Honeymoon Bluff

Superior National Forest, Minnesota

Trip Date: Friday, June 29th, 2018
Last Updated: Monday, August 6th, 2018
By Ricky Holzer

Hike Information

Rating ★★★★★(5/5)
Overall Difficulty Easy
Navigation Difficulty     Easy
Distance 0.5 miles roundtrip
Time 30 minutes
Terrain Hilly
Best Seasons All
Family Friendly Yes
Dog Friendly Yes
Accessible No

Highlights

Hike Walkthrough

In terms of the amount of effort required and the extreme beauty of the view at the top, not much can beat this hike. As such, this is definitely a popular destination on the Gunflint Trail. If this is your first time on the Gunflint, this is one of the must see places that really showcases the natural scenery here.

I've seen many different distances for this hike in every source I've read. The map at the trailhead says 3/4 mile, and the official page linked at the bottom of the page says 1 mile. My own GPS measurements that created the red line on the map above calculated half a mile, and that's what I'm sticking with. In any case, this is a short hike. If you can walk up a couple flights of stairs -- even at a slow pace with breaks -- you can do this hike.

The hand-carved map at the trailhead

The hand-carved map at the trailhead

Almost immediately after starting the trail, you'll begin walking up the stairs pictured below. There are two sets, and the second is longer than the first. Once you reach the top, the rest of the trail is flat as it circles the top of the bluff. You can go right or left at the top, the direction doesn't matter since you eventually descend these same stairs on the way out.
Beauty awaits at the top of these stairs

Beauty awaits at the top of these stairs

Soon you will reach the main attraction: the view from the bluff -- see the pictures below. For those afraid of heights, have no fear! There are wooden railings here to keep you at a safe distance from the edge. For those daring (or stupid) enough to jump the fence, there is an absolutely perfect rock for your personal photoshoot featuring the second picture below as a backdrop (you might have to wait your turn to do this though).
The view from the top of Honeymoon Bluff looking to the north

The view from the top of Honeymoon Bluff looking to the north

This view overlooking Boundary Waters lakes is a perfect photo spot

This view overlooking Boundary Waters lakes is a perfect photo spot

Finish the loop after savoring the view, then descend the stairs back to the parking lot. Quick and easy, this hike shows a great sample of the scenery available in the beautiful Boundary Waters. Let me know what you think in the comments section below, and be sure to use #nocoastbestcoast on Twitter and Instagram after your trip!

Important Information

Dogs are allowed, and regulations don't explicitly state whether or not a leash is required, just that your dog remains "under control". This trail is great all year, though snow may make the drive more difficult and the stairs on the trail may be slippery when wet or icy. The shortness of this hike means it's great for all ages, just watch children closely near the cliff edges -- they have constructed wooden railings here as a precaution, but they are easy to climb over or under. I went on a late Friday afternoon and saw a couple people, but I expect this is a popular destination on a weekend.

Directions

From Grand Marais, drive up the Gunflint Trail (Cook County Highway 12) for about 26 miles, then turn right onto Clearwater Road (Cook County Highway 66) shortly after seeing the brown sign for Flour Lake Campground. Continue straight for about 2 miles, then turn left into the parking lot for Honeymoon Bluff.

Google Maps Directions

Parking, Fees, and Facilities

Parking is free! There are no facilities near the lot.

External Links

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