Minneapolis/Saint Paul to Ely 

Direct Route- approximate time 3 hr 51 mn

  1. I-35 North for 110 miles (just past Black Bear Casino)
  2. Exit onto MN-33 to the North for 20 miles
  3. MN-33 becomes US-53
  4. Stay on US-53 until you pass through Virginia, MN
  5. Four miles after Virginia, take MN-169 North towards Ely

Scenic Route via Duluth and North Shore Drive- approximate time 4 hr 11 mn 

  1. I-35 North to Duluth for 154 miles
  2. When I-35 ends, there is a stoplight. Turn right at the light onto MN-61 “North Shore Drive”
  3. Stay on MN-61 for 57 miles
  4. In Finland, turn left onto MN-1 for 60 miles into Ely. (Finland is the last stop for gas before Ely)

Ely to KoWaKan Base Camp

  1. Head East out of Ely on Sheridan Street (169)
  2. Hwy 169 becomes Fernberg Road
  3. At mile mark 15 you will pass a sign for Red Rock Store on left.
    Prepare to make right turn in ½ mile.
  4. Turn right onto Old County 18 at the KoWaKan Adventures sign
  5. Follow Old County 18 as it turns left. You will go by a small lake in about a ¼ mile on your right side.
  6. Follow the directional sign on the left to our pavilion and welcoming area

Light house on the North Shore of Lake Superior, Duluth, MN
As You Travel...

Hinckley, MN (70 miles N of the Twin Cities): Tobies Restaurant and Bakery has been a traveler’s tradition and rite of passage to the North Land since 1948. Stop in for a world famous caramel roll!


Duluth, MN: Great Lakes AquariumGlensheen Historic Estate, Aerial Lift Bridge, Canal Park, the original Grandma’s Restaurant, Gooseberry Falls State Park 


Palisade Park: Two miles past Silver Bay there is a right turn for Palisade Head (look for a small sign). Follow the road to the top of a 300-foot cliff with a sheer drop into Lake Superior. Excellent views of the lake and Shovel Point- a quick stop, and well worth it!


Cloquet, MN: Gordy's Hi-Hat, old-fashioned burger joint, featured on the Food Network show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.




Lake Superior on the North Shore Drive