Clearwater Historic Lodge & Canoe Outfitters

Porch view of the lake and palisades
Clearwater Historic Lodge
Clearwater Palisades
BWCA Hiking Overlook
Canoe Outfitters
View at the beginning of an adventure!
Clearwater Launch
Lodge wrap-around porch is a great place to watch the world go by...
Clearwater Outfitters
Aurora Borealis from Clearwater Docks
Grand Marais - Lake Superior

Want to Work in the Wild? Now Hiring For 2024 Season!

Experience the Northwoods of Minnesota at Clearwater Historic Lodge! Our lodge is the oldest and largest log structure in Cook County, MN, listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Our outfitting services have operated since 1915 on the edge of the pristine Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Join our guest services or outfitting team for the experience of a lifetime!

We are located 45 minutes north of Grand Marais, MN, in the heart of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Clearwater Lake is an entry point into the BWCAW.

About Clearwater Historic Lodge & Canoe Outfitters

Our property is on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and captures the wild and beautiful spirit of the Minnesota Northwoods. Completed in 1926, Clearwater Lodge is the oldest and largest free-standing whole log structure in Cook County, Minnesota, and is listed on the National Registry for Historic Places. Clearwater Outfitters has operated since 1915, and was the first outfitting business to operate on the Gunflint Trail. We are looking for exceptional staff that are passionate about the outdoors and customer service! 

We have two main operating structures - our outfitting services, and guest services.

Outfitting is responsible for assisting and preparing guests planning to enter the BWCAW. We provide full outfitting services (camping & canoeing packages, motor boat & canoe rentals, fishing tackle, gear rentals, and advice). 

Guest Services is responsible for maintaining a friendly, hospitable, clean, and comforting experience for all guests. Clearwater has 12 lakeside cabins and 5 lodge rooms/suites that guests rent for days or weeks at a time. This team provides housekeeping, food service, and general service (i.e., front desk operations) for the season.

The Employee Experience

Working at Clearwater is a way to experience the Minnesota Northwoods authentically. We are committed to the preservation and enjoyment of the BWCAW, and we value employees who are adventurous, engaging, and excited to be a part of this special place. 

We look for team-oriented individuals to build a collaborative, connected staff environment. Most staffers have felt a family vibe working at Clearwater. Typically, our staffers hang out after work, take BWCAW camping and canoeing trips, and explore the magic that the Gunflint Trail has to offer together

Our property is nestled in nature, making it a peaceful place for reflection and connection. If you are tired of the college, corporate, or everyday hustle, and want to experience something new, this is the place for you.

Ideal Candidate

A successful Clearwater staff member is willing to learn and is able to work closely with others in a busy environment. Developed time management skills, teamwork, problem solving skills, and a general positive attitude are attributes that we look for in the application and interview process. We are a small staff so we rely on individuals who are not afraid to step in and help each other out.

We are located in a remote wilderness area, meaning that cellular service is limited. WIFI is available, but can be intermittent. If you are reliant on internet connection for social media, video games, streaming services, etc. this may be something to consider when applying.

If you can appreciate working hard during your shifts, and then slowing down, disconnecting, and heading out to explore in the heart of an untouched wilderness, we’d love to hear from you!

Room and Board

Housing and ALL meals are included with your season employment. 


Breakfast and lunch items are provided for you to eat on your own schedule. Every so often, the chef has extra Lodge Pancakes or Cinnamon French Toast that she will share with the staff.

Dinner is prepared and served family style and we all eat together and do KP (kitchen patrol) together.

Housing & Accommodations

Staff housing is typically shared (max 1 roommate). There is a private WIFI network in the staff housing area. Staff can utilize our resort laundry facilities, after hours, for their personal laundry. We have property showerhouses adjacent to the staff housing area, where restrooms and hot showers are available. These showerhouses are shared among staff members and camping guests (similar to a national park campsite restroom/shower facility). We do not have direct RV hookups (sewer, water), but we have space near the staff housing area for camper vans or pop-up campers that do not require hookups. 

Employee Perks

Wages are paid hourly, starting at $11.00 per hour (with all housing and meals provided). Employees are scheduled for approximately 40 to 45 hours each week, scheduled days and hours may vary. Tips are allocated equally within operating units (i.e., Guest Services and Outfitting are separate tip bases). All staff are scheduled on Saturdays & Sundays. Staff are provided 2 consecutive days off per week. Employment dates are agreed upon for each employee before the start of the season. Employees who work their full agreed-upon season dates are eligible for an end-of-season bonus.

Employees enjoy 25% off of all store items (including snacks & drinks) and immediate family members are eligible for discounted stays in our lodge rooms.

On your time off, you are welcome and encouraged to use our watercraft, canoeing, and outfitting gear at no charge to explore the area on your own.  We believe the more you learn about the area (i.e., lakes, campsites, trails) the more connected you are to the BWCAW and to our guests!

Getting Here and Getting Around

We are located 26 miles north of Grand Marais, MN, halfway up the Gunflint Trail, in the heart of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The nearest airport is in Duluth, MN, about 3 hours away from our location. Housing on our property is within walking distance from our main lodge. On days off, staffers typically enjoy driving to Grand Marais (about 45 minutes from Clearwater) to shop, eat out at local restaurants, or explore the shores of Lake Superior. 

Personal vehicles, bikes, and watercraft (paddle boards, canoes, kayaks) are encouraged for staffers to bring!

For Fun

Clearwater Lake is an entry point to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. If you enjoy hiking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, swimming, camping, and more, this is the place for you! The BWCAW has miles upon miles of lake area, hiking trails, and biking trails. The area is also a certified Dark Sky Sanctuary, making it easier than ever to view the Milky Way. If you are lucky, sometimes the Aurora Borealis puts on a show at our longitude/latitude! 

How to Apply

Our season runs from approximately May 10, 2024 – October 15, 2024, depending on winter freeze/melt schedules. Actual employment dates will vary on an individual basis to accommodate school schedules! Even if you can't work through October, we still want to hear from you! Be sure to note your start and end dates on your application. 

Follow the link below to apply for the 2024 Season! 

You can reach out to with any questions. 

Contact Clearwater Historic Lodge & Canoe Outfitters