Backpack from the Grand Marais Visitors Center to Beaver Creek Campground



20.4 miles

Route Type


Added by James Brady

20-mile portion of the North Country Trail running through the eastern side of the Pictured Rocks National LakeshoreOverlook from the top of 300-foot sand dunesWell maintained hiking trails without the crowdsGreat views of Lake SuperiorEmpty beaches

Hikers and backpackers can begin their trip at the Grand Sable Visitors Center in Grand Marais. Permits need to be obtained from a park ranger in the office there if you are planning on camping at any of the backcountry campsites. The park rangers are also good resources to use if you have any questions about trail conditions.

The first few miles of the trail take you through some wooded areas. The trail is relatively flat and it allows for you to warm up. Within an hour or two of setting off from the visitors center you will reach the Log Slide overlook of the Grand Sable Dunes. The 300-foot sand dunes provide for jaw-dropping views of Lake Superior, which may still have ice on it if it you are there in the spring. The trail continues down off of the dunes and past the Au Sable Lighthouse, which is a good spot to enjoy lunch. After lunch, be sure to explore the nearby beach where remnants of several old shipwrecks can still be found.

The next 10 miles of the trail take your through beautiful forests and along desolate Lake Superior beaches. There are several campgrounds along this stretch, but I recommend hiking all the way to the Beaver Creek campground if you can make it that far. The Beaver Creek campground is situated on a scenic bluff above the beach and near a communal fire ring. Campers can watch the sunset on the beach and enjoy a bonfire at the communal fire ring with other campers.

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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