Snowshoe the Kadunce River Canyon

Kadunce River

This adventure takes you up through the Kadunce River Gorge for scenic views of the canyon walls and frozen river.

The Kadunce River provides visitors with several waterfalls and rapids in the summer, and when the river freezes over in the winter, snowshoeing up the canyon becomes a possibility. The Kadunce River is located just north and east of Grand Marais on Highway 61. There is a pull-off parking lot on the lake side of the road. After you park, cross the road and look for the Superior Hiking Trail signs--there is also a trail that follows the river. You can start snowshoeing the river at any point, but I found it easier to walk up the trail a few hundred feet to where there are easier access points to the river.

If you’re lucky, there may already be tracks along the river that you can follow. This helps you know which areas of the river are likely more safe to walk along. If this is the case, you may be able to forgo using the snowshoes. As you move deeper into the canyon the walls get steeper and it starts to become more narrow. After about a half mile, you’ll reach a waterfall (likely partially frozen). This is a popular photo spot in the summer months. This is the turn around spot for most people, though if you have crampons and ice picks you may be able to climb up the waterfall and continue -- if it is sufficiently frozen.

Be Cautious
River ice is never safe. You will see open water along this hike, though the water levels are generally pretty shallow. Avoid the bases of waterfalls and make sure you bring a buddy with you!

Pack List

  • Snowshoes + crampons
  • Camera
  • Warm gear
  • Adventure buddy
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RT Distance 1 Miles
Activities Snowshoeing, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Winter
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

I haven't done this hike in winter yet. Summer is incredible & is best waded. Going up the riverside trail will climb above the creek but there is a slope that gets down to the water if you slide carefully. Check water levels & be prepared to climb down the waterfall.


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