Okontoe’s Rustic Retreat Cabins on the Gunflint Trail

Okontoe Family Campground is located on the historic Gunflint Trail. We’re just 28 miles northeast of Grand Marais, Minnesota and the beautiful North Shore—a 4.5-hour drive from the Twin Cities. Besides our spacious campsites, we offer six rustic Retreat Cabins, making it the perfect place for your Up North stay.

4 of Okontoe's Retreat Cabins with tall pines behind them
Four of our six Retreat Cabins are grouped together

Our cabins are a step up from local camping cabins in that we offer a full kitchen with a few modern amenities. We call them rustic because they don’t have modern bathrooms or running water.

It’s the perfect combination for singles, couples, families or friend groups looking for an affordable stay in our area of the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota. 

We call these Retreat Cabins because we welcome followers of Jesus to stay with us for solo or group prayer retreats. Our location away from the city and out of cell range makes an ideal distraction-free environment. Not to mention the natural beauty we’re immersed in.

If you don’t mind roughing it a little, we’re a great place for you! Our cabins have plenty of features you’ll love.

What’s Included with Our Retreat Cabins

Our cabins are of various sizes. We have two one-room cabins, two two-room cabins that sleep up to eight—our most family friendly cabins, one three-room and one two-story. They all include these amenities:

  • Fully equipped kitchen including cookware, dishes, mugs, cups and silverware (please bring your own linens).
  • A refrigerator with freezer. Those in the one-room cabins are small while the bigger cabins have a full-size fridge.
  • Gas oven and stove.
  • Coffee maker with filters.
  • Beds with mattresses from Twin to Queen (bring your own bedding).
  • Dining table and chairs, couch.
  • 5-gallon water jug with spigot. 
  • Wood stoves and firewood, ceiling fan (no air conditioning, as we rarely need it here).
  • Knotty pine interiors.
  • Covered porch in front. Our two-story cabin has a screen room and private deck.
  • There’s a picnic table with our two-story cabin as well as shared picnic tables in the Discipleship Camp area where the one and two-room cabins are located.
  • Each cabin rental includes free use of our canoes, paddles and life jackets (we charge a very nominal fee for kayak use). Our chain of three lakes has smallmouth bass, perch, northern pike and walleye.
  • Shower House with hot showers is a 5-minute walk or 2-minute drive away.
  • Shared vault toilets are just a short walk from the cabins.
  • None of them are lakeside cabins per se, but they all have direct access to our small private lake. It’s easy to bring a camp chair for lake views, especially of the beautiful sunsets.
  • We have a small swimming beach on Bow Lake, our private non-motorized lake (no lifeguard on duty).
  • Our no-alcohol policy helps us maintain a family-friendly atmosphere.
  • Please keep in mind our daily Quiet Hours from 10:00 pm to 8:00 am. 
  • We can’t promise Northern Lights, but plenty of people have seen them from our property!
Okontoe's one-room Retreat Cabin, Cabin 1
One of our one-room Retreat Cabins

Other Details You’ll Want to Know

​Rental Season & Prices

Our Retreat Cabin rental season is generally from mid-May (depending on the weather) through October 31st. The Garden Cabin is also available through the winter months of December through March.

(None of them are available during April and November so our staff can get some much-needed rest!)

Cabin check-in time is 4:00 pm daily and check-out is 11:00 am Monday through Saturday. Check-out time on Sunday is 2:00 pm, so you can join us for our Chapel service without rushing to move out.

We have some of the best prices on the Gunflint Trail for what you get in a cabin—between $65 and $110 per night (2023 prices).

To streamline the booking process for our small staff, we ask for full payment at the time of booking. This includes a 30% non-refundable deposit. Please see our Cancellation Policy for details.

Where the Cabins are Located

The two one-room and two-room Retreat Cabins are together on the south end of our property in what we call the Discipleship Camp (or DC), a short drive from the Shower House and Office. The one-room cabins have a Queen-size bed and can sleep up to two adults or two adults and two children. The two-room cabins can sleep up to 8 adults with a combination of a Queen-size bed and Twin bunks.

The Guest House is our two-story that sits up a small hill from the DC Cabins and is quite private. This cabin sleeps up to six adults with a Queen bed in the Master Bedroom downstairs and four Twin beds in two semi-private rooms upstairs. It includes a living room and large kitchen.

Garden Bunkhouse at Okontoe
The Garden Cabin has a front porch and lake view

The Garden Cabin is a two-bedroom cabin on the north end of Camp, directly across from the Canoe and Kayak Launch. It also has a separate living room/kitchen. It’s in the same building as the Office/Library and Paddle Shack. Bow Lake is visible from the bedroom window.

See a map of our Campground

Cell Service & Wi-Fi

There’s no cell service on our section of the Gunflint Trail. We offer limited Wi-Fi at the camp Library/Office if you need to connect with someone at home, check the weather forecast, or do other quick tasks. 

Most of our guests love being internet-free during their time here. Enjoy your media fast!

Our Dog Policy

Well-behaved dogs are welcome at Okontoe under the following guidelines:

  • Must be leashed and/or under your direct control at all times.
  • May not be left unattended outside your cabin, or inside your cabin unless it’s confined to a kennel.
  • If your dog barks excessively or if it runs at large and is bothering our other guests or staff, we may have to ask you to leave.
  • Okontoe is surrounded by thousands of acres of boreal forest wilderness, including right up to our property line. There’s abundant wildlife in the area, including bears, wolves, foxes and eagles—all of which would see a small dog running loose as a potential meal. You’re responsible for your pets.
  • We currently do not charge an extra dog fee.

Sunday Chapel & Saturday Night Community Campfire

At our heart, we’re a non-profit Christian ministry here in the north woods. Many of our return guests consider us their church family away from home! 

We host a non-denominational worship service in our Chapel every Sunday morning at 10 am. It includes worship and a teaching. All our guests are welcome to join us. We’re casual and strive to be family-friendly. 

Sunday morning Chapel service at Okontoe
Sunday morning Chapel

On Saturday evenings throughout the camping season, we host a Community Campfire at our fire circle on the north end of Bow Lake, between the Garden Cabin and Chapel. Roast marshmallows, make s’mores, and enjoy a chat with Okontoe’s staff and other campers (bring bug spray and your own camp chairs!).

Winter at Okontoe

While winter at Okontoe slows life down, there’s a LOT to do in the area if you want to brave the cold for a stay at the Garden Cabin, the only cabin we rent during plowing season.

Okontoe's Garden Cabin exterior in winter
Our Garden Cabin in the winter—perfect for snow lovers! (photo courtesy of Ben Selin)

The best cross-country skiing in Minnesota (we think) is along the Gunflint Trail, as well as pristine snowmobile trails. Try your hand at ice fishing or hit a local gift shop or restaurant (there are several at our neighboring resorts). 

Our long winter nights are wonderful for reading, playing games and chilling by the wood stove.

Are You a Large Group?

The entire Discipleship Camp is available for rent from mid-May through October 31 for a family reunion, retreat, youth camp or other large group. It includes the four Retreat Cabins in the DC as well as our Dining Hall.

dining hall
Dining Hall or “Cook Shack”
DC cabins
DC Cabins and Bunkhouses

The DC can sleep up to 20 adults in the cabins. You’re free to bring a few tents if needed for additional sleeping. Bring all your own bedding.

The Dining Hall includes a full industrial kitchen with dishes and cookware, industrial oven/stove, refrigerator and freezer space, serving area and indoor dining room for approximately 40 people. You’re responsible for your own meal preparation, cleanup and removing all food items/leftovers when you leave.

There’s hot and cold running water in the kitchen during the summer months, plus a cold water spigot outside. 

many people eating at long tables inside Okontoe's Dining Hall
Our Dining Hall is a great gathering place for large groups

Call (218-388-2285) or email us (info@okontoe.org) for more details, availability and to reserve the Discipleship Camp (no online reservation for either the whole DC Camp or for the Dining Hall).

What To Do In Our Area

You may want to simply stay at Okontoe and enjoy your cabin and our property. Take advantage of the peace and quiet, our small lake along with our two adjacent lakes, our swimming beach, and strolling or biking our mile-long campground road.

But if you want to explore more of what Cook County and the Gunflint Trail has to offer, here are some options:

  • We’re on the edge of the pristine Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness which is, of course, famous for its wilderness canoe trips. There are several great day trips not far from us. While our canoes need to stay on our property, we’re happy to refer you to one of several local canoe outfitters if you’d like to head into the BWCAW.
  • Enjoy driving to the far end of the Gunflint Trail. This National Scenic Byway is gorgeous! 
  • Beyond our own lakes, there’s lots of excellent fishing in several of the other lakes along the Gunflint. We can help you find boat or pontoon rental from a nearby resort if you like.
  • There are several fine restaurants at resorts along the Trail as well as favorite local shops for some unique shopping.
  • Head back toward Grand Marais for a day and enjoy spending time in town and on the shores of Lake Superior. You may even choose to drive to the Canadian Border—it’s about 1.5 hours from camp on Highway 61. 
  • Gunflint Lodge & Outfitters offers horseback riding and a zip line canopy tour.

See more on our Local Attractions & Activities page

man holding a northern pike he just caught from Quiver Lake at Okontoe
We have three small fishing lakes accessible from our property (photo courtesy of Sharon Brodin)

Are You a Current or Retired Minister or Missionary?

We want to bless you! Please email us at info@okontoe.org for information on getting a reduced rate for one of our Retreat Cabins or campsites.

We are a Christian non-profit ministry with a campground and Retreat Cabins. We welcome all who respect our values. Our property is alcohol-free and family-friendly. Quiet hours are 10:00 pm – 8:00 am.