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Mount Josephine Lookout Tower Trail is a 2.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Grand Portage, Minnesota that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 2.5 mi Elevation gain 649 ft Route type Out & Back
Dog friendly Kid friendly Hiking Nature trips Walking Bird watching Running Forest Lake Views Wild flowers Wildlife Bugs Over grown Rocky Historic site
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
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Reviews (78)
Photos (73)
Recordings (50)
Completed (131)
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Brittany Hines
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Hiking

This was probably my favorite MN hike — the uphill portions made my heart pump and the views along the way were stellar. The overlook is STUNNING with great views of the lake, far off elevation, and even Canada. Took me roughly 1 hour and 20 min out and back with a 15 min stop at the top. The trailhead sign only says “SEPHINE” so if you see that, you’re at the right place :-)

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Adam Kyek
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Hiking
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Courtney Jacobsen
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Hiking

More of a difficult/hard than moderate, but the views at the top are worth it.

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Ryan Coleman
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Nature trips

The first half mile is really easy. After that I’d recommend hiking poles (which I had turned down).

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Lexi Weihe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 16, 2020
HikingGreat!

The most beautiful hike I’ve been on in Minnesota! It is almost all straight up hill but so worth the hike for the view at the top! Highly recommend.

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naly thor
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Hiking
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Jen Fiore
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Hiking

NOT A MODERATE TRAIL! This hike is strenuous and steep at times. A good 1/4-1/2 mile is straight uphill with rocky footholds so be prepared to rest if needed. That being said, the view is worth the work.

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Sudipta R. Biswas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 7, 2020
Hiking

The view was well worth the short but steep hike. Not too difficult like most people mentioned. Trail can be hard to find sometimes, using alltrails helped a lot!

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Pao Kue
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Hiking

Great short trail but good work out on the las

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PH Xiong
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 3, 2020
HikingRocky

The lot to the trail head is fairly small, probably can fit about max 7 cars. The start of the hike is easy, but once you get to the incline, it’s steep, overgrown and very narrow - it can get very muddy and slippery. It’s a decent trail on a nice day, like someone had said in a previous post - this isn’t a moderate trail, more of a expert trail. However, the views at the top were spectacular.

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Emilie Yusko
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 18, 2020
Hiking

Best view I’ve seen so far in Northern MN! The start of the trailhead wasn’t the easiest to find. I followed online instructions to look for the #183 sign, which turned out to be knocked over (as of July 2020). Once we found the start (beware of limited car parking) it was pretty simple to follow. It rained the day before and it was a little slick going up/down. It’s a pretty steep hike that gets the blood pumping. The sweat up is worth it! There are two lookouts so make sure you see both.

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Lauren Humphrey
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HikingGreat!

Quick hike to beautiful views! Steep elevations once you get into the trail, but the trek back feels like a piece of cake.

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Siyi Zhang
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Hiking

Trail head was not easy to find. suggest to go early as parking was very limited. The view on top is well worth the climbing

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Nicole Marcouiller
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Hiking
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Madelyn Sather
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HikingGreat!

Definitely worth the hike! Beautiful view of Canada, the Susie Islands, and Isle Royale!

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Asta Skripkauskaite
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Great!

Loved it!

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Cash Durham
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HikingBugsRocky

Short, easy hike for those with a moderate level of fitness. The big view at top is well worth the relatively minimal effort on a trail that, until the very end, is not very interesting. Take a snack, lunch or a book and plan to spend some time up there.

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Thomas Mould
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Hiking

I don’t really do favorites, but this might edge Carlton Peak if you pressed me on views at the top. To get to the trailhead take 61 to 23 to 17 and go down Upper Rd. Just past what looks like fish farms on the right is a non-descript turn off on the left (lot 183 blue sign)...Yes, that’s it. No bathrooms so stop at the gas station when you turn off 61. It’s a rigorous hike. For me it was a 1 light-weight metal stick hike and the last half mile to the top is a good challenge that will work you both on the ascent and descent. The old growth does not allow for vistas on the way up so the payoff is at the top. Top views will blow you away...have a good camera, you won’t regret it. This is a clear day hike. I would not do it with rain or a wet trail or poor visibility unless you simply want a good workout. If you’re hoping for a comparative on the 1/2 mile kick up...think the last .2 going up to Lookout Mountain but steeper, narrower (at times super narrow) and more challenging terrain. When you see what the top offers you’ll be glad you did it. Explore the top (there’s more top at the top and a variety of views).

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Taylor Bruns
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Hiking

Great trail and overlook! Slightly overgrown but not bad at all. At the top, go right, that had the best view!

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Mel Spence
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HikingMuddyRocky
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Jonah Longhenry
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HikingMuddyRockyScramble
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Deb Gibson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 1, 2019
Hiking

Beautiful views at the top. Steep, but doable if you take your time. Short hike so the steepness doesn't seem too bad. I'm 57, in not the greatest shape, but didn't struggle too much.

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Kelly West
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Hiking

Nice trail with a challenging climb and some incredible views. It was just the break I needed after hours in the car.

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Loretta Tschetter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 9, 2019
Hiking

I'm rating this 5 stars because any failure to enjoy this trail was due to me, not the trail. I would have to rate this as a hard moderate. I used to hike a lot when I was younger, then I moved to the flat portion of the Midwest and gradually became 50 years old. As was mentioned, portions of this trail are very steep, and very narrow. If you have just a teensy fear of heights, this may be difficult. We made it to a lower portion with a bit of a view, I'm not quite sure how far we had to go yet, but I had no more 'go' left in me. My 17 year old went on ahead a bit and came to a fork where he turned around. I have no doubt the view would be worth it, but it wasn't going to happen. So, be honest about your fitness level if you do this trail. I work out 2-3 times a week, a variety of yoga, strength and cardio. Clearly not enough cardio.

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Kimberly Goergen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 9, 2019
Hiking

Great hike! Took about 2 hours including the time spent at the top. Took about 40 minutes to reach the top and spent awhile sitting and enjoying the views.

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Natalie Gibbens
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HikingBugs

Beautiful single file trail that had scenic overlooks with moderate intensity

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