Grand Portage National Monument was established to commemorate and preserve a premier site and route of the 18th century fur trade that led to pioneering international commerce and exploration in North America, as well as cultural contact between Ojibwe and other Native societies and the North West Company partners, clerks and canoe-men. The monument was also established to work with the Grand Portage Band of Minnesota Chippewa in preserving and interpreting the heritage and lifeways of the Ojibwe people.
Grand Portage National Monument is of international and regional significance because it was the central hub of a once flourishing fur trade. Here the bold economic strategy and exploration by the North West Company voyageurs and traders opened up a transcontinental trade route. Grand Portage was and remains a meeting ground of diverse cultures. The site is home ground for contemporary Grand Portage Ojibwe.
Grand Portage National Monument contains the archeological remains of several fur trading posts instrumental in the exploration of the West and the economic history of the United States and Canada.
The national monument contains the entire length of the portage that marked the entrance into the interior of western Canada.
Grand Portage National Monument contains a reconstructed stockade, a great hall, a kitchen and a warehouse.
It is home place of tribal and family history and cultural persistence.
Email - GRPO_Superintendent@nps.gov
P.O. Box 426
170 Mile Creek Road
Grand Portage, Minnesota 55605
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P.O. Box 426, 211 Mile Creek Road
Grand Portage, MN 55605
Headquarters - 218-475-0123
PLANE - Minneapolis-Saint Paul International airport is a major U. S. hub for passengers flying to the Midwest. Connecting flights can be accessed from Minneapolis to Duluth, Minnesota or Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. To reach Grand Portage, Minnesota, private ground transportation is recommmended either by private or rental vehicle.
CAR - The monument is located in northeastern Minnesota’s “Tip of the Arrowhead” within Grand Portage Indian Reservation Cook County, Minnesota. Grand Portage National Monument is about 150 miles northeast of Duluth, Minnesota and 50 miles southwest of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada along the beautiful north shore of Lake Superior. The historic site is ? to 1 mile south of the west and east exits from Minnesota State Highway 61 in the village of Grand Portage.
The monument address is: P.O. Box 426, 211 Mile Creek Road, Grand Portage, Minnesota 55605
BUS - Bus transportation is available from the cities of Duluth, Minnesota and Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. For further information about bus schedules please contact Grand Portage Lodge and Casino at 218-475-2401.
Weather & Climate
Weather conditions change frequently, due to the site’s location on the north shore of Lake Superior. Cool onshore lake breezes are common in spring, summer and fall along with an occasional shower. Summer inland temperatures can reach into the 80’s and 90’s but are usually 10 to 15 degrees cooler by Lake Superior. Winter weather can be very cold and windy, with consecutive days of sub-zero temperatures, followed by calm sunny moderate temperatures in the 20’s and 30’s.
Access from the parking lot to the reconstructed great hall and kitchen is possible via an identified access route and ramp. The bookstore, interpretive exhibits, hands-on displays, video programs and ranger conducted interpretive activities that are offered in these buildings are accessible.
The canoe warehouse has an accessible ramp, but it is not connected to an identified accessible pathway. Interpretive exhibits, displays and programs presented inside are accessible.
Restrooms are partially accessible but are not connected to an identified accessible pathway. Wheelchair users may require assitance to reach the restrooms and canoe warehouse. Park staff is available to assist visitors.
The ranger station, adjacent to the parking lot, has an accessible ramp.
The parking lot has two identified, van-accessible parking spaces with a “safety zone.”
Two wheelchairs are available free of charge to use during your visit. Wheelchairs are located in the ranger station and in the great hall. Please ask monument staff for assistance.
Large print, audiotape and Braille formatted interpretive literature can be provided when we are given a three working day notice. Language interpreters may also be provided if we are alerted three days before your visit. Please contact the monument’s Accessibility Coordinator or the Chief Interpreter.
Pedestrian paths lead visitors to the reconstructed structures and satellite facilities. Picnic tables are available by crossing a foot bridge at the mouth of Grand Portage Creek or driving east on County Road 17 across the Works Progress Administration (WPA) stone bridge and parking along a gravel road adjacent to the lakeside picnic grounds.
The Mount Rose Trail is a paved pedestrian path with spectacular views to Grand Portage Bay and Isle Royale National Park.
The Grand Portage footpath can be accessed at three main points: across from the vehicle parking lot at the fort, off Minnesota State Highway 61 and up County Road 17 to Old Highway 61 where a small parking area bisects the portage (see map). The site of Fort Charlotte, with two backcountry campsites, may be accessed by hiking the Grand Portage. Fort Charlotte may also be reached by canoe or kayak via Boundary Waters Canoe Area through South Fowl Lake,Fowl Portage and about eight miles down the Pigeon River.
Waiver of entrance fees may be granted to bonafide educational groups. To obtain further information and request a waiver, please contact the monument superintendent.
Open All Year
Camping is permitted in the monument at Fort Charlotte located by the Pigeon River. Fort Charlotte can be reached by hiking eight and one-half miles from the historic stockade along the Grand Portage or four miles from the crossing at Old Highway 61(monument map viewable in 'inDepth'). Located at Fort Charlotte are two primitive campsites. Each can accomodate up to 10 campers and has a picnic table and fire ring. A pit toilet is located between the campsites. Water from the Pigeon River or Snow Creek is not potable; it should be treated with a purifier, filtered or boiled for at least five minutes. Pet owners are responsible for keeping their pets under control. Leave No Trace practices suggest that parties pack out all their own garbage and even add an extra item or so. For campfires, please use only dead and down wood not live trees. Leave Fort Charlotte better for, future visitors, than you found it ! There is no charge for backcountry camping, but a Backcountry Camping Permit is required. These can be obtained and completed at three self-registration boxes located along the Grand Portage. Park staff may also issue permits at the ranger station during normal operating hours. There are no other camping areas in the monument.
For More Information on this campground please call 218-475-0123
No in-park lodging is available. For more information see 'inDEPTH.'
GRAND PORTAGE NATIONAL MONUMENT HISTORIC SITE
Phone - 218-475-2202
Location - Northeastern Minnesota’s “Tip of the Arrowhead” within Grand Portage Indian Reservation, Grand Portage village, Cook County, Minnesota. Grand Portage National Monument is about 150 miles northeast of Duluth, Minnesota and 50 miles southwest of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada along the beautiful north shore of Lake Superior ? to 1 mile south of Minnesota State Highway 61. The monument address is: P.O. Box 426, 211 Mile Creek Road, Grand Portage, Minnesota 55605
Special Programs - The annual Grand Portage Rendezvous Days and Pow-Wow occurs the second full weekend of August every year. The Rendezvous at Grand Portage National Monument is presented for the purpose of re-creating and interpreting the annual fur trade rendezvous held during the 1700s and early 1800s. Monument staff and many volunteers present an historic encampment, demonstrations and competitive activities of skill and strength. This event is designed to improve public appreciation and understanding of important events at Grand Portage that influenced the history and exploration of North America. The “Winter Frolic” showcases winter life at the Northwest Company depot with many hands-on activities for all ages. Snowshoeing, historic sled-dog demonstrations, horse drawn sleigh rides and the popular snow snake toss are just a few of the events one can participate in. Come warm yourself by the fire with a hot beverage and see what the monument has to offer!
Exhibits - Great Hall: In the Grand Room of the Great Hall, place settings are arranged for voyageur guides, interpreters, clerks, wintering partners and agents of the Northwest Company. Four corner rooms are utilized for a furnished partner’s bedroom, Grand Portage Ojibwe cultural center, video presentations and a book sales outlet for our cooperating association, Eastern National Parks and Monuments. At a trade table, visitors have the opportunity to handle beaver, muskrat, fox, timber wolf and bison furs and common European trade items such as flintlock muskets, tobacco, woolen cloth and fire steels.
Available Facilities - palisade, main gatehouse, Great Hall, Kitchen, Canoe Warehouse, Ojibwe Village, Voyageur Encampment, historic gardens, fur press exhibit, dock (Isle Royale passenger ferry), restrooms, picnic area, ranger station office, Mount Rose Trail, the Grand Portage, Fort Charlotte site and campground