Big Lake Wilderness Lodge

4988 Big Lake Rd, Ely, MN 55731, USA

Why we love it: A family-oriented resort where you can disconnect together

The Highlights:
- A ruggedly beautiful setting where the forest meets the lake
- Family-friendly activities like hiking, boating, and fishing
- A relaxed vibe that allows for disconnecting from the daily grind

The Review:
The most remote drive-in resort in northern Minnesota, Big Lake Wilderness Lodge transports guests to summer vacations of a bygone era. Surrounded by the Superior National Forest and a short walk or paddle from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, the property focuses on simple pleasures, from lake views and starry skies to clean air, pure water, and freshly caught fish. Here, guests can hike on nearby trails; hit the lake in a kayak, canoe, or paddleboat; spend the day fishing for walleye; or simply relax lakeside and take in the scenery. On especially clear nights, you can even see the northern lights.

Pet-friendly cabins include well-equipped kitchens as well as picnic tables, Weber grills, and patio furniture. Most feature satellite TV, and the newly remodeled Horizon and Call of the Loon cabins come with a free pontoon boat rental. Plan a romantic getaway in a lakeshore studio cabin, or bring the whole brood to a two-bedroom or family-size option. When you’re ready to socialize, there’s a communal lodge with free Wi-Fi, TV, books, games, and a snow cone maker, as well as a wading beach with a water trampoline offshore. In case you forgot anything or need some tackle and live bait, there’s also a store stocked with the essentials for a week of family fun.

Information on this page, including website, location, and opening hours, is subject to have changed since this page was last published. If you would like to report anything that’s inaccurate, let us know at

Nearby highlights
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
More From AFAR