North Shore Snow Conditions and Trail Report

From Thanksgiving until Easter [or later] you can find weekly snow conditions and trail reports. Find out about recent snow fall, trail conditions and suggestions for where to ski, snowshoe, snowmobile plus links to the weather and forecasts. Snow varies from less near Lake Superior, where the big lake keeps temps slightly milder to more as climb the ridge line to most when you go over the ridge.

Snowfall begins in November, coming and going and usually beginning to stick late in the month. Lutsen Mountains typically is open Thanksgiving weekend with a few runs and cross country skiers get their first runs in on the Onion River Road in Lutsen and along the Central Trail system up the Gunflint.

Trail / Snow Reports are listed below in this order

  • downhill skiing/snowboarding at Lutsen Mountains
  • cross -country ski trails [southwest to northeast]
    • Fat Bike Trails can be found at Split Rock State Park and Pincushion Mountain near Grand Marais
  • snowmobile trails [southwest to northeast]

February 16th update – a week of snow has plumped up the base and warm weekend forecast will make for an excellent weekend of outdoor fun

Lutsen Mountains Open daily, very good

Cross-Country Skiing  Good to excellent

Snowmobiling Good to great

Fat Bike Trails Good

Summit Chalet at Lutsen Mountains22dec2016

Last Updated: 02-16-2017
Lutsen Mountains
Lutsen Mountains: Open Last Updated: February 16

Snow Depth: 30-55" base, machine groomed

Conditions: Ullr, Eagle, Mystery & Moose Mountains open with 6-8 lifts
59 of 62 primary runs open with packed powder
33 of 33 side-country runs open with packed powder

Open daily through April 9 + Easter Weekend + extended weekends

Gooseberry Falls State Park: Open Last Updated: February 14

Snow Depth: 4" base; good

Conditions: Ski trails were groomed last week after 7" of new snow. So far the trails are holding up, but could deteriorate rapidly due to warm temperatures.
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park [FAT BIKE TRAILS]: Open Last Updated: February 14
Conditions: FAT BIKE TRAILS were groomed last week after 7" of fresh snow. Conditions are good, but could deteriorate due to warm temperatures. Snowshoes with cleats are available for rent on the weekends.
Tettegouche State Park: Open Last Updated: February 9

Snow Depth: 8" base, very good conditions

Conditions: It's winter at Tettegouche with a foot and a half of snow inland but less than a foot near Lake Superior. We received about a foot of much needed fresh snow this week. Many of the trails have been groomed since this new snow and we expect all of the ski trails to be well-groomed by the weekend.

Snowmobile trails are groomed through the park and are, reportedly, in pretty good condition with a wet patches in low-lying areas and some very thin corners.
Flathorn Gegoka Trail System
Flathorn Gegoka Trail System: Open Last Updated: February 17

Snow Depth: 10-15" base, very good conditions

Conditions: Trails groomed Wednesday. A little pine needle litter. Going to be mushy and icy this week. Still the best skiing around!
Sugarbush Trails
Sugarbush Trails: Open Last Updated: February 15

Snow Depth: 6-10" base, packed powder, excellent!

Conditions: All of our trails were groomed late last night into early this morning, except for Moose Fence. Plans are for Moose Fence to be groomed today.

There is about 24" of snow in the woods with a trail base of 8-12"+. Details on grooming are located at

We hope to see you on the trails!
Norpine Cross Country Ski Trails
Norpine Cross Country Ski Trails: Open Last Updated: February 12

Snow Depth: 5-12" base; very good

Conditions: Packed powder skiing!
Most trails groomed and tracked in the past few days.
12" base on Deeryard and Caribout to Lutsentrails
5-10" base on Pioneer trails
6" base on Caribou Connector and Whitesides / Deertracks
6-12" base on Hall / Massie loops
Cascade River State Park: Open Last Updated: February 15

Snow Depth: 10-16" base, very good conditions

Conditions: Last weeks snow has turned to this weeks warm temps . The trail is holding pretty well when temps stay below freezing but they are icy till it warms each day. Spring-like conditions. The ski trail system was rolled and combed Wednesday, February 8. The groomer has set classic tracks on Friday February 10th. The unique and scenic lakeshore trail, was rolled, packed and groomed on February 10th. The snow depth increases from 16" to 26" in the higher elevations of the trail system. The trails offer classic travel through a rolling and heavily wooded forest above Lake Superior.

Snowshoes are available for rent at the park office for $6.00/day. There are trails for all ability levels. The trails are classic style with some scenic and challenging runs through dense north woods forests. There is a Trail Center building at the trailhead with a soda machine , tables and a woodstove. Hikers can check out the frozen waterfalls of the Cascade River or snowshoe the Superior Hiking Trail along both sides of the Cascade River.
Pincushion Trails near Grand Marais
Pincushion Trails near Grand Marais: Open Last Updated: February 11

Snow Depth: good conditions

Conditions: Grooming Report:
All of the trails have been rolled and/or compacted late yesterday and overnight. New classic track has been set on all trails in the system and the skating lanes have been combed. Conditions are as good as I have seen them in a few years. We haven’t put extra time into a perfect “finish” groom because we will begin grooming for Sunday tonight. In general however, all trails are open and the skiing should be superb.
See you on the trails,

*** As of Jan 17, single track Fat Bike Trail is open. Plea only ride bikes on the marked trails [not ski trails].
George Washington Pines
George Washington Pines: Open Last Updated: February 11

Snow Depth: groomed & good

Conditions: Fresh snow is covering the groomed trail - very nice!
Banadad Ski Trails
Banadad Ski Trails: Open Last Updated: February 10
Conditions: Lots of snow - 7" in the past week and 29" on the ground. The entire 41-kilometer system has been groomed. Banadad Trail was groomed Feb 9th and now is the time to ski it! Lace Lake, Tall Pines and Knapp trails were groomed Feb 8th

Conditions are Excellent; tracks have a dusting of snow from last nights. Parking lots plowed on the east and west end of the trail.
Central Gunflint Trail System
Central Gunflint Trail System: Open Last Updated: February 17

Snow Depth: 13-22" trail base, good conditions

Conditions: New snow last 7 days: 3.625”
Groomed with classic track: 70 km
Groomed with skate track: 58 km
Surface Conditions: tilled snow
Total snowfall since Nov. 1: 64.23"

It’s going to be a warm week, but we will still be skiing! Right now, the trail base is averaging around 13 inches in depth, firmly packed, and there’s nearly 2 feet of standing snow in the woods. We will have snow for quite some time yet; it isn’t going anywhere that fast! Expect warm conditions though. Trails will be groomed with a tiller in the early mornings or late evenings once temperatures are cool enough. Mid mornings should provide the best conditions. Keep and eye on both Bearskin and Golden Eagle’s webcams for daily photos.

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.
Upper Gunflint Ski Trails: Open Last Updated: February 7

Snow Depth: 8-14" base; good

Conditions: Total Seasonal Snow: 60.2 Inches
Total Snow this Week: 10.5 Inches

Everything was groomed on 2/13/2017 except for the Short Cut Trail, and the two multi-use backcountry trails (South Rim and Magnetic Rock). We have numerous options for Classic, Skate, and Backcountry skiing experiences.

The 40 miles of the Upper Gunflint Ski Trail system is maintained by the Gunflint Lake Trails Group, and we require an Upper Gunflint Trail Ski Pass for usage. Funds raised from these passes pay for land lease fees, and grooming expenses. Passes can be purchased, and you can get more information at Gunflint Lodge (218-388-2294), Gunflint Pines Resort (218-388-4454), and Hestons Lodge (218-388-2243). All of these resorts are located on the South
Gunflint Lake road. Daily, weekend, week, and seasonal passes are available.
CJ Ramstad - North Shore State Trail
CJ Ramstad - North Shore State Trail : Open Last Updated: February 9

Snow Depth: 3-8" base, good

Conditions: The entire trail has been groomed this week & the entire trail is slated to be groomed again on Friday & Saturday night. There is between a 3-5" base from Duluth to Finland and between a 5-8" base from Finland to Grand Marais. The trail is in good condition; these conditions will change due to use & the weather.

Please slow down & use caution especially where logging operations are occurring & when meeting a groomer. Please remember that it only takes a few sleds to go over a freshly groomed section of trail to make it look like we haven’t been grooming and trail conditions will vary.
Two Harbors Snowmobile Trail System
Two Harbors Snowmobile Trail System: Open Last Updated: February 14
Conditions: The trails are being challenged with the warmer temperatures but everything will be flattened out by Thursday.

Please watch out for ice as it's a challenge for riding as well as grooming. We are having issues with not having enough traction climbing some hills and some sections of trail are all ice so please be careful.

Please slow down for the corners so we don't start getting dirt exposed. That will wreck the 8" to 12" base we currently have. The rest of the month looks warm so it will be a challenge to keep things set up for the great riding we all like.

Our Annual Banquet is just around the corner! Please join us for a fun evening Saturday February 18th at the American Legion, stop down for a spaghetti dinner, our silent auction, raffle baskets and music by Houley and Mo! Thank you for your support!
Lutsen / Tofte Snowmobile Trail Systems: Open Last Updated: February 9

Snow Depth: 8-12", good!

Conditions: Fresh snow has fallen across the Arrowhead. Winter is very much alive. Grooming continues this week, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. All trails should be ready for the weekend. Temperatures are back to normal. Come on up and ride.
Gunflint Snowmobile Trail System
Gunflint Snowmobile Trail System: Open Last Updated: February 12

Snow Depth: 10-24" very good conditions

Conditions: Trails are holding up great. Plenty of new snow on top of 10 - 24 in bases. Incredible conditions and the most snow make for best trails today in the state. Trail access to Grand Marais is good. Many good to great reports from riders on the trails in Lutsen and up the Gunflint Trail. The trails in Grand Portage are some of the best for many reasons. We will hold up with the week of warm weather and will have plenty of snow into the middle of March.

Ride with care. Hazards exist on all the trails and conditions change throughout the day. Call Skydan for up to the minute reports, issues or concerns. 218-370-0645

Recent Grooming: W-T-F-S nights and early tomorrow morning (Mon)
Grand Portage Snowmobile Trail System: Open Last Updated: February 6

Snow Depth: 8-10" base, good conditions

Conditions: Fresh snow, good conditions and most trails groomed Feb 1 and 3.