Experience Ely

The Grand Ely Lodge Experience

A visit to Ely and a stay at the Grand Ely Lodge gives you the chance to connect with nature in Superior National Forest and the Boundary Waters (BWCAW), one of the country’s most pristine wilderness experiences. Enjoy the history, culture and fun that can only be found by visiting Minnesota’s north country. This is the Ely Experience.

Best Rural Bike Trail in Minnesota

165 miles, 28 communities, biking the Mesabi Trail from Grand Rapids to Ely is possible for keen cyclists.

The Mesabi Trail takes you through 28 mining communities with names like Taconite and Mountain Iron. The rolling landscape of hills the trail traverses is known as the Mesabi Iron Range and is home to some of the largest deposits of iron ore in the United States.

What you’ll find along the Mesabi Trail are gently rolling hills, lots of beautiful iron-rich red dirt, forests, and old mine pits full of turquoise-blue colored waters – because of dissolved minerals that reflect the colors we see.

Parts of the trail feel very much as though you’re in the wilderness whereas there are sections that run parallel to the highway and so like many bike trails, it’s not all peace and quiet.

But there is plenty of bird and animal life if you pay attention. Every community you ride through has a welcoming arch, signage and great maps. You will never get lost on the Mesabi Trail!

If you are over 18 and you’re on wheels – be it a bike or inline skates, you need a trail pass. If you’re a hiker, runner, walker or someone with disabilities you are not required to purchase a pass.

The cost is $10 for a three day pass (2023 price) with funds going to support the trail. Either use the self-pay boxes along the trail or buy from vendors located in towns along the route. You can also buy wheel passes online.

For more information about the trail visit their website.

Bike Rentals are available at Ely Bike & Kicksled, 125 N Central Avenue  218-365-2453

Lodging: Start or end your biking adventure with us! When making reservations call and ask for the ‘Mesabi’ rate and receive $10 off our regular room rate per night!

Indoor pool with rustic feel at Grand Ely Lodge
Indoor pool with rustic feel at Grand Ely Lodge

Ely: Entry Point to the Boundary Waters

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, or BWCAW, is one of the country’s largest expanses of untouched wilderness.

In the summer, thousands of visitors from around the world flock to Ely to embark on a unique canoeing and kayaking experience. Only minutes from the Boundary Waters, Grand Ely Lodge is a favorite home base for BWCAW visitors beginning or ending their trips. Visit our Boundary Waters page for tips and resources to help you embark.

Everyone Deserves Some R&R Time

Make your next trip to Ely a relaxing one with a visit to our local partner business, Pebble Spa!

You will experience the comforting charm of an old century home, converted into a delightful spa and boutique – filled with women’s clothing, curated spa products, home décor, and more!

Looking for even more relaxation time? Book our new Relax & Unwind Package that offers everything you need for stress-free getaway.

  • Two nights lodging in a single king or double queen
  • Two mornings of breakfast at the Evergreen Restaurant
  • 60 minute classic massage for two at Pebble Spa
Pebble Spa
Pebble Spa

Dogsledding Adventures

Ely, Minnesota proclaimed ‘Sled Dog Capital of the America’ 

For a unique adventure combined with cozy, modern accomodations, book your sled dog adventure with one of these five Outfitters listed below and receive a special rate on lodging with us!

Whether you are looking for a half-day or full-day excursion, seasoned mushers offer treks to meet your adventure plans. At the end of your trip, enjoy one of our dining options, Evergreen Restaurant or Antlers Lounge overlooking Shagawa Lake. Or simply relax in our Fireside lobby, enjoy the heated pool, hot tub or sauna.

Cast Outdoor Adventures                                    elydaytrips.com

Chilly Dogs Sled Dog Trips                           elydogsledtrips.com

White Wilderness Sled Dog Adventures  whitewilderness.com

White Wolf Sled Dog Trips                         whitewolfdogtrips.com

Wintergreen Dog Sledding                            dogsledding.com




Adventure for Every Season

The premier four-season choice, Grand Ely Lodge sits on the shore of Shagawa Lake, less than a mile from Downtown Ely and within minutes of multiple Boundary Waters Canoe Area entry points. No matter if you’re traveling solo, with an adventurous group of friends, or with the whole family tagging along, Grand Ely Lodge offers adventure no matter the season.


As the snow thaws, the lakes open up, colorful flowers and blooming vegetation blooms, people start to gather again, and Ely comes alive. Head into town to visit a museum or two, or learn more about the wildlife that makes the area so special by visiting the nearby International Wolf Center and North American Bear Center. Outdoor enthusiasts can hike, bike, canoe, and kayak (mid-May) to watch nature come back to life.

Other Spring Activities

Swimming >
Golf >
Birding >
Indoor pool with rustic feel at Grand Ely Lodge
Indoor pool with rustic feel at Grand Ely Lodge


Warm temperatures bring adventurers to northeast Minnesota in droves each summer. Head out on the water from our full-service marina on Shagawa Lake for a day of fishing, canoeing, kayaking or relaxation. Grab your camera, and venture out for a few miles of hiking. You’re sure to catch a glimpse of Northern Minnesota’s abundant wildlife! Hop on your bike for some backwoods exploration or for a ride into downtown Ely. The possibilities are endless during a summer stay at Grand Ely Lodge.


The best way to see the ever-changing landscape of leaves is to get up close and personal. A stunning autumn weekend in Ely offers plenty of fresh air; Hike the nearby Trezona Trail and become entranced with vibrant fall colors. Should the weather turn chilly, just take a scenic drive, then head back to the Grand Ely Lodge for a hot beverage and a bite to eat in the Evergreen Restaurant or Antlers Lounge. Be sure to visit in September for the Harvest Moon Festival, an annual favorite in Ely with music, shows, delicious local food, and more.

Indoor pool with rustic feel at Grand Ely Lodge
Indoor pool with rustic feel at Grand Ely Lodge


Ely is a snow lover’s paradise, averaging 63 inches of powder each year. After the lakes freeze and the terrain becomes covered with snow, the area surrounding our all-season resort turns into a winter paradise. Travel the area with ease with hundreds of miles of cross-country ski trails that start right outside our door at Grand Ely Lodge. A popular winter activity unique to Ely for locals and travelers alike is dogsledding, with numerous outfitters ready to guide you for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

Get the Most Out of Ely


Equipment Rentals

Grand Ely Lodge guests can enjoy outdoor equipment rentals like canoes, kayaks, skis, snowshoes and much more. Don’t miss out on the fun and memories.

A boat sits at a dock during sunset

Events & Weddings

Let the natural beauty of the north woods serve as the backdrop for your wedding, family reunion or retreat. The event team at Grand Ely Lodge will be sure to make your event perfect.

Start Your Ely Experience

Spring, summer, fall, winter; any time of the year is the perfect time to visit Ely. And Grand Ely Lodge is at the center of it all. Book your stay with us today!

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