We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

Grand Portage National Monument

Certificate of Excellence
Sponsored by:
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: 170 Mile Creek Rd, Grand Portage, MN 55605-3012
Phone Number:
+1 218-475-0123

On a hot sultry day in mid-July 1802, partners of the most successful fur...

On a hot sultry day in mid-July 1802, partners of the most successful fur trade company in North America, the North West Company, met in their majestic Great Hall at Grand Portage and voted to move their summer headquarters from the protected shores of Lake Superior’s Grand Portage Bay 50 miles north to the mouth of the Kaministquia River. Almost from the time the vigorous Anglo-Scot Nor’Westers had organized at Grand Portage in the mid 1780’s an emerging United States wanted them out. The July vote would mean that 18 buildings constructed from native squared spruce, pine and birch and over 2,000 cedar pickets surrounding them would be torn down, transported north in company schooners and used in constructing the new Fort William far from U.S. soil. 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 guide 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, Grand Portage became the gateway into rich northern fur bearing country connecting remote interior outposts to lucrative international markets. Reopened in 1951 as Grand Portage National Historic Site, designated a National Monument in 1958, its nearly 710 acres lying entirely within the boundaries of Grand Portage Ojibwe 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.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 190 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 143
  • 40
    Very good
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
History brought to life's

Fantastic cultural site of the National Park Service. Visitor's center first rate. Interpretive demonstrations in the nearby recreated trading post very well done. Done in... read more

Reviewed 24 August 2016
Alexandria, Virginia
via mobile
Add Photo Write a Review

190 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 186: English reviews
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2016 via mobile

Fantastic cultural site of the National Park Service. Visitor's center first rate. Interpretive demonstrations in the nearby recreated trading post very well done. Done in conjunction with local Native American reservation, but not overly political. Well worth a visit.

Thank PvcM
Level Contributor
26 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2016

We are from the Twin Cities, so Grand Portage is about as far away as we could go without leaving the state. We stayed in Cloquet and made the trip to Grand Portage from there. The drive was beautiful, and what awaited us was even more amazing! The visitor's center was full of great displays, dioramas, and videos, explaining the... More 

Thank Heather E
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
175 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2016

Very new and impressive visitor's center. Stop there and see the 22 min movie first. It will make everything else make so much more sense. View the exhibits and artifacts in the center and then walk down to the recreated village on the shore. Really good volunteer re-enactors (the couple from Texas playing French colonists were really cute). Go to... More 

Thank David M
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
426 reviews
95 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 August 2016

The Monument is on the Grand Portage band of Chippewa Reservation and is a National Monument. This is not my first time. I'm always touched by the history. It includes a Native American display of life and the ways of industry of its time. Furs being a huge part of the trade. Then across the way is a fort of... More 

Thank MollyAW1234
Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota
Level Contributor
27 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 August 2016

Wow!! I learned more about the fur trade in the hour or so we were at Grand Portage National Monument than in all the history classes I have taken in high school and college. The interpreters are a wealth of knowledge about the fur trade as well as the life of Ojibwe and French who met here more than 200... More 

Thank MNgirl3309
Madison, WI
Level Contributor
137 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2016

While it isn't near much else, besides the Canadian border, this monument is well worth a side trip to see. The museum is well done and the "village" is particularly informative with the guides being extremely helpful and knowledgeable. Impressive what was done in the past and the amount of work required to make fur trading practical.

Thank bus_visitor
Level Contributor
31 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2016 via mobile

Grande Portage national monument is incredible. To think of ships and canoes dropping things off at that portage and for trading in the summertime with high seas amazing. I just taken girls canoeing so after learning what happened at that national monument in the huge canoes that people want to have a new respect for our ancestors. The museum in... More 

Thank Shirleen S
Farmington, Minnesota
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2016

This place is very interesting. They have real and realistic buildings, tents, canoes, furs, and costumed narrators who tell about this important place in history. It is free.

Thank Kate O
Belmar, New Jersey
Level Contributor
125 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2016

I love NPS sites. Easy access to learn something about the history of how this area was developed through the extraordinary efforts of the fur traders

Thank LennyBK
Kennewick, Washington
Level Contributor
583 reviews
156 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 194 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2016

A very nice facility presenting the interesting history of the area trade and its peoples. There is a nice interpretive center, a reconstructed village, the actual portage itself for you to hike if you wish. Native arts available. Definitely worth a stop. Small entrance fee but it is free to senior golden pass holders.

Thank OutdoorBoomer

Travellers who viewed Grand Portage National Monument also viewed


Been to Grand Portage National Monument? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Grand Portage National Monument and other visitors
1 question
Ask a question
over a year ago

See all questions (1)

Questions? Get answers from Grand Portage National Monument staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?