Elevated Hiking on the Superior Hiking Trail

Destination: North Shore of Lake Superior, Minnesota

| Activities: An elevated hiking experience on the Superior Hiking Trail

Backpacker Magazine calls the Superior Hiking Trail one of the ten best trails in America - and we agree! This trail combines a true sense of remoteness with an incredible diversity of terrain and dramatic scenery. Offering outstanding views of Lake Superior and diverse ecosystems, it winds along the ridge-tops of the Sawtooth Mountain Range for 300+ miles from the Wisconsin border to the Canadian Border. The cooler Midwest summer offers perfect weather for this elevated hiking experience. Be prepared to hike longer miles and over uneven, rocky & rooty terrain. We have rated this trip a 4 as we will hike 5 to 8 hours a day with moderate to significant elevation gain and loss. Every evening we'll relax in lodging on the shores of Lake Superior. Maximum group size: 12

Interested in a lower activity level version of this trip? Check out Autumn on the Superior Hiking Trail!

Highlights

  • Hiking through stately, towering pines and birch trees near Lake Superior
  • Enjoying scenic overlooks and waterfalls along the trail
  • Lodging on the shore of Lake Superior, the greatest of the Great Lakes
  • Long days of hiking on the North Shore, where you’ll enjoy well-maintained and scenic trails

Departures and Prices

July 20 to July 26, 2024
$2995.00 - FULL
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Inclusions

  • 1 - 2 experienced AGC guides based on group size
  • Six nights lodging. Three nights are in single occupancy rooms, the first, second-to-last, and last night are double occupancy.
  • All meals from dinner on the first day through breakfast on the last day
  • Round-trip transportation between Duluth, MN and the North Shore
Not included: Transportation to Duluth, airport transfers, alcoholic beverages, gratuities for the AGC guides, optional activities not on the itinerary, any meals not included on the itinerary.

Trip Documents

Trip Info

We have rated this trip as a 4 as we will hike 5 to 8 hours a day with moderate to significant elevation gain and loss. Rating: 1 2 3[4]5

This is primarily a hiking trip on a wooded trail, full of roots and rocks, that runs along the ridge overlooking Lake Superior. The trail is rolling in nature, with moderate ascents and descents and may be muddy/slippery depending on recent rainfall. This is an excellent trip for experienced hikers who are looking to escape the summer heat. We spend the last night in the beautiful small town of Grand Marais, Minnesota, where there are interesting small shops and bookstores.

We will spend the first night at the Inn on Lake Superior in Duluth. From here, we will spend the next three nights at Cove Point Lodge in charming shore-side cottages. On the final two nights, we will enjoy our slumber in a comfy bed at the Best Western in Grand Marais, a charming artistic town.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

DAY 1

Welcome to Duluth! Your guides will greet you at the Inn on Lake Superior at 5pm. If you arrive early, be sure to explore your surroundings. Duluth is a lovely city, right on the scenic shores of Lake Superior. Take some time to walk on the Lake Walk, where Lake Superior will greet you with lapping waves on the shorline. Tonight will be our first gathering with a welcome dinner and orientation.

Overnight: Inn on Lake Superior (D)


DAY 2

Today we'll gather early to fill our bellies with breakfast and our bodies with anticipation! After a delicious breakfast, we’ll start our first drive up the North Shore. Passing through the boreal forest, we’ll stop at Castle Danger to start our hike. We’ll continue through the red and white pines, waterfalls, and more. This is one of the most beautiful sections of the Superior Hiking Trail! At the end of our hike, we’ll be in Gooseberry State Park to enjoy some time on the beach. Our guides will get us settled into Cove Point Lodge, which features charming cottages right on the shores of Lake Superior. Once settled in, we’ll have dinner and look forward to the adventures tomorrow will bring.

Hike: (9 miles SHT + 1 mile State Park, totalling 10 miles), Elevation gain 760 feet/ loss 900 feet
Overnight: Cove Point Lodge (B, L, D)


DAY 3

Awakening to the crashing waves and beautiful sights of Gitche Gumee (Lake Superior), we'll have breakfast and depart for our hike of the day. Just when you thought it couldn't get better, it will! Today we'll start at our cottages and explore the Split Rock portion of the Superior Trail. As we wander along the beach, we'll walk among dramatic anorthosite rocks lining the shore, and the frame of a lighthouse will come into view. The Split Rock Lighthouse is no longer used, but is a spectacle of the area for what once was. The term "Split Rock" was formed due to the midcontinent rift and volcanic activity millions of years ago in this area. With erosion over time, we see the rocks placed here today. What a spectacle! After we enjoy the views and hike through the forest, we'll continue back to our cozy cottages to eat dinner and settle in for the evening.


Hike: 11.3 miles, Elevation gain/loss 1,700 feet
Overnight: Cove Point Lodge (B, L, D)


DAY 4

Today, we awaken to explore the Silver Bay and Tettegouche region. With more dramatic rock erosion, forest, and waterfalls: we'll continue to enjoy the hidden, varied landscapes of the Lake Superior region. We may even get to see a few birds of prey flying overhead! The name "ldquo Tettegouche" stems from the Tettegouche Club, an association of local businessmen which purchased the park in 1910 from the Alger-Smith Lumber Company. The lumber industry was industrial in how this region was discovered. As we continue on our hike, we'll encounter rushing rivers, discover where the Baptism River meets Lake Superior, and get to view the ever-popular waterfalls of the state. Once the days hike is complete, we'll return to our cottages for dinner at a local restaurant and our final night at the charming cottages of Cove Point.

Hike: 11 miles, Elevation gain 2,300 feet/ loss 2,500 feet

Overnight: Cove Point Lodge (B, L, D)


DAY 5

Today we'll awaken to yet another fantastic day of hiking along the Superior Trail!. We'll make our way from our cottages to a spur trail, eventually making our way past Temperance River and to view Carlton Peak. Once immersed in the forest, we'll make our way to views of the rounded sawtooth mountain range, an old range that has been eroded by millions of years. At the top of these peaks, we'll get views of the "Big Lake" and all of the greenery the North Shore has to offer. After taking a few photos of being on the top of the peaks, we'll head to the picturesque lakeside community of Grand Marais to our hotel. We'll conclude the evening with a lovely fresh-cooked dinner and great conversation.

Hike: 9.5 miles, Elevation gain 1,600 feet
Best Western Grand Marais (B, L, D)


DAY 6

Our final day hiking together features more awe and wonder within an ancient boreal forest! Along this trail, we'll get to view another lovely beach near Lake Superior. Once we've had a moment to soak it in, we'll continue to "wildflower hill," which will feature arctic-alpine wildflowers. Once we've seen the best the North Shore has to offer, we'll enjoy our final hotel night and tasty farewell dinner together. We'll compare our favorite hikes, photos, and celebrate the joy and awe of Minnesota's most gorgeous region.

Hike: This is 9.5 miles, Elevation gain/loss 1,500 feet
Best Western Grand Marais (B, L, D)


DAY 7

Once we've had breakfast and packed up, we will drive back to Duluth. We will be back in Duluth and to the airport by noon and you can plan to fly out anytime after 1:30PM. For those of you who drove and left your car at the first Duluth hotel, we will return you to the hotel to pick up your car. Until next time, North Shore!

(B)


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  1. Where do we eat?

    The guides will be cooking breakfasts and some dinners at your lodging; other dinners will be at restaurants where you can order off the menu. At breakfast the guides will put out 'fixings' for lunch and you will pack your own lunch and snacks.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    If we know well in advance, we can accommodate vegetarian, lactose-free, and gluten-sensitive diets. We cannot guarantee a completely gluten-free diet and we cannot provide a kitchen guaranteed to be free of cross-contamination. If you are vegan, we ask that you bring some additional protein bars; and if you are gluten-sensitive, please bring some gluten-free snacks. If you have severe allergies, Celiac disease and/or other significant dietary restrictions, please call the office before you register.
  3. I will be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    You only need to pay a single supplement if you want to guarantee you have your own room the first and last nights. Otherwise we will stay in condos where everyone has her own bedroom. Some bedrooms will have their own bathroom and others will share a bathroom (maximum 2), rooms will be assigned randomly, unless you request a roommate.
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