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Fall Color, Scenic Highway 61
Minnesota North Shore
Lutsen to Grand Marais

View from Lutsen Mountain, Lutsen, MN
From the top of Moose Mountain, Lusten Ski Area, Lutsen, MN
along Minnesota's popular North Shore Scenic Highway


North Shore Fall Color Travel - Lutsen, MN to Canadian Border.

Lutsen is mid-way up the North Shore. Nearby Moose Mountain is one the highest peaks along the North Shore and possibly the most colorful. As you travel north from Lutsen towards Cascade River and Grand Marais the forest changes, evolving towards the Aspen-Spruce Boreal Forest that is typical north of Lake Superior.

Lutsen Ski Area - Moose and Mystery Mountains
Gondola/Tram Rides and Hiking

One of the easiest ways to see great fall color along the Minnesota North Shore is ride the Lutsen Ski Area Gondola from Eagle Ridge Resort up to the top of Moose Mountain. Spectacular fall color views on the ride up. At the top you disembark from the Tram at the Summit Chalet. In addition to beverages, sandwiches, and snacks the Chalet's expansive deck offers panaromic views of the forest and surrounding hills. When you are ready to return you can ride the Tram back down to the base area or you can take the spur trail to the Superior Hiking Trail and hike 3.5 miles back to the the resort. Jo and Donna elected this option.

Tram Ride Lutsen Ski Area


Jo enjoying the comfortable Tram ride up Moose Mountain. The two-way adult ticket cost $10 - $12 (note. there is a senior discount and also a kid's rate)

Fall Color Moose Mountain


The Tram ride came up-close
to some vibrant fall colors. > > >

 

Lake Superior from Lutsen Tram



< < < Looking towards Lake Superior.


View from the top of Moose Mountain

 

 

View from the top on the deck of
the Summit Chalet.

Superior Hiking TrailMoose Mountain Hiking Trail


Taking the spur trail to the main Superior Hiking Trail that leads back to the ski area resort.

Superior Hiking Trail on Moose Mountain


Striking fall colors along the Superior Hiking Ttrail.

Poplar River Moose Mountain
On the way down you cross the Poplar River.

Superior National Golf Course

 

Superior National Golf Course lies at the base of Moose Mountain. See our golf course review of Superior National here.

Cascade River - Lookout Mountain

The hiking trail to the top of Lookout Mountain begins at a parking area off Scenic Highway 61 and runs adjacent to the Cascade River for part of the trail.

Cascade River 96 Steps


A series of 96 stair steps make the climb adjacent to the Cascade River gorge easier.

Even though recent rainfall was below average, the river was still carrying a decent amount of water offering kodak moments of waterfalls and cascades.

Cascade River Cascade RiverCascade River

Cascade River 96 Steps


Eventually the trail leaves the river's edge and heads towards the peak of Lookout Mountain.

This is 15 miles further north of Moose Mountain so the forest composition is changing towards a boreal forest - colorful, yet not the range of hues when Maples are part of the woods.

Below - Scenic Overlooks at the top of Lookout Mountain.

Lookout Mountain Overlook
Lookout Mountain scenic overlook

    Cascade River State Park Trail Map & Facility Info

Grand Marais, MN - Pincushion Mountain

Beautiful fall weather brought lots of fellow "leaf peepers" and outdoors enthusiasts to Grand Marais the first weekend and week in November. The popular Angry Trout restauarant had so much business the wait staff had trouble maintaining their usual good quality of service. We met many other hikers, as well as mountain bikers, out on the trails.

Grand Marais Harbor

Grand Marais Harbor Park

Pincushion Mountain


Dan, Donna, Jo and Ross at the top of Pincushion Mountain.

The hiking trail to Pincushion Mountain leaves the Superior Hiking Trail trail head parking lot off the Gunflint Trail (see SHTA map). It is an easy (3.5 mile round trip) hike, in fact the trail is modest enough for mountain biking, with the exception of the last 100 feet when you have to scramble up the face of the rock outcropping that caps the mountain. 270 degree panaromic view of the landscape. Grand Marais Overlook

Grand Marais' double harbor from the trailhead parking lot overlook.

Grand Marais to the Canadian Border

There are some terrific scenic overlooks between Grand Portage and the Canadian border. The Wausaugoning Bay and the Susie Islands.

Grand Portage Overlook

Susie Islands overlook

Grand Portage Casino


The Grand Portage Lodge & Casino Trading Post generally has the best gas prices along the North Shore so it is a good place to stop on your way to Canada. Plus its convenience store is well stocked and has modern, clean bathrooms.

high falls grand portage park

The High Falls at Grand Portage State Park are by far the highest waterfalls along the North Shore and well worth the half-mile walk to the viewing platforms.

Traveling to Thunder Bay Ontario. During our 2012 North Shore Fall Color trip, we extended our travels as far north as Thunder Bay. Here's an article and pictures on our visit to Thunder Bay, Ontario during fall color time.

 

 

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