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Grand Portage National Monument

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 170 Mile Creek Road, Grand Portage, MN 55605
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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 186 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 141
  • 38
    Very good
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
A Great Historical Site and Experience

The tour is set up efficiently to be interesting, informative and enjoyable. The film shown in the main area is excellent. Staff were kind and helpful in the gift shop (a lot of... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 weeks ago
Thunder Bay, Canada
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186 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 182: English reviews
Thunder Bay, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago

The tour is set up efficiently to be interesting, informative and enjoyable. The film shown in the main area is excellent. Staff were kind and helpful in the gift shop (a lot of good books). The whole experience was a good one.

Thank E H
Sylvania, Ohio
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 November 2016 via mobile

My husband and I really enjoyed our visit to this National Historic Site. I knew aomethibg about the fur trade in the early days of Anerica. But I didn't know the role that the Ojibwe Indians played in the success of that endeavor, nor the adverse effects on them when the fur trade ended. We learned about the "hungry years"... More 

Thank Marilyn S
Arlington, Texas
Level Contributor
94 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 November 2016 via mobile

To bad the grounds were closed but able to stop at the center and watch a movie if it's nice can check out the dock and walk around the outside of the grounds

Thank txpackerfan10
Maple Grove, Minnesota
Level Contributor
66 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 October 2016 via mobile

I had visited Grand Portage years earlier during a diving excursion to Isle Royale, but had never taken the tour of the fort. My wife an I were on a North Shore leaf viewing weekend and decided that since we were this far north we should stop and see the fort. Grand Portage is a ways from Lutsen and Grand... More 

Thank NorthernExpat
Erie, Colorado
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2016

What a cool National Monument! Actors are informative and really performing the boat making, art, and gardening etc like they would have in the hey day of the Voyageurs. We got there a little late in the day after our trip to Isle Royale. The visitor center alone took our 4 kids about an hour and then another hour +... More 

Thank wolverville .
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Level Contributor
54 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2016

As a Canadian, I truly appreciated Grand Portage National Monument because it tells the history of trade between our countries even when borders were blurred. It is great place for families to learn and have fun.

Thank Peter D
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
31 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 October 2016

What a place to know history and beauty of the lakes. The place is loaded with culture and artifacts which gives you the slice of the life style of our an-sisters.

Thank Rakesh K
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 October 2016 via mobile

I saw the awesome views of the harbor and walked the external trails. Wasn't able to go inside the structure walled off.

Thank Kayla N
Winona, Mississippi
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2016

If Minnesota's motto is "L'etoile du Nord" then this monument was be "Bijou du Nord" because a gem it is. First of all, for all you leaf peepers, the monument is open until Veteran's Day allowing you a trip up to see the leaves changing at the same time you stop here. The presentation at the main monument site is... More 

1 Thank Richard C
Crystal Lake, Illinois
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 October 2016

I collect National Parks and Monuments. Out of the 37 I have visited, this is the BEST and most well done facility I have seen! The building itself is beautiful and asthetically inviting.When we walked inside, we were immediately greeted by "Sherry" from behind the counter, telling us (all within 39 seconds) about what to see in the facility, the... More 

Thank snelson6000

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Questions & Answers

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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?