1.7.2017 Central Gunflint Trail Ski Coitions

It’s chilly out there, but the snow is beautiful.  Latest snow measurements from Golden Eagle on 1/5/2017:

  • New Snow Last 24 hours:  Trace
  • New Snow Last 7 days:  7.5”
  • Trail Base, Staked:  Average 9 – 10.5”
  • Snow in Woods, Staked:  Average 17 – 19”
  • Groomed with classic track:  70 km
  • Groomed with skate lane:  58 km
  • Surface Conditions:  Groomed fresh snow
  • Last grooming day:  1-4-16
  • Total snowfall since Nov. 1:  40.35”


Comments:  We have seen several days with new snowfall this week, 7.5 inches over the last 7 days. Frequent grooming has continued to fine tune each trail; rougher trails have leveled out beautifully. With just over 40 inches of snowfall on the year now, we are only a half inch shy of where we were last year on this date. All ski trails are open and are in great to excellent shape. Lake ice is now over 12 inches in thickness so the North-South Link trail across Aspen and Flour Lakes is now being groomed with the Kassbohrer groomers. Temperatures are forecasted to be cooler until Sunday (1/8), so plan your wax and dress wear accordingly. Looking forward to winter 2017; it’s another ski season with plenty of snow!


1.3.2017 So much snow!

It just snows and snows here.  We never seem to get the 12 inches of snow that the weather service repeatedly predicts — thank goodness! — but almost every day the trails need to be groomed again due to a dump of fresh fluffy snow.  For those of you who are looking out your window at wimpy snow-cover in other parts of Minnesota or Wisconsin, it helps to remember that it’s not like that on the Central Gunflint Trail System.  Man,do we have snow!

We’re entering the season now of groom/snow/groom/snow/groom …..repeat, repeat. We’ll post on the blog whenever something novel happens, or when there’s some change in the routine; but we will probably not post every time we groom. Our new Pisten Bully runs so well and is so efficient that we take it out on the trails almost every day.  You can trust that the Central Gunflint Trail System will have some of the best grooming and best snow in Minnesota, whenever you decide to come.

Call either resort if you have questions about specific trails.  Unless something dramatic happens, such as melting temperatures or a sleet storm, we will just roll through the winter on our snow/groom/snow/repeat cycle and you can count on consistent, good regular grooming many times each week on this trail system.

12.29.2016 Central Gunflint Ski trails update


Photo by Travis Novitsky on December 28.

A few new trails in the system were groomed and opened in the past few days.  Quinn was able to take the Pisten Bully through the entire Poplar Creek Trail for the first time on Wednesday.  The wet spots are now frozen.  He thought that for a first run-through Poplar Creek looked surprisingly good.  It’s a long, long trail, so not all sections are equally snowy at this point, but it’s always great to get that one open.

On the other end of the trail system, the small section of Logging Camp that passes through the BWCA has been groomed.  Because it’s in the BWCA, all trimming has to be done by hand, not machine, and it can only be groomed by a small snowmobile, not the Pisten Bully.  It’s always challenging to make a good trail in there.  Bob reports that it’s open now, but it’s no joy to ski on.  More snow is needed in there before it will rate as “good.”  Luckily, it’s short section and you’ll get back into well-groomed trails pretty fast.

Here are the latest numbers from the Golden Eagle measuring crew:

  • New Snow Last 24 hours:  1.5”
  • New Snow Last 7 days:  5.25”
  • Trail Base, Staked:  Average 5 – 7”
  • Snow in Woods, Staked:  Average 11 – 13”
  • Groomed with classic track:  68.2 km
  • Groomed with skate lane:  62.7 km
  • Surface Conditions:  Groomed fresh snow
  • Last grooming day:  12-28-16
  • Total snowfall since Nov. 1:  32.75” 

Comments:  It’s full blown winter on the Central Gunflint Ski Trail System! All trails are open, groomed, and in great shape. There is wonderful skiing up here right now! Lakes have good ice, but are still a couple inches shy to cross with the big groomers. For the time being, Aspen and Flour lakes are still being groomed by snowmobile; remaining trails are being groomed with the Kassbohrer groomers. The trees look beautiful with their fresh blanket of new snow and more is forecasted in the upcoming days! We will be grooming daily or as needed. Only a couple trails showing minor stubble remain.

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). Central Gunflint Ski Pass required.

Snow Totals

November Total 2016 – 15.0 inches

December 2016

  • Dec 1 – 4:  0.0 inches
  • Dec 5 – 11:  7.75 inches
  • Dec 12 – 18:  1.0 inches
  • Dec 19 – 25:  3.75 inches
  • Dec 26:  3.75 inches
  • Dec 28:  1.5 inches

December Total 2016 – 17.75 inches

Total Snowfall 2016-2017 – 32.75 inches


Photo by Travis Novitsky.


12.26.2016 Snow update

Everyone is wondering what kind of precipitation landed at Bearskin during the Christmas Day snowstorm.  We’re happy to report that we did not get the rain showers or sleet that fell on much of the state; nor did we get the 8-12 inches of snow that NOAA predicted.  (That’s quite OK, since we can’t even imagine what these intense winds we’re experiencing tonight would have done with 12 inches of snow!)

The snow we did receive was noisy at first, almost like being pelted with small hailstones, then it settled down into a normal, wet snowfall.  A guess would be that we’ve added about 4 inches of new heavy snow to our base.  We have, of course, been grooming and skiing here for quite a few weeks, so at this point every snowfall just makes the trails better.

Quinn groomed many trails today, but abandoned that project midway through the day when it started to snow heavily again and blow like crazy.  He intends to go out early Tuesday morning and groom it all again.  The best skiing will probably be in early afternoon, after the tracks set up.

Poplar Creek Trail has been packed, but has not been groomed yet due to some open water in various swampy parts of the trail.  The Pisten Bully doesn’t swim well.  Bob and Quinn might, however, try to venture through on Tuesday or Wednesday.  We will update you on the outcome of the attempts to open that trail as soon as we know more.

Watch for lots of moose activity on the trails.  Why, oh why, do they insist on walking right down the ski tracks? If you watch carefully you may also see some unusual tracks that we haven’t commonly found on our trails, the tracks of a small bobcat. Let us know if you see these tracks, or better yet, take a picture!

12.19.2016 Latest Central Gunflint Ski Trail Conditions



Photo from Zach Baumann, Golden Eagle Lodge


Lots of skiers are out on the trails.  As always in December, we seem to get a little more snow daily, so it’s building nicely.  Here are the latest snow measurements from the Golden Eagle snow stick.

  • New Snow Last 24 hours:  1.0”
  • New Snow Last 7 days:  2.0”
  • Trail Base, Staked:  Average 3”
  • Snow in Woods, Staked:  Not measured
  • Groomed with classic track:  47 km
  • Groomed with skate lane:  47 km
  • Surface Conditions:  Groomed fresh snow
  • Last grooming day:  12-19-16
  • Total snowfall since Nov. 1:  23.875” 

Comments:  To date, approximately 47km out of the 70km of trails are groomed with a skate lane and classic track. Groomed trails include Beaver Dam, Upper Ridge Run, Summer Home Road, Campground Loop, Moose Pasture, Ox Cart, Bear Cub, Red Pines, sections of Logging Camp, Deer Mouse, and Wolf Point. The remainder of the trails are still packed only, until we receive a bit more snow. What has been groomed and tracked is in good shape. There is minor stubble in some areas yet.

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). Central Gunflint Ski Pass required.

12.17.2016 More snow, more trails groomed

We didn’t get the massive dump of snow of snow that the southern part of Minnesota received in the last 24 hours.  This is a pretty typical December snow pattern for the state, with early snow coming in from the south.

We have been receiving snow almost daily, slowly building base. Today Quinn was able to add several new sections to the the list of groomed trails in the Central Gunflint Trail system.

Summer Home and Campground Trails were groomed again Friday and Saturday.  As always, they are still the best early season trails. Skiers really enjoy getting out on those big wide trails. The new Pisten Bully does a remarkable grooming job.  Bob and Quinn feel like driving the new groomer is a completely different experience than driving the old one, which was to be expected with new technology; but the surprise was how much better the end product turns out to be. It’s a complete love-fest when skiers come back from Summer Home Road these days.

Ridge Run and Upper Beaver Dam were groomed Friday.  Quinn called them “fair, mostly good with a bit of stubble and a few exposed rocks.”

Lower Beaver Dam and Oxcart were groomed Saturday. That was the first grooming for Oxcart, and it went surprisingly well.  Again, there is stubble in places and a few rocks, but overall these two trails may be slightly better than the Upper Beaver Dam/Ridge Run section.

The rest of the trails are being packed and rolled, so when we do get that next big snowstorm the trails have a solid base.

Much of the state has warm temps in next week’s forecast, so they will lose some accumulated snow.  Not us.  This snow is here to stay!

12/13/2016 We are skiing!


Winter is here.  It’s been snowing at Bearskin for a few weeks now; we’ve been getting an almost daily dose of new snow, which is how we like to build our base, a few inches at a time.  The trees are nicely coated in snow, so it’s very picturesque on the trails.

Summer Home and Campground trails are open and have been groomed several times.  The new Pisten Bully leaves a 12 foot wide trail that is a joy to ski on.  Because of the rocky surface on the rest of our trails, we will need to keep building base before they are skiable.  Quinn groomed a section of Lower Beaver Dam on Sunday, but it still has a few wet spots and has a bit of stubble.  Our cold weather now should solve the remaining water problems everywhere.

Both sides of the trail system are being routinely packed by Bearskin and Golden Eagle Lodges.  We’ll let you know when the rest of the system opens up. We are discounting passes at this point, until more trails are available. Come on up and get in some early season skiing.