I know it is still August, but fall is fast approaching the North Shore of Lake Superior (yay!). This area is gorgeous all year long, but fall is really when it shines. The trees are in the process of changing colors and are lit up in brilliant yellows, oranges, and reds. Things tend to slow down a bit, and there are less people visiting, which makes it the perfect time for a Lutsen fall adventure.
These are my top spots to take in along the amazing North Shore. This is the kind of list that would be different for everybody, so use this as a guide for more exploration!
Where to go
The small town of Lutsen is home to all season resorts and fun activities. In the summer it hosts hiking, canoeing, golfing, and alpine sliding, just to name a few. In the winter there are many different types of high quality cross country ski trails to traverse, as well as many ski and snowboarding runs spread out over several (small) mountains. There are also numerous resorts and restaurants open year round, as well.
Lutsen Mountains can be found 90 miles up the shore from Duluth, then a left off Hwy 61 up Ski Hill Road. On the way from Duluth you will pass through Two Harbors, Beaver Bay, Silver Bay and Tofte, among other small communities. Being a less than two-hour drive, this is an easy day trip from Duluth.
Something you must do when visiting Lutsen Mountains is to take a trip in the gondolas up Moose Mountain. As someone who hates heights, I did find the thought of going up in the gondola a bit daunting. However, I found that during the ride up it was best for me to have my back to the cliff. Riding down was the opposite – it was best to be facing the cliff. What helped my anxiety the most was that the views were stunning. It really took my mind off the height. The gondolas are a really good size and can fit multiple people. Our group included myself, my husband and Little One in our hiking stroller.
The Top of the Mountain
Upon departing off the gondolas at the top of Moose Mountain, the Summit Chalet has a restaurant and restrooms. The chalet has a delicious grill-style food service and has an amazing deck that looks out onto Lake Superior!
There are also trails and awesome lookouts on top of the mountain to enjoy. Please note that we found that the stroller was very difficult to navigate in certain areas and we really would have been better off with a carrier back pack.
The round trip gondola ride costs $24 per adult, children aged 6-15 is $16 (little ones 5 and under are free), and seniors 65+ are $20. I recommend checking the website, though, because of all the different passes and combos to choose from. I know that it can be a bit pricey for some adventures, but it really is worth it. There are ways to get to the top of the mountain (around 1000 feet above Lake Superior) via the Superior Hiking trail, so if hiking up mountains is your thing, give that a try instead!
You can find more information on their website https://www.lutsen.com/summer/summit-express-gondola/
There so many amazing places to witness the amazing fall views on the shores of Lake Superior. Generally speaking, the Lutsen Mountain experience is one of my favorite attractions along the North Shore. Have you been to Lutsen? Share your experience in the comments below!
Check out my post about Gooseberry Falls here!