Your Online Trail and Travel Guide for Snowmobiling the U.S. & Canada

Ely, Minnesota

Ely, MN Chamber of Commerce

Ely, MN Chamber of Commerce

Reporter: ElyChamber
Trail Conditions: Good
Snow Cover: 14 inches
Date of Report: February 15, 2018
Area Report:

Ely Area Trail Conditions – Thursday, February 15, 2018

Snowfall Depth: 14 inches


Snowmobile Trails

Taconite Trail: Snow – 8-20” depth  Base – 1-3”  Groomed – yes  Condition –good    The entire Taconite is in good condition, corners are icy, the trail base is thin, and more rocks are showing through, especially in high ground areas.  Trail divots exist on some hilltops between Ely and Tower due to heavy use, cold weather and lack of snow.  Please stay to the right and use caution while riding.

Arrowhead Trail: Snow – 12-24” depth  Base –1-4”  Groomed – yes  Condition – Excellent  The entire Arrowhead is groomed and in very good to excellent condition. Please be aware of and slow down for logging activity throughout the trail, especially a large section between Elephant Lake and the Elephant Lake Road to the south. Also take note: the East Camp 90 Rd (between Sheep Ranch Rd and Ash River Trail) has heavy logging traffic and is closed to snowmobiles. Please stay on the snowmobile trail rather than using the road.

Putnam-Fishing Lakes Trail: Base – 1-3”  Trail is groomed and in fair to good condition. The trail remains rough in spots due to rocks and low snow.

Lake Vermilion State Park and Soudan Underground Mine State Park: Snow 13-14”, Base – 4”, Trails are groomed and in good condition.

Tomahawk Trail & Local Trail Sections: Snow 15-18” depth, Base – 2-3”  Groomed – yes  Condition – good  The trail is in good condition and groomers have been out on average twice per week grooming.  With the warmer temperatures, grooming will cease for a few days until temperatures drop and the base firms up.

Ely Area Lakes & Trails: All trails along the Echo Trail are groomed.  Hidden Bay is now open.  There is logging between Birch Lake and White Iron, so please use caution and remember the trails are shared with logging equipment.  Overall trail condition is good. Please use caution traveling across lakes – stay on marked trails to avoid slush areas.  Current areas (rivers, narrows and streams) may still have unsafe ice, please test before traveling across.

News and Reports:

Don’t miss the 12th Annual Minnesota Snow Run February 23 & 24th at the Grand Ely Lodge.  This is a fundraising event by the Pink Ribbon Riders.  Learn more event details at

Snowmobiling Information

The Ely area is northern Minnesota’s premier snowmobile hub with numerous on-trail facilities, accommodations for both large and small groups, and with plenty of food, entertainment and service centers. The Taconite Trail is the main thoroughfare in and out of Ely in the winter. Stretching 170 miles between Ely and Grand Rapids to the southwest, many spur routes will take you just about anywhere you want to go. The Tomahawk Trail, heading to the east, has 86 miles of varied terrain which the avid snowmobiler can use to connect up with hundreds of miles more of groomed trails.

If good snowmobiling gets you excited about winter, then try out the 170 mile long Taconite Trail and the 80 mile Tomahawk Trail. The Taconite Trail, or the “Mighty Taconite” as the locals call it, runs from Ely to Grand Rapids. It stretches across three state forests and the Superior National Forest. Smooth rides along this famous route are loaded with history and the Taconite’s many spurs and loops make for some quality modern day pioneering.

The Tomahawk Trail runs from Ely to the North Shore and Yukon Trails. The trail works closely with natural terrain and is one of the most scenic trails in the state. The tree cover that surrounds the trail edges, the lack of traffic and development allows you to have an uninhabited experience.

Many riders return to the Ely area each winter to enjoy its sheer beauty and varied terrain. It’s a region where people clearly love snowmobiling and they know how to make you feel welcome. Find out for yourself!