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Ascent of Eagle Mountain on 2009-09-18

Climber: Eric Brown

Date:Friday, September 18, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Eagle Mountain
    Location:USA-Minnesota
    Elevation:2301 ft / 701 m

Ascent Trip Report

Nestled in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of the Superior National Forest is Minnesota’s highest peak: Eagle Mountain. Many folks, including native Minnesotans, mistakenly believe the Eagle Mountain located at the Lutzen ski resort to be the states highpoint. In reality “the” Eagle Mountain actually lies about 16 miles north and slightly east of the ski hill of the same name.

This is one of those hikes I have always “meant to do” but given it’s distance from the Twin Cities and my schedule I always found alternative day hikes closer to home and reserved my multi-day trips for higher elevations in other states. I finally decided to make a 3 day trip up the north shore bag some of my “home peaks” that had been on my wish list.

I set up camp at the Finland State Forest’s Eckbeck Campground near Tettegouche State Park. This is a nice quiet little campground along the baptism river and about 3 miles from Lake Superior. And provided a great central location for my planned activities.

From the camp I drove up the shore to Grand Marias and followed the directions from the Superior National Forest Map. And soon found myself at the trailhead. Hikers are required to fill out a free Day Use BWCA Permit available at the trailhead kiosk. The first 3 miles of the hike are a relatively easy forested walk. The last 1/2 mile from the Whale Lake to the top are steep and rocky and by the time you get to the first vista you are ready for a little break.While the true summit of Eagle Mountain is less than spectacular and consists of a brass survey disk in a small clearing, there are views near the summit that are well worth the trip.

Eagle Mountain was formed when magma cooled slowly beneath the earths surface forming hard granite. The granite was so much harder than the surrounding soil that it was left standing after the glaciers retreated from this area. It is fun to imagine while looking out from near the summit what the landscape must have looked like before the ice ages that formed the beautiful topography that we see today.

After spending a half hour or so at the top I hiked back to the truck and returned to “base” camp for a much earned dinner and a beer by the fire.

see pics of this trip at www.backpackmidwest.com


Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp



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