Ely
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Ely, Minnesota is the gateway to the largest wilderness area east of the Rockies but it's not hard to get to. It's only 250 miles from Minneapolis and St. Paul and 575 miles from Chicago.  The BWCAW is within the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota and is part of the National Wilderness Preservation System.

For the GPS-equipped, Voyageur North is at 47°54.209'N and 91°50.340W.

Image Ely has a variety of stores, restaurants and resorts for you to enjoy before and after your expedition. If our bunkhouse is full, you're always welcome at the Budget Host/Motel Ely . The International Wolf Center is nearby. The Dorothy Molter Museum , just down the road from us, tells the story of the famous Root Beer Lady of Isle of Pines.

Ely also has a variety of activities during the winter months from snowmobiling, cross country skiing, sled dog trips, ice fishing, and snowshoeing.  If your looking for a place to stay, two of our bunkhouse units are available year round.

Remember that summer is road construction time!  So make sure you double check your route for any problems that may cause delays or confusion.  Here is a link for Northern Minnesota.
 

Here's the best way to get to Ely.

From Chicago and points south...

  • Take I-90 to Madison, Wisconsin.
  • Continue on I-90/94 to Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
  • Turn north on U.S. Highway 53 through Duluth, Minnesota.
  • Continue on U.S. Highway 53 through the town of Virginia, about 70 miles, to the intersection with Minnesota Highway 169. You'll see a sign that says 'Ely". Turn east on to Highway 169.
  • Continue east on Minnesota Highway 169 about 48 miles to Ely.
  • In Ely, continue on Minnesota Highway 169 (Sheridan Street) east through town. We're on the north side of the street at 1829 E. Sheridan Street.

From Minneapolis/St. Paul and Iowa...

  • Take I-35 north toward to Duluth, Minnesota.
  • Turn north onto Highway 33, before reaching Duluth, toward Cloquet.
  • Continue to the end of Highway 33 where it intersects U.S. Highway 53.
  • Continue on U.S. Highway 53 through the town of Virginia, about 44 miles, to the intersection with Minnesota Highway 169. You'll see a sign that says 'Ely". Turn east on to Highway 169.
  • Continue east on Minnesota Highway 169 about 48 miles to Ely.
  • In Ely, continue on Minnesota Highway 169 (Sheridan Street) east through town. We're on the north side of the street at 1829 E. Sheridan Street.