Grand Portage National Monument

Overview

At Grand Portage National Monument, travel into the past to discover the present. Explore the Heritage Center with stories of the Anishinabe or Ojibwe people of Grand Portage and the North West Company of the North American fur trade. Follow pathways into a distant time. Take in the sights and smells of a bustling depot reconstructed over its original footprint. Listen for the echo of the drum over Grand Portage Bay.

As early as 2,000 years ago, Indian Nations probably used Kitchi Onigaming "the Great Carrying Place" to travel from summer homes on Lake Superior to winter hunting grounds in the interior of Minnesota and Ontario. In 1729 Cree Indian Auchagah drew a map for some of the first French fur traders showing them how to reach the western sea of Lake Winnipeg. Other Europeans would follow, in time making Grand Portage the gateway into rich northern fur bearing country and connecting remote interior outposts to lucrative international markets.
More than 200 years ago, the North West Company concentrated its business activities in and around the stockade. Four of the most important structures have been reconstructed on their original foundations: The Great Hall, kitchen, warehouse, and gatehouse. National Park Service employees and Volunteers-In-Parks (VIPs) staff these buildings. You will find rangers and VIPs wearing dress appropriate to the period, or in the NPS uniform.

Reopened in 1951 as Grand Portage National Historic Site and designated a National Monument in 1958, its nearly 710 acres lying entirely within the boundaries of Grand Portage Indian Reservation, the reconstructed depot celebrates fur trade and Ojibwe lifeways. Today as yesterday, the people, the cultures and the land have much to share.

Map

Seasonality / Weather

The Heritage Visitors Center is open year around, but the Historic Site (Great Hall, Kitchen, Canoe Warehouse, Ojibwe Village, Voyageur Encampment and Three Sisters and Kitchen Historic Heirloom Gardens) is open seasonally (May through October).

Directions

Driving: 

The Monument is located in northeastern Minnesota's "Tip of the Arrowhead" within Grand Portage Indian Reservation, Cook County, Grand Portage, 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 ½ to 1 mile south of the west and east exits from Minnesota State Highway 61 in the village of Grand Portage.

Flying: 

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 recommended either by private or rental vehicle.

Public Transport: 

Bus Transportation is available from the cities of Duluth, Minnesota and Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.