About Bearskin

Since 1925, Bearskin Lodge on the Gunflint Trail has been one of Minnesota's favorite wilderness resort destinations. The McCloughan family has owned Bearskin since 2007.

3.31.2022 That’s a wrap for grooming, folks

What an amazing ski season. So much snow, such great skiing. One of the best ever. It was a fun winter.

We still have lots of of snow, and probably will have it until …June. But we’ve run out of groomers. Both lodges are closing for the month of April, and the grooming crews are both going on vacation. So if you have a season pass, feel free to ski as long as you wish but expect to soon need to ski-in your trails. Both resorts will have staff and family on site and in the lodges during April, but it’s a time for cleaning and repairs.

Golden Eagle plans to groom on their side at least one more time, even though they are now closed. They will sell still half-price day passes while the grooming is good. On the Bearskin side it is possible that Quinn will groom a few trails — after all, Miss Molly must keep skiing. But all grooming ceases over here when they leave for vacation this weekend.
We will do it all again next winter!

Still skiing, but the grooming is about to end for the year.

3.25.2022 What a crazy night!

The wind howled, the snow blew horizontally, trees came crashing down, and the power went out repeatedly. Wind speeds were recorded as high as 66 mph in the Grand Marais Bay. Probably not that high in the Trail, but windy enough here to move lots of snow.

They regroomed this morning; Poplar Creek will not be done until later this afternoon. We had a couple inches of new snow that set up perfectly on top of the existing firm base, which resulted in setting a really nice track and an excellent skate deck. Conditions are surprisingly good for the end of March.

It is still quite windy. Expect windswept spots on trails and perhaps a few branches blown down. The sun is out, the sky is clear, and it’s a beautiful day to ski.

3.24.2022 The last spring snowstorm?

After a few days of warm temperatures and melting, it snowed heavily over the past two days. It’s a winter wonderland out there today. The fresh snow was wet and fell during fairly warm temperatures, but it groomed up nicely. Tomorrow the forecast predicts the weather will get colder again. We’ll just have to see what effect 20 degree temps have on this wet snow. Meanwhile, guests and visitors reported lovely skiing this morning and afternoon.

This may have been the last grooming of the season, or at least one of the last trips out in the groomer. Both Bearskin and Golden Eagle are closing for guests on April 1 this year. It is unlikely either groomer will go out after that date. Season pass holders are welcome to ski for as long as the trails are viable.

3.17.2022 Spring Ski Conditions

After a long winter with no melting ever, deeply cold temperatures, and massive amounts of snow that needed to be groomed almost every day, we finally developed “spring skiing conditions” over the past couple days.

Don’t worry, our snow won’t disappear for a long time. Bob and Kaitlin were just out on the trails and they report “some of the nicest classic skiing we’ve had all year.” (Not good skate skiing at these temps, of course).

Molly reports it’s “good.”

We probably have more snow coming, and more than likely it will get cold again. We still have more snow than we know what to do with. So skiing has morphed into slightly different skiing this week, but winter is surely not over yet.

2.12.2022 Snow, groom, snow, groom, snow groom…

The endless cycle of snow, followed by grooming with the Pisten Bully, followed by more snow, has continued. Last week the groomers were out almost every day. We’ve received about 70 inches of snow so far this year. We’ve had no warm temperatures, so every snowflake we’ve ever received is still out there on the trails.

We’re not posting trail report blogs much now because basically, nothing changes. We haven’t had ice or rain or any peculiar weather patterns that affected the trails. The groomers always go out early the next morning every time it snows, unless we are still in the middle of the snowstorm. Visitors often call to ask, “Will you be going out to groom today?” Most of the time the answer is yes, we’ve been out since 5:30 AM and we are back. We take trail grooming very seriously here.

The new February race segments for the Bearskin Virtual Nordic Race series are posted on the web site now. Check it out here.

1.22.2022 More new snow, everything groomed again

It snowed again overnight, adding an additional 1.5 inches to our already substantial snow base. Everything was groomed this morning, including the BWCA section. It’s been quite windy, so you can anticipate that the lake trail tracks disappeared soon after they were groomed. They will get groomed again this week.

At this point we’ve had around 60 inches of snow this season, considerably more than we had during the entire winter last ski season.

The forecast for the upcoming week looks like a classic January — pretty darn cold, but getting better. Sunny days are forecast and we should get a break from the almost daily snow. The Pisten Bully can have a break this week!

If you will be skiing this week, don’t forget to sign up for the Bearskin Virtual Nordic Races here: https://bearskinnordicseries.com/ Winners for December/January will be announced soon and then a new race course will be posted. It’s strictly for fun, so give it a try. (Note that Quinn is listed — that’s just so you have a time to beat. Go get him!)

Poplar Creek Ski Trail 1.22.2022

1.18.2022 More of the same, lots of snow and continuous grooming

We are in the cycle where we get tons of snow, we groom the trails, there are a few great days of skiing, and then we get another big snowstorm. Repeat, repeat. Call to find out where we are in the grooming cycle on any given day, but generally you can trust that the groomers will be out the next morning after every snowfall. It generally takes all day to complete all the trails on both sides. For planning purposes, you can predict that Poplar Creek will usually be the last trail groomed. Bob and Quinn on our side and Ruth and Zach across Flour Lake try to get all thee central sections done first. Then usually we do Bear Cub and eventually Poplar Creek, when everything else is done.

If you love to race, the Bearskin Virtual Nordic Ski Series is back again for 2022. After all, if we are stuck indefinitely in a pandemic then we might as well keep doing the few fun things that came out of the Covid-era. Sign up on the website. You’ll need a GPS device and a Strava account to track your race time. Call Quinn or talk to him at the front desk if you need help figuring this out. https://bearskinnordicseries.com/

1.9.2022 Finally, first grooming update of 2022

So it snowed, and snowed, and snowed. The groomers have been going out almost daily to redo the trails. Last year we had a winter where we received a lot of snow early in the season–and then it rarely ever snowed again. We had enough snow to have a good ski base, but without fresh snowfalls the base became harder and icier. Maintaining the trails became quite challenging. 2022 is shaping up to be a much different winter. All trails are in great shape.

We’ve had an extremely cold first week of January. Conventional weather wisdom has always been that early January is brutally cold, but during the last 10 years that has not usually been true. This past week, however, was wickedly cold, as well as windy. Newly groomed trails were often blowing over soon after the groomers went through. In better news, we have a warm-up coming next week that will make it easier to appreciate the good ski conditions. Not dramatically warm, but definitely an improvement.

We will continue to groom whenever there is a new snowfall.

The Main Lodge building is still open to the public 7:30 AM to 6 PM to buy trail passes and to warm up. We are requiring masks in order to be inside the Main Lodge building, and people have been fabulous about doing this. We worried that we would need to close the building because people wouldn’t follow directions, but we haven’t seen any of that. We do have simple masks at the front desk if you forget yours, so just ask. We want to make it easy for you to help us stay open.

12.27.2021 Great skiing for the holiday week

We were seriously pummeled with fresh snow over the past two days. It’s all been groomed and conditions are excellent. we will need a few passes to create a very firm skate deck again, but everything is looking good. It’s beautiful on the trails, with snow coating all the pine boughs like a fantasy winter scenario.

There was a “mud pit,” as Quinn called it, on Poplar Creek until this snowfall. He thinks he won the battle this time.

Snowmobilers already destroyed the Bear Cub grooming. It’s a little early for this nonsense to start. The “I have no idea where I am” excuse means nothing to us. We will report snowmobilers who wreck our trails to the enforcement officer for the Superior National Forest, and there will be tickets issued. Meanwhile, Quinn will go out and do it all again as soon as he has the time.

If you visit us to ski for the day, please be aware that due to the new omicron surge, a mask is required in order to enter the Main Lodge. Both Bearskin and Golden Eagle hoped to have our lodge buildings open this winter. Nobody loved last winter’s blue porta-potties in -20 degree weather. But for the safety of the people we employ, our lodges will need to close the main buildings if the masking requirements aren’t observed. We’re happy to give you a mask if you need one, and appreciate your help with this so much. This is going to be a beautiful winter season here this year, if only we can manage to stay safe and open!