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]
Season Forecast

NOAA predicts normal temps and above average snowfall for the North Shore. Thank you NOAA!


Lutsen Mountains Making snow right now to add to nature’s deposit. We’ve been open weekends since Thanksgiving. Opening daily starting this Friday, December 15th! Updated conditions here

Cross-Country Skiing You can ski at from Tofte to Grand Marais and up the Gunflint Trail

Snowmobiling Waiting for lakes to freeze for grooming to begin – expected to have groomed trails by Dec 26th. 5-11″ base from Lutsen up the Gunflint Trail

Fat Bike Trails Waiting for a bit more snow

summit chalet lutsen mountains
Summit Chalet at Lutsen Mountains

Last Updated: 12-14-2017
Lutsen Mountains
Lutsen Mountains: Open Last Updated: December 14

Snow Depth: 24-36" packed powder base

Conditions: 27" of snow for the season, 12" in the past week
Ullr, Eagle & Moose Mountains are open
29 primary runs open with a 24-36 inch base of packed powder
7 side country runs open with a 3-10" base of powder

Open daily Dec 15
Gooseberry Falls State Park: Closed Last Updated: December 14

Snow Depth: 4'6" of snow on the ground [need 6-8" before grooming can start]

Split Rock Lighthouse State Park [FAT BIKE TRAILS]: Closed Last Updated: December 12

Snow Depth: 1+' of snow, need more to groom

Tettegouche State Park: Closed Last Updated: December 14

Snow Depth: On Wednesday, we received between 4-7" of fresh snow near the lake and a bit more than that in the area of Tettegouche Camp. The road to camp has been packed and has a 4 inch base, no tracks yet. We will need quite a bit more snow before we can start grooming ski trails. Please use caution as a lot of ice is still hiding beneath the fresh snow!

Flathorn Gegoka Trail System
Flathorn Gegoka Trail System: Closed Last Updated: December 14

Snow Depth: 4-6" of snow in the woods

Sugarbush Trails
Sugarbush Trails: Open Last Updated: December 14

Snow Depth: 1-3" base

Conditions: Rolling and packing the new snow is in-progress on all of the trails. The best skiing will be on Onion River Road portion of the trail system. We need more snow to have good conditions on the rest of the trail.
Norpine Cross Country Ski Trails
Norpine Cross Country Ski Trails: Open Last Updated: December 14

Snow Depth: 1-2" packed base

Conditions: Rolled the West End Trails. Early season skiing.
Cascade Connector, Hall/Massie Loop and Whitesides/Deertracks have been rolled.
Caribou to Lutsen has been rolled and tracked
Cascade River State Park: Closed Last Updated: December 14
Pincushion Trails near Grand Marais
Pincushion Trails near Grand Marais: Open Last Updated: December 13

Snow Depth: variable

Conditions: We received 6-8 inches of very dry and light snow with this last clipper. Charlie Curry was able to compact West Overlook and Lower Snowman Wednesday afternoon and it set up well. Chris O’Brien and I rolled the entire system last night. Snow amounts vary with elevation, with the lower Pincushion Mountain trail having the least and Upper Snowman and North Advanced Trails receiving greater amounts.

We have a reasonably decent base on Snowmen, Lynn’s Loop and West Overlook, so we will be concentrating our grooming there. We should be able to smooth the deck out and get those first classic tracks in shortly. The rest of the system needs more snow before we can do much – we’re hoping for wind and flurries over the next few days to help with the base. Again, Pincushion Mountain in particular still has exposed rocks and some very shallow areas.

Our plan is to open the trail system officially this Saturday morning with the chalet open daily 7 days a week. We will also begin closing the trails to hikers and dog walkers. We are also asking users to park in the lower parking lot as we now have a good deal of equipment and fuel to move into the service area for grooming purposes.

A few more inches of snow and the entire system should be open soon.
Banadad Trails
Banadad Trails: Open Last Updated: December 10

Snow Depth: 1-4" base

Conditions: Banadad Trail Conditions

Snow on the Ground- 10"
Snow past 24 hours- 2"
Snow past week- 4"
Kilometer of Trail Tracked- 7 Kilometers- Lace Lake, Tall Pines, Knapp and 2 Kilometers of the east end of the Banadad.
Condition- Fair skiing- still have several inches of ice under fresh snow
Central Gunflint Trail System
Central Gunflint Trail System: Open Last Updated: December 14

Snow Depth: 6-12" trail base

Conditions: Current conditions as of December 8th: Summer Home, Campground, and the Lit loop are groomed, and mostly very good, with a few icy spots where the wind blew our new snow off.
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 Trail System: Closed Last Updated: December 14
CJ Ramstad - North Shore State Trail
CJ Ramstad - North Shore State Trail : Closed Last Updated: December 13

Snow Depth: The trail is being cleared of deadfall, until we get through the entire trail there will be trees & brush on the trail. The trail is icy and there's not enough snow to start grooming.

Two Harbors Snowmobile Trail System
Two Harbors Snowmobile Trail System: Closed Last Updated: November 17

Snow Depth: Trails are cleared, waiting for snow

Lutsen / Tofte Snowmobile Trail Systems: Closed Last Updated: December 14
Gunflint Snowmobile Trail System
Gunflint Snowmobile Trail System: Closed Last Updated: December 14

Snow Depth: 5-11" trail base on ungroomed trails; waiting for lakes to freeze

Grand Portage Snowmobile Trail System: Closed Last Updated: December 11

Snow Depth: 3-6" trail base; waiting for lakes to freeze