Eagle Mountain stands as the highest point in Minnesota. Although only 2,301 feet in elevation, Eagle Mountain takes a 3.5 mile hike to reach its summit. Starting from the trailhead the forest thickens fast. The route travels across a group of hills before reaching an area of bogs. At one of the first bogs there is a sign proclaiming the entrance to the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area. The majority of the bogs you will pass will have wooden plank bridges to cross over. When hiking through this area in the winter take care to make sure you are on the right part of the bridge or you may fall in if the snow is not deep enough. Soon after reaching the bogs area the trees will open up to the right exposing Whale Lake and the first glimpse of Eagle Mountain. Take the trail around Whale Lake until you reach a sign that says Eagle Mountain. (When traveling in the winter the trail will most likely be lost due to the snow drifting off of the lake. Simply stay close to the edge of the trees surrounding the lake and you will soon find the trail marker that points to Eagle Mountain.) Taking a left at the marker the trail steepens and leads in a circular path up the mountain for a gain of about 600 feet or so. The steepest part of this part of the climb is in the first stretch of it and is not difficult. You will reach a point where it seems you are at the top and the trees open up to give you a beautiful panoramic of the Minnesota wilderness and other lesser high points of the area. But you need to continue into the center of the top of the mountain until you reach a plaque on a rock that proclaims the summit of Eagle Mountain. After you reach the top go back to the panoramic vistas you just left and enjoy some more of the view since the actual summit is nothing special.
Eagle Mountain is located in the northeast corner of Minnesota in Cook County, just off of the coast of Lake Superior's North Shore. If approaching from the south, take Route 61 north from Duluth. Drive for approximately 90 miles to the town of Lutsen. Just outside of Lutsen take a left at county road 4. Be aware that this road is not very well plowed in the winter so a four-wheel drive vehicle may be necessary to negotiate in snowy conditions. Take this road for approximately 18 miles until you reach a t-junction with Forest Road 170. Take a left on this road and continue a few miles until you see the Eagle Mountain Trailhead on your left. There is parking at the trailhead. If coming from Canada you can shorten the drive by following route 61 south to Grand Marais. Take county road 12 in Grand Marias to county road 8. Take a left at 8 and follow it as it curls around Devil's Track Lake. Continue left onto county road 27. This road will curve and turn into forest road 170. The Eagle Mountain Trailhead will be on your right.
There is a registration box at the trailhead.
When To Climb
Anytime of year is great time of year to climb. Although nothing more than a hike in the spring, summer and fall, Eagle Mountain is a fun snowshoe climb in the winter and can be cross-country skied as well
There is a campsite area at the base of Whale Lake. Any other information on camping could be found at the Lake Superior National Forest website.
For the best weather conditions if traveling in the winter, you could call Grand Marais' Visitor Center. 1-888-922-5000. They were helpful in letting me know the current snow conditions in the back woods.
- Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness website
You can find current weather information and new BWCA happenings at this site to help you plan your Eagle Mountain hike.
- Americas Roof
Americas Roof Site on Eagle Mountain
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