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“Heaven on Earth!”

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Clearwater Historic Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Hamilton, Virginia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Heaven on Earth!”
Reviewed August 19, 2013

Just got back from a week in the Boundary Waters with my son at Clearwater Lodge. FANTASTIC TRIP! Adam and his staff have really put something together that they should be very proud of. We signed up for a complete outfit package for 2 nights on the lakes. If you've never been out fishing on a remote lake after sunset with a moon overhead, listening to the gurgling "blub, blub, blub, blub, blub" of a black jitterbug with the call of loons echoing across the water, then having your lure SLAMMED by northern pike almost as long as your arm, then you haven't lived the good life!!! The lodge is very nice! We stayed in Suite A. Very roomy with full bath and complete kitchen including fridge, stove, microwave, pots, pans, utensils, glasses. The breakfasts were very good too. GREAT pancakes. This is great place to go for a family trip. The first thing Adam does is sit down with you to find out what YOU want out of the trip, then makes recommendations that will help you achieve those goals. The gear was first rate. Nice, light Kevlar canoes and camping equipment. The Trail Center, just a short drive away on the Gunflint Trail, is a GREAT place to have dinner. We had the 8 oz. filet with bleu cheese sauce and hashbrowns on our last night. OUTSTANDING! If you've ever wanted to experience complete solitude in an absolutely beautiful setting, then you can't go wrong staying here. Highly recommended!

Room Tip: Suite A is excellent for families. 3 beds, full kitchen and bath. Very nice!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jeff p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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373 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (89)
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English first
San Diego, California
1 review
Reviewed August 19, 2013

The cabin cannot be in a better place, it has the best view of Clearwater lake. The staff is very friendly and is always willing to help you planing day trips around the area. They have all you need to explore the lakes in canoe.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank RicardoBC75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waukesha, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
142 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2013

We've been to Gunflint area many times over the years. We decided to try Clearwater on the kind advice of Harriet Boostrom, whom we met last year at the Chik-Wauk nature center. She is a treasure and we had the pleasure of chatting with her again to recall the early days of resort life. Still a vibrant, fascinating lady of the north!

We had a very nice time on the Gunflint as usual and the weather was lovely.
The cabin #8 we chose was down the road about 100 yds. from the Clearwater lodge itself. We enjoyed a private dock and fire circle with this cabin, whereas the others are in closer proximity to the lodge and share the fire pit and some docks.
We would have appreciated a little more pre-visit help from the current resort team--having asked for a quick photo or two of the cabin interior so we could better understand how much space we would have for 4 people. It would have helped with planning, but the cabin was fine.
We had to haul our own wood to the cabin from the lodge - two trips with our boat trailer, there were some rotting logs near the fire area, but they weren't split, or really suitable for camp fires. So that could be improved for the future.
We each got a set of towels, and could have stopped by the lodge to exchange them mid-week if we wished; again, basic service.
The one extra effort we appreciated was that Eric kindly took 30 minutes on our first day to walk through our lake maps and help us to better understand the fishing options. That helped a lot, and we really appreciated his insights.
We caught fish and used the fish house to clean and rinse our catch. We also enjoyed a couple pieces of pie "to go" from the lodge.
Other than that, we paid full August prices for the cabin, similar to other resorts on the trail, and it was a fair value - with a very nice view and nice privacy for our fire pit and dock.
This is definitely a nice area to stay on the Gunflint if you plan to trailer your boat to multiple lakes, with Bearskin, Flour, Aspen, Hungry Jack and others all reasonably close.
We'll be back to the Gunflint Trail!

Room Tip: Cabin #8 is just fine for 4 people. One bedroom has two twins and one has a queen size bed. Both hav...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tom Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AdamVT, Owner at Clearwater Historic Lodge, responded to this review, August 23, 2013
This review, particularly the average score in service, comes as quite a surprise to us. We take great pride in offering guests exceptional accommodations and service. I’m truly sorry we didn’t meet this guest’s expectations. While it is disappointing they weren’t fully satisfied during their stay, we want them to rest assured their comments will be evaluated for ways we can improve.

We’re glad this family enjoyed our hosted evening with Harriet and their cabin. We would like to clarify a few of the other items. First, seven of our eight cabins enjoy a private dock right at their cabin. Second, they are correct, we don’t deliver firewood to cabins. This tradition was started by the original owner in 1915. His philosophy was that this kept fire danger down because people would take only what they need for a campfire rather than building a bonfire. We have 4 fire pits for guests to enjoy and we stack complimentary wood by the lodge for guests to use. We are also happy to help you load the wood. Third, this guest mentioned they would have liked having their towels changed out during their stay. Towel exchanges are available by bringing towels to the lodge or by simply letting us know that you would like us to bring new towels to your cabin. The reason we don’t automatically do this is because the majority of our guests prefer to be undisturbed. They enjoy the solitude of our quiet setting, with the comfort of knowing we are available if they need anything. And, finally, this guest mentioned they would have liked more photographs of the cabin before they arrived. I apologize we don’t have the necessary equipment to provide these. During our off season, however, we will look into adding a floor plan and additional photos of each cabin, along with the location of each cabin’s private dock, to our website so each group can determine which cabin best fits their needs.

We take great pride in offering our guests a relaxing stay at a unique historic lodge. We want them feel a sense of seclusion and escape from the stress and noise of the world. We strive to provide an experience that leaves our guests looking forward to a return visit, and hope over time that they become our friends. Our apologies to this guest and their family. While it appears that our place was not quite their style, I hope they have many wonderful summers and adventures in the future on the Gunflint Trail.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Draper, Utah
1 review
Reviewed August 17, 2013

Great service and amazing food. The staff is very knowledgable and friendly. Very good guides and great service. We stayed in a suite in the main lodge and it was great to get up and walk down the stairs to have a home-cooked meal. Great area and wonderful experience!

Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Bradyn E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Apple Valley, Minnesota
1 review
Reviewed August 13, 2013

Very pleased with our stay at Clearwater Lodge. We were there for a canoe trip and they upgraded us to a much nicer bunkhouse the first night (free of charge), since the upgraded bunkhouse must have been vacant when we arrived. Our trip was cold and rainy so we came out of the BWCA a day early. They were flexible enough to come pick us up and offer us complimentary warm showers. They were flexible with preperation/planning, and very helpful with suggestions. I would definitely recommend a stay at Clearwater Lodge.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank kyle408
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Duluth, Minnesota
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2013

We recently stayed at the Clearwater Lodge on the Gunflint Trail for two nights and what a great experience with a very family orientated surroundings. We stayed in a suite right in the main lodge and we felt like we were staying with family. Adam, his wife & staff are totally awesome. And totally recommend a piece of homemade pie as a snack. We can't wait until we go back and stay again. Canoeing on Clearwater Lake was breathtaking. Make reservations now for a unique experience.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Carol H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 11, 2013

My wife and I had a wonderful time being cared for by a warm family operation in a beautiful, quiet setting. Suite A had all we needed for a relaxing couple of nights and days, including a hearty breakfast and timely service.
The comfortable amenities were just right for an escape from the buzyness of town, and Adam and Kasey and family were a joy to visit with. Although an overnight canoe trip was not in our plans this time, the Clearwater crew was very helpful to those heading out onto the water. For any visit to the Gunflint Trail area, you'll be pleased with your stay here as well!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Michael F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Clearwater Historic Lodge

Property: Clearwater Historic Lodge
Address: 774 Clearwater Rd, Grand Marais, MN 55604-3031
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Minnesota > Grand Marais
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 32 Specialty Lodging in Grand Marais
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Clearwater Historic Lodge and Canoe Outfitters is oldest resort and outfitter on the Gunflint Trail. The main lodge is listed on the National Historic Registry and has 5 bed and breakfast rooms. The resort also offers 8 lakeside cabins, all with kitchens, bathrooms and private docks. The 5 bunkhouse accommodations for those entering the Boundary Waters Canoe Area provide a great option for the night before a canoe trip. Motorboat, canoe, kayak and paddle board rentals available. ... more   less 

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