In 2010, Bear Head Lake State Park was voted “America’s Favorite Park” in a grant-awarding contest conducted by Coca-Cola and visitors to this park can easily understand why. Secluded in the Northwoods, this park contains pristine lakes and is home to black bears, nesting eagles, timber wolves and moose. Stands of white and red pine trees tower over birch, aspen and fir trees. Located just south of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, the park shares a similar wilderness quality. Visitors can explore miles of shoreline by canoe, swim at the beach, picnic in the shelter building, or fish for walleye, bass, crappies and trout. Trails in the park link-up with the Taconite State Trail and offer snowmobilers, skiers and hikers plenty to enjoy. A guest house, camping, and cabins are available to rent year-round. Boat, canoe, kayak and snowshoe rentals are available seasonally and firewood and ice sales are available year-round at the park office.

Volcanoes and ancient seas produced the bedrock of the Bear Head Lake area. The bedrock of Ely greenstone and giants-range granite was scoured and gouged by glaciers. Eagles Nest and Bear Head Lakes, along with the park’s rolling hills, were formed from the glacial action. Along the lakes and road cuts, visitors can see many different shapes and sizes of rock left by the glaciers.


Bear Head Lake State Park Minnesota
9301 Bear Head State Park Rd, Ely, MN 55731, United States



Daily from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m.


$35 Year-round vehicle permit

$26 Additional year-round vehicle permit

$30 Year-round motorcycle permit

$7 One-day vehicle permit

$5 One-day group permit

Minnesota residents with disabilities that have a Federal Access Pass or a Minnesota-issued disability license or hang tag can get a $12 year-round permit.

Disabled veterans and active duty military personnel can get discounted or free vehicle permits.


Contact Details

Phone: (218) 235-2520


Official Website: Bear Head Lake State Park Minnesota


Area Attractions

Suggested Equipment for Bear Head Lake State Park:


The following activities within the park should be done with utmost caution. Make sure that you have the proper protective gear and equipment necessary to make your adventures safe and accident-free. We advise you to read the TIPS underneath each activity to serve as a guide on what you may need to bring in order to enjoy your stay fully.

Activities & Tips


Bear Head Lake State Park is a must-visit state park in Minnesota. Check out other state parks in Minnesota here.

Minnesota State Parks