2.25.2017 Lots of snow on the Central Gunflint Ski Trails

There’s still skiing in northern Minnesota.  Like most of Minnesota, we had warm temps and rain at the beginning of this week, but luckily we had so much snow that it didn’t matter much. We still have more snow than we know what to do with, as you will see by the high snowbanks and narrow roads around Bearskin.  No sign of winter letting up here.

The consistency of the snow changed — it’s icier, for sure.  But continuous grooming all week by both Bearskin and Golden Eagle has created some pretty good conditions.  We’re guessing this may be the last good skiing left in Minnesota at this point, as most of the north shore lost their snow base in the warm weather.

Parking in the Bearskin Lodge parking lot has been an issue in the afternoons Friday and Saturday.  You can go up to the next road and park at Golden Eagle, which lets you start on the north side of the ski system.  Ski to Bearskin to enjoy your chili or soup lunch!

We have soup and chili every day, hot chocolate with cookies, fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, and a nice array of wine and beer. Spend some quality time in our lodge, sipping a glass of wine and watching the birds and squirrels at the feeder.

Here are the latest snow measurements, as taken by Golden Eagle on 2/24.

Central Gunflint Ski Trail Conditions on 2-24-17

New Snow Last 24 hours:  0.0”
New Snow Last 7 days:  Trace
Trail Base, Staked:  Average 7 – 10”
Snow in Woods, Staked:  Average 10 – 14”
Groomed with classic track:  70 km
Groomed with skate lane:  58 km
Surface Conditions:  Tilled snow
Last grooming day:  2-24-17
Total snowfall since Nov. 1:  64.23”

Comments:  We still have snow and we are still grooming and skiing! Expect fast conditions, abrasive snow, and a solid base. Skate skiing is particularly fast now; double up on the kick wax for classic skiing. All trails are continuing to be groomed with the tiller. According to the 7-day forecast, it looks like we are done with the fluctuating freezing/thawing temperatures for a while. Possible snow is predicted after the weekend, which will only improve things. Conditions aren’t perfect, but skiing is still very good and very much alive yet. Trail base is now averaging between 7 and 10 inches; areas that receive a lot of sun have less. Snow in woods is still between 10 and 14 inches, on average.

2.4.2017 Great ski conditions, more snow to come


As always, Bearskin has lots of snow.  We have not experienced the snow loss this winter that closed most of the cross country skiing trails along the North Shore and at lower elevations.  Our new Pisten Bully did a fantastic job of telling and renovating the snow after our days of warmer temps, and trail conditions were back to “excellent” in no time.

But even with all this snow, we are excited about the big snow forecast for the week ahead.  By the end of this coming week we could have an additional 10 inches or more of fresh new snow on top of the big base we already have.

Quinn groomed many of the trails today, and it’s snowing quite hard now. He reports that the trails are in excellent condition, but with fresh powder on the surface.  We have a snow globe effect going on out there right now!

feb 4 snow outside lodge.jpg

Snow outside lodge today

1/26/2017 You betcha we have snow!

It’s that “Yes, we have snow!” time of year again. While the rest of the state wonders what happened to winter, Bearskin still has ample snow.

Step outside any cabin right now, and this is what you’ll find:


Those are 11 inch tall mukluks, pretty deeply buried in the snow. So while we’ve lost a little snow over the last week of warmer temperatures, we had so much to start with that it didn’t matter that some disappeared.

Which brings us to our yearly warning:  try not to worry about the snow as you drive up north and see brown grass and splotchy snow cover along the way.  Most ski trails along the north shore have closed.  As is becoming increasingly typical, rain and warm temperatures along Lake Superior decimated much of the snow cover.  Keep the faith! When you go up the hill to the Gunflint Trail you will see the winter wonderland return. Panic averted; yes,  you will be able to ski!

Which is not to say our snow is as perfect as we’d like it to be.  A week of warm temperatures made it icier than normal.  Our new Pisten Bully is well equipped to renovate icy snow, so Quinn and Bob have been out on the trails repeatedly for the last two days, tilling the snow and forcing it to behave nicely. A few inches of fresh snow on the surface over the next few days would really be appreciated. Try to see if you can make that happen for us, OK? 🙂

Here’s a Golden Eagle measuring  report from earlier this week.

Central Gunflint Ski Trail Conditions on 1-23-17

  • New Snow Last 24 hours:  Trace”
  • New Snow Last 7 days:  5/8”
  • Trail Base, Staked:  Average 10”
  • Snow in Woods, Staked:  Average 14”
  • Groomed with classic track:  70 km
    Groomed with skate lane:
      58 km
  • Surface Conditions:  Old snow
  • Total snowfall since Nov. 1:  47.25”

Comments:  Despite the warm weather this past week, we still have a lot of snow and good skiing! No green grass or brown dirt here!

The trail base did shrink a little during that stretch, from average of 12 inches to an average of 10 inches. Skiers are reporting good skiing still, with wax-less or red wax for the best results for classic. The classic track is also holding together well.

Almost everything is being re-groomed for the upcoming weekend. Skaters seem very happy with the surface.  Quinn reports that he thinks the classic tracks are B to B+ — not as perfect as our tracks usually are, but not bad considering the warm temps we’ve had. If you’ll be here this weekend, skate skiing might be your first choice for the conditions but both skate and classic skiing should be quite good..

1.12.2017 MLK weekend snow conditions


We’ve been in the deep freeze for a few days this week, with several days of below zero temps, but the forecast for the long weekend is for comfortably warm temps.  Everything is newly groomed after our last big snowstorm.

Quinn will be out in the groomer when needed over the long weekend to keep the trails fresh.  Plus, he needs to give the winner of our Facebook “Win a Groomer Ride” contest the trip around the trails.  If you’re out there skiing and see two little kids go by in the groomer, wave to them — they’re taking the winning ride!

Our musher, Erik Simula, does have dog sled trips available for the weekend. Check here for more information.

Soup and chili will be available in the Lodge all day Saturday and Sunday, as well as hot chocolate,wine by the glass or bottle, and a variety of local beers. Warm up by the fire and enjoy a treat.

The latest snow numbers from Golden Eagle’s measuring crew:

  • New Snow Last 24 hours:  1.0”
  • New Snow Last 7 days:  6.15”
  • Trail Base, Staked:  Average 12”
  • Snow in Woods, Staked:  Average 20”
  • Groomed with classic track:  70 km
  • Groomed with skate lane:  58 km
  • Surface Conditions:  Groomed fresh snow
  • Last grooming day:  1-11-17
  • Total snowfall since Nov. 1:  46.50”

Comments:  Freshly groomed trails once again! The Central Gunflint Ski Trail system received 6.15 inches of snow over the last 3 days. Followed up by a cold day yesterday and today, after being groomed, the new snow firmed up fantastically into the trail base. Comfortable skiing temperatures in the 20’s are predicted for this weekend. All trails are in fantastic shape; trail base is averaging 12 inches with 20 inches of standing snow in the woods.

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 – 31:  8.6 inches

December Total 2016 – 21.10 inches

 January 2017

  • Jan 1 – 8:  4.25 inches
  • Jan 09:  0.75 inches
  • Jan 10:  4.4 inches
  • Jan 11:  1.0 inches

January Total 2017 – 10.40 inches

Total Snowfall 2016-2017 – 46.50 inches

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.