Giants Ridge offers six beautiful hiking trails that traverse through the scenic alpine mountain, our serene nordic trails, and through the surrounding Superior National Forest.
If you’re looking for an all encompassing experience, the Sleeping Giant and Northface trails can be easily combined into a loop. Be sure to check out our lift-served Ridgeview Overlook and Wynne Lake Vista trails for beautiful views from the top of the Giants Ridge.
Easy|0.3- Mile Loop
Accessible from the top of the Sarajevo Chairlift, the trail’s gentle grades and spectacular views make it a fun activity for all. Starting right at the top of the lift, the trail sweeps down to the right and into the woods where it guides its walkers through the quiet forest atop the mountain. As the trail winds past the Rocky Top chairlift, it traverses above steep cliffs with towering views of Superior National Forest and Sabin Lake to the north.
Moderate| 0.8-mile loop
The more challenging of the two mountain-top loops, this trail traverses above the granite slabs which form Giants Ridge and provides outstanding views of Wynne Lake. Starting from the top of the Sarajevo Express, the trail follows the summer road down to the top of the Squaw Valley run, where it cuts into the woods on the right side of the trail. Trail markers lead the way through the loop, returning back to the top of Squaw Valley and rejoining the road for the return to the lift. This trail is the perfect fit for those looking to get off the beaten path and experience the best views Giants Ridge has to offer.
The Mesabi Trail runs right through Giants Ridge and was just named Best Rural Bike Trail in Minnesota by Star Tribune journalists. In describing the Mesabi Trail, Tribune editors said: “It’s hard to beat the Mesabi Trail, with 115 miles of completed paving that squeezes through rock cuts and offers stunning overlooks of open-pit mines, marinated in that North Country scenery.” The Mesabi Trail currently stretches from Grand Rapids to McKinley, with additional paved spurs to Fayal Township, and between Biwabik, Giants Ridge and Aurora. Giants Ridge guests may pick up the trail just outside of the ski chalet. Trail is open spring through fall.
Difficult|1.1-mile one way
This northern route up the mountain departs from the hillside of the Main Chalet and starts up the Cat Track ski run. Following Cat Track up past the bottom of the Rocky Top lift, the trail enters the woods near the bottom of an area affectionately known as “The Steeps.” From here, a winding path up and around the backside of the mountain leads to the mountain-top trailhead.
Winding through the Silver area of our nordic trail system, the Birches trail offers a true northern Minnesota experience as it immerses hikers among thick Birch groves. To access this trail, follow the cart path as it cuts away from Wynne Creek Drive near The Legend maintenance building, then turn right and follow the cart path until it turns to the west. From there, follow the snowmobile trail to the north before the trail breaks to the left and into the woods. The signs will lead the way around the loop and back to this point.
Difficult|1.3-miles one way
Accessible from the Mesabi Trail, on the south side of the alpine area, the trail departs the pavement on the west side and ascends through the forest to the top of the mountain. After passing many of the nordic and bike park trails, the Sleeping Giant arrives at the mountain-top trailhead where additional hiking options await. This trail can be muddy for a few days after rainfall, so be prepared with adequate footwear.
The Narrows trail traverses the narrowest portion of river between Wynne and Sabin Lakes. Accessible from the Mesabi Trail, the Narrows trail begins to the south of the main entrance to the Giants Ridge Alpine Area. Considered a beginner-level hike, the Narrows Trail takes hikers on a true ‘woods and waters’ hike. Adventure seekers will experience landscapes reminiscent of the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area, even though hikers are just steps from the base of Giants Ridge.