Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

Deep in the wilderness of Northern Ontario lies the vast and serene beauty of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. Jutting out from the Sibley Peninsula off Lake Superior, just east of the city of Thunder Bay, this 24,400-hectare provincial park is home to some incredible hiking and cross-country skiing. And of course, one hell of a view.

Why Sleeping Giant?

We wanted to start our View From Here series with a destination that finds a perfect balance between challenge and reward. A destination that is accessible to most Canadian travellers and adventurers, but one remote enough that it demands a level of dedication to reach. Sleeping Giant is this perfect destination, and will serve as the first in our five part series as we undertake our search for the best views on Earth.

The View

In the southwest corner of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park lies a spectacular and dramatic formation of mesas that offers a view across Lake Superior nothing short of breathtaking. At more than 900 feet in elevation above the lake and an approximate 3-hour hike from basecamp, reaching this view can be challenging for most travellers and rewards those who heed its call to one of the best views in Canada.

The Team

Sleeping Giant Team

Gear List

Our travels through spectacular Sleeping Giant Provincial Park will require us to ski, snowshoe and hike to reach our target view. Since quality, durability and ease of use is a primary consideration for this project we will be using MEC as our supplier of choice.

Apparel

Baselayer

Midlayer

Jacket

Gloves

Footwear

Headwear

Equipment

Skis

Snowshoes

Tents

Sleepingbags

Cookwear

Packs

Health

Aid

Survival

Water

Sun

Sanitation

Emergency

Nutrition

CLIF Bars

Meals

Filters

Beverages

 

 

Expedition Map

Sleeping Giant Provincial Park Map

Dispatches From Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant Provincial Park The View From Here

Sleeping Giant:The View From Here Dispatch and Photos by Ryan Edwardson  Four years have passed since I first viewed the craggily profile of the Sleeping Giant.   Making our way up a grassy hill, my friend Allison had promised that the short hike would be worth the scenic storytelling. Her past few years as a resident of Thunder Bay meant she was quite familiar with the city's quasi-mascot—or perhaps 'totem' is a more precise description.   Cresting the hill and looking to the distance, beyond houses strewn against a shimmering harbor, rested an imposing monolith. An Ojibway legend that had become a Canadian ecological icon. The Sleeping Giant. Nanabijou, spirit of the deep sea water and now, somewhat stoically, a provincial park.   Legends abound. The most common is that Nanabijou had rewarded the Ojibway with knowledge of a silver mine only to have its secret location discovered by outsiders. That betrayal of covenant, of sacred information, meant that Nanabijou himself was transformed into...

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Sleeping Giant Provincial Park Christmas in March

The bedrock of any of my adventures has always been inspiration. When I am inspired I am encouraged to explore new places, research the local culture, weather patterns, and unique terrain.

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Sleeping Giant Provincial Park Embracing the Swan Song

What better time to engage in wintertime than on its margins? The shoulder of the season means a greater availability of prime campsites, fresh trails of untrampled snow, and crackling trees uninterrupted by voices from afar.

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Sleeping Giant Provincial Park Quest for Fresh Tracks

Although it’s March and most Canadians are ready for warm spring rather than a prolonged winter, I’ve been dreaming about cold nights, warm teas and most of all fresh tracks.

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Sleeping Giant Provincial Park Silver and the Sleeping Giant

Silver Islet is a rocky wind-torn community of old timber rail buildings and recent vinyl-sided cabins perched on the edge of Lake Superior. Legend has it that Nanabijou, the Spirit of the Deep Sea Water, first revealed the secret source of the silver to the Chief of the Ojibway

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Sleeping Giant Provincial Park Wild Spaces of Ontario

Finally, after all the preparation, anticipation, predication, formulation and expectation, I rushed outside, kicked on my skis and pushed towards the forest.

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Sleeping Giant Provincial Park Spirit Companion

We awoke from a brutally cold night. Somewhere in the -20s and with tents wind-wrecked from a relentless Lake Superior. But the sun cracked through the trees and the prelude was upon us. Getting to this point was reward enough.

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Sleeping Giant Provincial Park The Giant's Masterpiece

The view from the Sleeping Giant was stunning in its own right; the weather conditions that day, mixed with the time of the year, made it all the more so. 

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Sleeping Giant Provincial Park Nanabijou's Gift

 I have to admit, it feels great to have followed my intuition—my mountain sense—and pushed the team as hard as I did so we could make the summit before this late season winter storm pushed us off the mountain.

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Sleeping Giant Provincial Park Backcountry Cooking

The stuffed peppers I served during our time in Sleeping Giant were definitely a success, bringing the team a much needed taste of home. I would like to share my recipe and also a few backcountry secrets that will help bring a little taste of home into your backcountry cooking.

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