From the top of Moose Mountain, Lusten Ski Area, Lutsen, MN
along Minnesota's popular North Shore Scenic Highway
Minnesota North Shore Fall Color Trip Pages
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.
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.
Jo enjoying the comfortable Tram ride up Moose Mountain. (2019 prices. $16 - $24 depending upon senior discount or a kid's rate)
The Tram ride came up-close
to some vibrant fall colors. > > >
< < < Looking towards Lake Superior.
View from the top on the deck of
the Summit Chalet.
Taking the spur trail to the main Superior Hiking Trail that leads back to the ski area resort.
Striking fall colors along the Superior Hiking Ttrail.
Superior National Golf Course lies at the base of Moose Mountain. See our golf course review of Superior National here.
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.
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.
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.
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' double harbor from the trailhead parking lot overlook.
There are some terrific scenic overlooks between Grand Portage and the Canadian border. The Wausaugoning Bay and the Susie Islands.
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.
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.
Duluth to Tofte, MN - including Carlton Peak & Oberg Mountain
Links to other North Shore Travel Pages
SuperiorTrails.com - Reinhold Development - 2023
Lake Superior Camping
& Campground Directory
Best Camping along Lake Superior. Camping along the Lake Superior Circle Drive.
Grand Marais is the favorite North Shore village of most Circle Tour Travelers.
Enjoying lake breezes and views at the Canal Park Brewery Beer Garden - Canal Park.