Eagle Mountain Trail, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota

Duluth, MN
Length: 7.00 mi.
Type: Out & Back

About This Trail

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The Eagle Mountain Trail leads to the summit of Eagle Mountain over a total one way distance of around 3.7 miles. Eagle Mountain at 2,301 feet is the highest point in Minnesota and the highest point for over 500 miles in any direction. The lowest point in Minnesota is the shoreline of Lake Superior at 602 feet above mean sea level.

Eagle Mountain is a 7-mile out and back hike that takes you to the highest point in Minnesota. Ironically, there are no views from the summit as it’s hidden in the forest. But just before the summit, you are rewarded with a gorgeous overlook of the lakes of the Boundary Waters.

This is a very popular trail on weekends. The best time to do the trail is probably in the fall when color is at a maximum. The spring is when the trail is most soggy. Summer is sometimes buggy. The parking lot is often filled and sometimes you need to park on the road. The surface of the trail is similar to a heavily traveled BWCA portage; it is always easy to follow.

The trail is well maintained for the first 50 rods or so and then starts to resemble a typical well traveled BWCA portage. There are a few areas along the trail that are marshy, but these areas have board plank crossings erected. Several other places are very rocky and require a little care with footing. The only strenuous part of the Eagle Mountain Trail is the last 0.8 miles or so beyond Whale Lake. This part of the trail heads up to the summit. This last stretch will leave folks in average shape sucking some wind.

Almost everyone visiting the Eagle Mountain Trail is doing the trail on a BWCA day permit. You need to fill one out before beginning your hike. The Eagle Mountain Trail begins outside of the BWCA, but enters the designated wilderness area where it crosses Whale Creek. If you plan on camping overnight, you need to go through the regular BWCA permit process and get a permit for Entry Point #79.

There are two campsites along the trail, both in the Whale Lake area.

You will know you are at the top of Eagle Mountain when you reach the large rock with the sign embedded into it. There are two vista viewing areas near the top where the forest doesn’t block your view. The true summit is near the second wide vista where you can see several lakes off in the distance. From the first vista area, there are surprisingly no lakes to be seen. The trail that leads to the actual summit (often marked by cairns) leads back into the woods. It is about a three to five minute walk depending on pace. There are no views from the true summit of Eagle Mountain.

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Trail Features

Seasons Fall
Surface type Dirt
Elevation gain 550 ft.
Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains No
Bathrooms No
Cell reception None
Pet friendly Yes
Nearby convenience store No
Camping Nearby Yes
Emergency support
within 5 miles

Trail highlights

Camping Nearby, Creek / River, Lake, and Viewpoint

Other Trails in Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Superior National Forest, Minnesota

Fee & Parking Details

Fee : $16.00

Only for overnight use; $16/adult permit fee, $8.50/child

Trail Contributor

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Hike it Baby Trail Guide is managed by the Family Trail Guide team. If a trail has been “abandoned” by the initial owner, it gets adopted by the team. Also, if there are no trails in the area, the Family Trail Guide team researches trails that are family friendly in the area to insure that hikes cover all areas where Hike it Baby hikes.


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