Explore the most popular lake trails in Superior National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Excellent trail and one that I found surprisingly challenging. Be prepared for plenty of bugs and rugged terrain. Beautiful and secluded.

A beautiful well groomed trail and amazing scenery. Worked well for adults and kids ages 2-5.

backpacking
24 days ago

I was in a group of 7 that did this trail counter-clockwise. We did this trail over 4 days and 3 nights-Day 1: 6 miles, Day 2: 10 miles, Day 3: 10 miles, and Day 4: 6 miles approximately. Overall the views were incredible—no doubt about that. However, the trails were very poorly maintained and even hard to follow at times. The area definitely caters way more to people who are using canoes. The campsites were very beautiful, but the trails to get there were absolutely exhausting. There was a ton of mud and downed trees that were not removed away from the trail. BE SURE TO TAKE A BUG NET WITH YOU. BE SURE TO TAKE EXTRA SOCKS. THIS TRAIL IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART.

backpacking
24 days ago

A friend and I just completed this trail last weekend. Of course, we had to pick one of the hottest of the year, but we found plenty of water to soak in and drink.
Went in at 1:30 p.m. on Friday and out by Sunday, 8:20 p.m. and it was pretty grueling. Both of us wanted to be out before Memorial Day so the pressure was on to complete it.
My description of this trail is: 1) wet; 2) obstructed with, I believe, the '99 blow down disaster; 3) remote, after Shell Lake; 4) easily followed, and 5) a wonderful challenge!
I want to thank everyone who worked on getting the trees cut and moved after the blow down. There is still some work needed, but it is still an awesome trail.

I suggest taking extra days to sit and enjoy the sites in this area. We saw a snapping turtle, two Great Blue Herons who seemed to follow us along, numerous moose, wolf, and bear signs, a variety of toads, a leopard frog, our state flower, the ladyslipper, and other various early season wildflowers.

Enjoy!

backpacking
27 days ago

Awesome trail loop! My daughter and I loved crossing the beavers dam. Yes it is part of the trail and plan on getting your feet wet. Went on May 19th of 2018 and bugs were almost non existent and no ticks. Weather was perfect also. Trail could use some better signage. Totally recommend a compass and good paper map. Met two people who thought the gps on their phone would work back there but they ended up going back. Lots of ups and downs so plan on a work out. Beautiful place look forward to going back.

This trail has been re opened during the summer of 2017. contact the US Forest service Kawishiwi District in Ely for current conditions.

Awesome hike. Trail for the most part is well maintained. Gets hard to follow when you first get to Whale Lake, but just keep going straight. You'll feel the last 1/2 mile in your legs but easily doable. Finished roundtrip in just about 3 hours.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike. Beautiful fall day, overcast, 50 degrees. A number of muddy spots to step through or step around. Lots of rocks and tree roots to deal with. One water crossing to be made, guaranteed to get your feet wet. Five hour round trip for two 65 year-olds including a half hour lunch at the top.

on Bass and Dry Lake Loop

hiking
4 months ago

my first official trail. we did it in the winter. clearly defined due to snow tracks. suggest ice cleats for your shoes/boots in winter. great scenery. want to do this again in summer.

This was an awesome hike for winter, if you walked inside the actual gorge. The river is mostly frozen over and provides a completely different kind of hike. It wasn’t a hard hike, but wasn’t for the faint of heart as sometimes as you could see the water flowing under the ice. Wearing ice cleats helped a lot too.

hiking
6 months ago

One of my favorite trails along the gunflint trail. Pretty steep and rocky, but great views at top. Really quick and painless trail.

on Eagle Mountain Trail

7 months ago

Very rocky and footy. Wear good shoes. Incline isn’t bad at all, I’d rate this a moderate difficulty with some terrain to manage. With kids we did it in 3 hours out/back. Great views from the top.

on Caribou Rock Trail

hiking
7 months ago

Decent hike. Did it with the kids (9,11), and we made it but they were pretty tired. Under 4 hour R/T with some hustle. Tons of trees down, and the trail squeezed between the tree falls. They had been cut up, but still everywhere.

The trail takes a lot of ups and downs, and does get your heart beating with some good vertical. Waterfall at the end, but if you keep going maybe a quarter mile you can see the rose lake cliffs.

We did take a wrong turn at the portage trail, as the main trail you hike jogs around a tree and you don’t see that without doing a little exploring. It was only a few feet, but disguised.

backpacking
7 months ago

Just finished the loop this past weekend for 4 days,3 nights. Went with the same 2 guys as before. Could easily have made it 2 nights (hike out the last day instead of staying right near the fork). The trail was in excellent condition. I had a Fenix 5x gps watch and map/compass. Note the devils cascade site was occupied by canoers, something I'm guessing happens quite a bit.

hiking
8 months ago

Not super scenic, except for some bridges and then obviously the summit. Beautiful in the fall, but it gets crowded closer to midday. In the early summer, its muddier and more vegetation. Looks like a good trail to see moose, but I have not in two hikes so far. Bring water and good boots!

hiking
8 months ago

Nice trail. Easy to get to. Parking and trailhead spacious with toilet and trail info.

The hike itself is not very strenuous, but the footing is very uneven due to the tree roots and rocks making it a bit tricky. It had rained a little over a half inch a couple days prior to my hike making it a bit muddy in places but overall it dried out well. The reward is near the summit with some nice vista views just below the peak. It's a great place to enjoy a little lunch or snack and soak in the views.

If you're trying to determine how long this hike will take, I'm 61 years old and it took me 1.5 hours to reach the summit and 1.25 for return to trail head. I wouldn't consider myself to be a fast hiker so hopefully that helps those wondering how much time to plan for. Have fun. Again it's a nice hike and not as claustrophobic as some have suggested in previous posts.

hiking
8 months ago

This was an easy hike to a viewing stand overlooking a small lake. No Moose.

hiking
8 months ago

We hiked to the West Bearskin Lake overlook. Then took the Moss Lake trail to the west. This was much more difficult. We reached the north-south portage between the 2 lakes. We visited both lakes and then walked the road back to HJL Lodge.

Hard but worth it

Great hike. Well worth it

hiking
9 months ago

This was a fun trail with gorgeous views of Whale Lake and looking Southwest from Eagle Mountain. I would call it moderate in difficulty. there are a lot of rocks, but it was easy to navigate them.

backpacking
9 months ago

It was more than just some Moderat trail it was actually pretty good

hiking
9 months ago

Weather ended up holding out pretty good today! Being a local from the Pacific Northwest, this hike reminded me of home. Wet, rooty, and lots of rocks to step around. The first two miles is like this consistently.

After reaching whale laoe, a sign will point to the summit. There is a panoramic point close to the end - great photo ops! Continue past this and hang a right once you come to a field of slab. Once you see the plaque, you've made it! Welcome to the top of Minnesota!

Bugs were fairly non-existent (might be to early). Saw a grouse on the trail. Heard a couple bugles - moose, deer, elk? Still trying to figure it out...

Nice woods, and pretty view at the top. Lots of rocks on the trail make it a slow hike.

backpacking
9 months ago

PLEASE READ AND HEED!!!

THIS TRAIL IS CLOSED!

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/superior/recarea/?recid=37075

While canoeing Disappointment Lake we came across 5 lost hikers that were walking in the lake along the shoreline; we ended up transporting them and their kit to a portage/(Little part) of the trail that still exists. Turns out they tried hiking this trail, got lost in the blowdown, and then made the decision try and find their way out in the lake as compared to fighting the woods on a trail that is buried..

Everyone in the group was drenched, it had been raining the past 36 hours, lucky for them the temps were in the low 60's... Still a recipe for disaster..

Giving a 1 star because there is not a skull and crossbones..

Easy and beautiful. I need to bring my Chacos next time, definitely wished I could have hiked in the gorge/river.

Pretty rocky, bring good boots! Beautiful and highly recommended! Only a couple muddy parts when i went. My husky loved it! I will go back, but try the Brule hike next.

This started and ended a great hike, however you will notice we had some troubles near the area we ate our lunch. The trail was lost and we could either go up or down. According to the map on All Trails we went down toward the water and almost turned back as we could no longer stay on the route. We turned around frustrated and then noticed up above were some fallen trees that covered the trail. The rangers have not cleared the path lately. This was tough and I would guess some have lost their way at this area. I am a seasoned hiker, this was tricky. Be careful if you decide to go all the way around dry lake especially on the west side of Dry Lake. For intermediate hikers not beginners. Roots, rocks, mud, slabs of rock, trees fallen. We did see 2 deer, gardener snake, chipmunks and birds.

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