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Boundary Waters: Eagle Mountain

Tag the highest peak in Minnesota on this 6.6-mile hike, which courses under a coniferous forest and past a glacial lake with nice backcountry campsites.

Trip Tools

Eagle Mountain, the northernmost high point in the Lower 48, may be just 2,301 feet high, but it’s no anonymous cornfield. It resides in Superior National Forest, the largest outside of Alaska, amid one of the world’s great paddling destinations, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The park boasts 1,000 lakes (leaving just 9,000 for the rest of the state) as well as the pristine 3.5-mile one-way trail to Minnesota’s apex. You pass through hardwood forest on mostly flat and rocky terrain to Whale Lake, where it’s all but impossible not to picnic. Then you begin to climb, gaining 600 feet over the last mile. There are timber wolves, moose, bear, and, of course, eagles.

– Copy by Joe Glickman. Route mapped by Steffan Fay.

To Trailhead

From Duluth, MN 61 N to Lutsen. Continue .5 mi. past Cascade River SP; turn L onto CR 7. Go 4.4 mi., turn L onto CR 48. L onto FR 158 (Bally Creek Rd.). In 11.4 mi., park @ trailhead.

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