explore far away on East Bearskin Lake, including parts of the south and north arms, almost all the way to the BWCA. It’s OK to walk or snowshoe this trail system, also, but fat biking to the end of the lake is a perfect way to explore an area most visitors never see in the winter. Stop along the way to hike over to Crocodile Falls, watch for the otters and their slides, and be alert for moose and wolf tracks along the way.

Are you a day skier, just visiting to ski? Parking probably will not be possible at Bearskin by about noon on Saturday and Sunday this weekend. We strongly encourage you to come early and make a day of it, before the parking becomes chaos. Stay for a soup or chili lunch, enjoy hot chocolate, espresso (yes, the real thing — we even have our own barista!), or have a glass of wine or beer. If you are a half-day skier after lunch, consider driving a little farther up the Gunflint Trail to start at Golden Eagle Lodge. Same beautiful trails, different way to enter the system, but fewer parking issues in the afternoon. Trail tickets are available at the front desk of both resorts.

Icing on the cake for President’s holiday:  there’s a good chance of northern lights this weekend.  The clouds need to clear off, but it could happen.  Watch the skies! Info about aurora watching at Bearskin and on the Gunflint Trail can be found here.