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“2011 Best Lodges per Minnesota Monthly” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Bearskin Lodge

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Bearskin Lodge
Rochester, Minnesota, United States
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“2011 Best Lodges per Minnesota Monthly”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2011

Bearskin Lodge is a family run business nestled in a pine and birch forest along the bay waters of E. Bearskin Lake, 6 miles from the Canadian Border and on the edges of the BWCA. It's located right off the Gunflint Trail, a well-paved single lane road that winds up to the Lodge through a heavily wooded Superior National Forest.  To guide the way are wooden mileage destination signs; a distance of 26 miles from Grand Marais.  It has a total of 11 cabins, all of which are uniquely different from the other in style, size, and accommodations.  For our taste and needs, we picked Cedar Cabin #2.

The smallest of all cabins, Cedar is a quaint rustic 1920's cabin with plenty of character, intimacy, charm that offers much for solitude and nostalgia.  The wood stove furnace with an unlimited wood supply plus the floating lake dock made this clean, humble abode a true wilderness delight.

The gift shop, dining area, Hot Tub Hus and dry sauna, canoe and boat rental are all found in or near the Lodge.  Each cabin can reserve the hot tub or sauna to themselves for an hour each day.  There's no cell phone service but Wi-Fi and landline access is available, and on the premises is this bear-like Newfoundland dog named Ruby!

Top 10 Trip Highlights:
1.  Eating fresh homemade plump blueberry pie with sugary flaky crust.
2.  Seeing 1 cow moose and her 2 calves on Campground Loop.
3.  Reserving the Hot Tub Hus to ourselves an hour every day.  
4.  Absolute silence at night, not a bird, not a rustle anywhere, no wind and looking up to MANY stars in the sky against big fluffy snowflakes.  
5.  Canoeing/portaging into the BWCA to Johnson's Falls (20 mile RT) and having lunch there.
6.  Hearing the resounding flap of a grouse along the trail.  
7.  Purchasing my first BWCA map; we're only 6 miles from Canada!
8.  Getting awesome tasting water right out of the tap.
9.  Hiking to Honeymoon Bluff and seeing the vast wilderness of the BWCA and the linear lakes that look and truly feel like rivers.
10. Loading the wood furnace and hunkering down in the itty bitty log cabin 3 days/4 nights in a row.

OMG!  They have skate skiing trails and this little cabin would be perfect for a winter retreat.  Noted.  Time to get out my calendar and schedule my next adventure!

Room Tip: Things to consider: screened porch or an uncovered deck? fireplace or a wood burning stove pipe fu...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Susan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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96 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 October 2011

We just returned from our tenth or eleventh year at Bearskin. We have a seven year-old daughter and we stay with my parents for a total of five in Cabin #10. We like that there are no t.v.s, no smoking, and no pets in the cabins. Every year when we walk into the cabin we comment on how clean everything is and that it always smells "fresh."

We hiked, canoed, and relaxed for three days. We're always impressed with how different the Gunflint Trail is from other "Up North" places and that's why the drive is more than worth it.

We like Bearskin because the cabins are beautiful, always spotless, and have everything you need to enjoy the area and be very comfortable. The staff at Bearskin are always helpful and can always tell you the conditions of the trails and answer your questions about the area. You can tell they appreciate where they live and think it's as great as you do.

With some places, the more you go the more things you see that aren't so great. At Bearskin, we continue to appreciate the work they put into keeping this place in excellent condition. We also learn more and more about the area every time we go.

It's a great place and we are always happy to see that they're doing well and are busy; this is a place we'd like to return to for many years to come.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MinneapolisUSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eagan, Minnesota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2011

We were first timers at the Bearskin.....and we will definately be back!! Wonderful owners & staff, quite, peaceful, beautiful, clean....not even enough words.
My husband and I have NEVER had a better trip to the Gunflint Trail. Neither one of us has stayed at a nicer resort - anywhere!! We both highly recommend it to all who can go to Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail. The Bearskin Lodge FOREVER the best! We can't wait for our next visit! Many thanks to Bob, Sue & the whole gang!!

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank grammierobbie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Menlo Park, California
Level Contributor
29 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 2011

My husband and I went with my parents and in-laws in mid-August. The Bearskin Lodge is not in the town of Grand Marais, it's actually 25 miles up the Gunflint Trail. My husband's family have been going on vacation in this area for the last 30 years. It was my third trip and I am in love. This region, called the Boundary Waters is amazing. We stayed in one of the townhouse-like places labeled "Lodge #1." Anyway, it felt like a cabin on the inside, there were 2 floors with 2 bedrooms and a full bathroom on the second floor and a bedroom and full bathroom on the first floor along with a full kitchen and living room. There was also a great porch outside. Seven people were able to sleep there easily with room to spare. The place has quite a few pieces of art featuring moose, which I loved. There is also a wood burning furnace. We spent 2 days out in canoes with the whole crew and a couple days exploring the area, swimming in the lake and shopping in Grand Marais. Unfortunately on one of our canoe trips, we ran into some problems and could not make it back to the lodge (canoe capsized, it's a long story!). We sent word to the lodge and they immediately sent someone to rescue us in a motorboat. I should add, they never even charged us for the rescue. It was pretty amazing. We could've been in real trouble without the assistance. We also had a good experience cooking. Whenever there was some item we needed that wasn't in the kitchen, we were able to borrow from the front desk. They has *everything* we requested, even pizza pans. They have regular meals in the lodge that we didn't make it to but we did have a fantastic complementary BBQ with the other guests provided by Bearskin. They had everything from pulled BBQ to veggie burgers. If you want an awesome family vacation, you cannot go wrong with Bearskin Lodge. Did I mention that they have an indoor hot tub too! And homemade pies!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank enceladus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Welch, Minnesota
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2011

We just returned home from our third trip to Bearskin and stayed in Cabin 6. We previously stayed in Cabin 8. We loved Cabin 6 this year, as we had five people, and the big screen porch on the front of the cabin helped increase our personal space, and provided a great place for fresh air when we worked on puzzles or played cards.

Bearkin is not just a destination, it is a feeling. The resort allows you to embrace the wilderness while still holding on to the comforts of the cabins and the lodge. The owners and staff are absolutely wonderful.

My family counts the days until we can go back to Bearskin, each year hoping that we could increase the number of days we spend there.

We did everything from kayaking the bays to renting the pontoon (reasonable rates) for a 1/2 day for fishing or just floating. It's beautiful there, it's private, it's like when you rent a cabin there, you also get a fabulous lodge, staff, and what seems like an entire lake to yourself...very peaceful. But you can make it whatever you want.

There are games in the lodge for the kids, comfy chairs and wine for the adults and helpful and courteous staff.

Thanks Bearskin, for another fantastic year!

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LoriB263
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plymouth, Minnesota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 July 2011

Bearskin has been a favorite vacation spot of ours for many years...my husband has been going there for over 30 years and we brought our 2 month old son for his first trip. It is very quiet and peaceful. The bearskin staff is FANTASTIC! The cabins are clean, comfy, and make you feel at home. I also LOVE that the cast iron skillets are well seasoned :) We will continue to come to Bearskin year after year and you should, too! I enjoy reading the cabin journals and my husband loves the fishing. I even do a little "kayaking" in the bay. A wonderful place for a couple's retreat or a "no-tech" family get away.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JenniferUmphrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 July 2011

My son, Uncle and I wanted to go catch some big fish, so we headed to MN. You MUST have a canoe and/or boat to fish in Northern Minnesota! We were very surprised to learn that there is NO SHORE ACCESS on the gunflint trail waters (one rare exception on Mink Lake, but still very limited at best). We had fun, caught a lot of fish, but a canoe is a must if you're there to fish. Bearskin had some nice docks that were good fishing, but we wanted to try other options.

Room Tip: Bearskin prefers to rent their cabins from Sunday to Saturday, a point we did not know until we alre...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
2 Thank Fishing_trip_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bearskin Lodge

Property: Bearskin Lodge
Address: 124 E Bearskin Rd, Grand Marais, MN 55604-3003
Region: United States > Minnesota > Grand Marais
Amenities:
Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 31 Speciality Lodging in Grand Marais
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Charming lakeside accommodation that's big on cross-country skiing and hospitality. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Bearskin Hotel Grand Marais

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