May to October
Duluth, MN, is 90 minutes away from the trailhead
Beginner to intermediate
Master tips and tricks of thru-hiking the Superior Hiking Trail
Looking to take your first crack at thru-hiking and your choice is the challenging, yet extremely rewarding Superior Hiking Trail? Then this section-hike is your best and safest preparation for the most amazing adventure of your life! The Superior Hiking Trail is a 310-mile-long (500-km-long) hiking trail that follows the rocky ridges overlooking Lake Superior, and crosses beautiful boreal forests, gorges, and abundant wildlife. Venture out to Minnesota and spend a few days in nature hiking through maple and cedar forests, across summit bluffs with rewarding vistas! Spend your days preparing for the Superior Trail by learning from the most professional guides in the field all about geology, explore the wildlife and make life-long friendships!
Book This Adventure
Section-Hiking the Superior Hiking Trail
This beginner-friendly backpacking trip takes you along stunning trails, with views over the pristine Lake Superior, rushing rivers, breathtaking gorges, and beautiful waterfalls. By spending four days and two nights on the trail, you will cover all the basic skills of backpacking using high-end, lightweight gear, and hike for a total distance of 11-16 miles. Learn how to set up a tent, use a backcountry stove and water filter, protect your food, and so much more. Find out everything that interests you about the geology and history of the area, and work on building your hiking confidence with an experienced, friendly guide by your side. Master the basic techniques for future thru-hikes, explore lush forests with rocky cliffs along the way, and relax in the evening in the most enjoyable company!
Day One: Get familiar with your group
You will meet with your guide and other participants at around 3:00 pm. You will go over the itinerary and start backpacking together shortly through Shakedown at the Minnesota State Park (the exact location will be determined by your guide). Make sure you have arranged dinner and lodging for that very first night.
Day Two: Start your hiking adventure
The next day, you will meet your guide at 9:00 am at the Superior Hiking Trail trailhead and start backpacking to your first night’s campsite. Along the way you will familiarize yourself with your gear and the outdoors. You’ll spend the first night sleeping in the lush wilderness. By the end of the day, you will have hiked for around 4-6 miles and enjoyed some lunch, morning and afternoon snacks and dinner (breakfast is on your own).
Day Three: Moving forward in the most amazing scenery
On the second day of your hike, you will continue backpacking through some stunning terrain, while learning all about the history and geology from your guide. You will spend your second night again in the wilderness, surrounded by the most amazing nature. By the end of the day, you will have hiked for around 4-6 miles and enjoyed some breakfast, lunch, dinner and many trail snacks.
Day Four: Say your goodbyes and continue thru-hike on your own
On your last day, you will continue backpacking through more beautiful, yet hidden trails. Around 12:00 pm, you will return to your vehicle and be ready for departure. By the end of the day, you will have hiked for around 3-4 miles and enjoyed breakfast and morning snacks provided by your guide. Your guide will also provide you with transportation to your vehicle parked at the starting trailhead before saying goodbye and wishing you luck on your future thru-hike.
Things you need to know
Covid measures in Minnesota
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Minnesota, please refer to the official Government of Minnesota website.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
What you get on this adventure:
- A professional, knowledgeable, medically trained, wilderness guide
- Group gear and safety equipment
- All food while on trail
- A comprehensive packing list indicating which personal items to bring on your trip
- Accommodation during the hike
- All camping fees and trip logistics while on trail
- Transaction processing fees and Commercial Use Authorization fees
- An e-photo album of your trip
- A one-hour post-trip Skype session where you can pose additional questions (within two weeks of trip finish)
- Transportation to vehicles parked at the starting trailhead
What’s not included:
- Lodging, camping, or park entrance fees prior to trip start
- Transportation to and from the trip meeting location
- Meals prior to trip start
- Alcoholic beverages
- Personal trip insurance
How fit do I need to be?
The best thing about hiking the Superior Hiking Trail is that there are incredible options for all skill levels. For beginner hikes, if you can walk for three to six hours with little elevation gain, you are good to go! Intermediate hikes will see a little more change in elevation and hikes will start to increase in length, hiking anywhere between four to eight miles. Keep in mind, the weather in summer can be very hot and you’ll also be packing a daypack filled with water and other things you’ll need throughout the day.
What do I need to bring?
Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:
- Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 40L bag)
- Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
- Liner socks
- Spare clothes for layering
- Waterproof rain jacket and pants
- Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
- Phone and portable charger
- Camera — optional (but recommended)
Other will be provided by your guide:
- Sleeping pad
- Sleeping bag
- Compression sacks
- Stove and fuel
- Water bottles
- Food storage
- Water filter
- Cooking gear
- Mess kits
- Satellite messenger
- Map and compass
- First aid kit and emergency supplies
- Pocket knife
- Trekking poles
What can I expect from hiking with a guide?
Hiring a local guide offers you the chance to experience Minnesota’s beauty to the fullest. Local guides know all the hidden gems the area has to offer, will explain the history and geology during the hike, and will customize your day to the desires of your group. Because there is so much to see and do on the Superior Hiking Trail — and it gets crowded quickly — this is one location where it really pays to have a guide by your side to make the most out of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Why should I book with 57hours?
With us, it’s all play and no work for you! 57hours is an open platform that connects you with trained and certified outdoor adventure professionals all over the world. Using our tech-savvy, we make it super easy to find and book adventures worth tackling, with guides worth booking, all gathered from the first-hand experiences of the locals who adventure in these amazing locations.
What about group sizes and pricing?
The standard group size on this hiking tour is eight guests to one guide, but larger groups can be accommodated. This hiking tour requires a minimum of 3 participants to depart, with a maximum of 8 participants. All pricing is per person.
If you’re traveling with a larger party or want a custom, private tour, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
What is the minimum age requirement?
- Everybody over the age of 16 is welcome to book this hiking adventure.
- Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis. If you plan to hike with anyone under the age of 16, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
What about bad weather?
Tours are scheduled to fit with the seasons and ideal hiking conditions. When the weather does not cooperate, your guide will know the correct course of action to take. Whether that’s shifting to a more favorable location or postponing until conditions approve, your guide will know just what to do. In the event of predictably bad weather, you will be contacted prior to the trip to discuss suitable alternatives.
Do I need an insurance policy?
We highly recommended that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.
As we’ve recently seen, travel plans can be abruptly halted, so it’s a good idea to purchase travel insurance that covers cancelled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans. For peace of mind, we suggest you consider both options of insurance.
If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!
With 57hours, you benefit from both our own cancellation policy as well as that of the individual guiding service that delivers your adventure. All policies regarding cancellation will be clearly laid out by your guide after booking your adventure, but rest assured that our own cancellation policy will work on top of what is provided by your guide.
For this adventure, 57hours offers a Moderate Cancellation Policy, which states:
If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to thirty (30) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a full refund. For cancellations fourteen (14) to twenty nine (29) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking. For cancellations zero (0) to thirteen (13) days in advance, the Client is not entitled to any refund.
For more information on terms and conditions, please visit our Terms of Service page.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to Superior Hiking Trail, most people fly into Duluth International Airport which is around 15 minutes from the town of Duluth. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service. Another option is flying into Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport which is around two and a half hours from Duluth.The trailhead itself is about an hour and a half away from Duluth.
This trip begins and ends in Northern Minnesota. Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet. From there, you’ll head to your tour. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the hiking ability of the group.