Thing to Do

Visit the Reconstructed North West Company Depot

Reconstructed historic wood buildings on a lawn.
Travel back in time to 1797

NPS photo

Boozhoo! Bonjour! Welcome to the Depot! In the days of the fur trade, a great variety of people passed through its gates to do business with the North West Company. The Great Hall was the site of the company’s annual shareholder meeting. Men of wealth from Montreal and Scotland conferred with men of action – partners who spent the winter on the frontier and negotiated trade for beaver and other pelts destined for European markets. The partners also met with leaders from nearby Anishinaabe (Ojibwe), Cree, and Assiniboine villages to formalize trading relationships. Within the Depot walls, there were also a company store, tradesman shops, and storehouses for trade goods, furs, and supplies for the summer. The company’s partners, as well as clerks and canoe guides, all lived here during their stay. Come inside the palisade and travel back to the time when Grand Portage was the center of the fur trade world.

As you wander the Depot you'll find three reconstructed post and sill log buildings (Great Hall, Kitchen, and Canoe Warehouse) and four outside areas (Ojibwe village, Voyageurs Encampment, dock and historic gardens (European kitchen and Ojibwe Three Sisters gardens). Living history interpreters and wayside signs provide information about the activities of the period.

1-3 Hours
  • The following structures and/or sales areas are closed to pets:
    The Heritage (visitor) Center, Historic Depot area (gatehouse, kitchen, Great Hall, canoe warehouse, Ojibwe village, voyageurs encampment, restrooms, Rendezvous historic encampment).

  • "Guide" or "service" dogs for seeing impaired or physically disabled persons are permitted within all park facilities.

Grand Portage National Monument is a fee free area.

Historic North West Company Depot

The Grand Portage National Monument Historic Depot is open from 9am-5pm daily from Memorial Day through late October.

Time of Day
Accessibility Information

A sidewalk connects the parking area, which has two accessible parking areas, to the Heritage Center. Two floors of exhibits in the Heritage Center are completely accessible. The sidewalk outside the Heritage Center continues to the crosswalk at Mile Creek Road (County Road 17). Please use caution while crossings as Mile Creek Road is the most used road by Grand Portage After the crosswalk, the path becomes a hardened gravel accessible trail throughout the historic site. The path goes through the Ojibwe Village. A path that does not meet accessibility standards leads down to the Voyageurs Encampment.

A ramp connects the canoe warehouse to the hardened pathway. Interpretive exhibits include the largest birchbark canoes you will ever see plus displays and programs presented inside, all of which are accessible.

A ramp located on the west side of the kitchen, allows entry to the back door of the kitchen. Another ramp from the kitchen’s east side, allows access to the main gate under the gatehouse and a view of the Grand Portage footpath and the Mount Rose Trail which are not accessible pathways.

An accessible breezeway connects the kitchen to the great hall which also accessibly connects to all porches of the reconstructed kitchen and great hall. Interpretive exhibits, hands-on displays, video programs and ranger conducted interpretive activities that are offered in these buildings are accessible.

Restrooms in the historic site are connected to the accessible trail. Each restroom includes an accessible stall.

Two wheelchairs are available free of charge to use during your visit. Wheelchairs are located in the Heritage Center and in the great hall. Please ask monument staff for assistance.

Grand Portage National Monument

Last updated: March 24, 2022