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Geology Up the Trail: Exploring the Ancient History of the Gunflint Trail

Course Overview

Head up the trail and experience the unique and ancient geology of the Gunflint area. We are pleased to partner with Gunflint Lodge to offer students an opportunity to immerse in the rich history of this special area using one of Minnesota's premier wilderness resorts as a home base for exploration. ​ After an introductory presentation on ​Friday night, the class will travel to "End of the Trail" on Saturday morning and begin a traverse through an ancient sequence of rocks exposed along the trail that tell an incredible and awesome story of how North America was assembled. We will start our Saturday exploration viewing 2.6 billion-year-old granites that formed in the eroded roots of an ancient mountain range, then progress into 1.8 billion-year-old iron formation that was deposited on an ancient seabed and later ripped asunder by meteor impact-generated tsunamis and earthquakes. Finally, we will explore intrusions of magma generated 1.1 billion years ago when North America was attempting to split apart. Along the route, we will also observe the effects that mile-thick glaciers had on reshaping the landscape as they repeatedly crept out of Canada over the past 2 million years. On Sunday morning, we will take boats to the east end of Gunflint Lake to view the impressive Bridal Veil waterfall.


Fri, Oct 13th, 2017  –  Sun, Oct 15th, 2017

Course Details

Length: 2½ Days
Skill Levels: Beginner to Advanced
Hours: Day 1: 7-9pm, Day 2: 8am-9pm, Day 3: 8am-1pm
Intergenerational age: na
Registration Cost: $205.00
Includes materials fee of $5.00


You will need the following tools for this class:

water bottles
sturdy-soled shoes
rain gear and other suitable outdoor clothing
lunch for Day 2, can be ordered through Gunflint Lodge

Once registered, students will receive a confirmation email with further class information. Please call the front office if you have not received it within 24 hours.

Waiting List

This course is full.

Fill out the form below if you would like to be placed on a waiting list and notified if an opening becomes available.