The Best Hiking Trails Near Lutsen, MN

The best hiking trails in Lutsen, MN

Lutsen, Minnesota is tucked between Lake Superior, the Sawtooth Mountains, and the Superior National Forest. This combination creates some of the best, most scenic hiking trails on the North Shore. Hike through the mixed maple forests to the tops of mountains and hills. Reward yourself with amazing views of remote forest, and big blue Lake Superior. Can you feel the stress melt away yet? Here is a list of the best hiking trails near Lutsen, MN. 

Oberg Mountain Loop

Oberg Mountain Loop, hiking near Lutsen, MN

View of Lake Superior from Oberg Mountain

The Oberg Mountain Loop is one of the most popular hiking trails in Lutsen, especially during the fall! The loop is part of the Superior Hiking Trail system. It takes you around the top of Oberg Mountain for sweeping views of Lake Superior, the Superior National Forest, and Oberg Lake. 

In the fall during the last part of September, the red maples glow brightly for as far as the eye can see. Expect to share the trail with heavier traffic during peak maple season, and for good reason! The moderate loop is 3 miles round trip. 

To get there turn on the Onion River Road at Highway 61 mile marker 86.1. Go 2 miles up the gravel road to the Superior Hiking Trail parking lot. 

Oberg Mountain Loop Map

Hike to White Sky Rock

View from White Sky Rock in Lutsen, MN

View from White Sky Rock in Lutsen, MN

A short and steep hike to White Sky Rock leads to the top of a rocky cliff that overlooks Caribou Lake. This spectacular panoramic view is well worth the moderate, half-mile uphill trek. Take the Superior HIking Trail spur trail from the parking lot at Caribou Lake. This is the perfect hiking trail near Lutsen if you don’t have a lot of time, but want to see something very scenic. 

If you have more time, take a longer hike on the Superior Hiking Trail past Lake Agnes before ascending to White Sky Rock. 

Read more about hiking to Lake Agnes and White Sky Rock in Lutsen. Click here for a map.

Superior Hiking Trail & Gondola Loop in Lutsen

Hike the gondola loop on the Superior Hiking Trail, Lutsen, MN

Take the gondola as part of a loop on the Superior Hiking Trail. Photo: Lutsen Mountains

Hike to the top of Moose Mountain and take Lutsen Mountains’ Summit Express Gondola back down to the base. It’s one of the most unique hiking experiences you can have!

This Lutsen hiking trail goes 3.5 miles over the Poplar River, and through a forest of alder, birch, and maple. Make your way uphill to the ridge that runs the length of Moose Mountain. The gondola spur trail takes you to the facilities at Lutsen Mountains including the gondola and Summit Chalet. If you continue along the Superior Hiking Trail after reaching the ridge, you’ll be going the wrong way – be sure to take the gondola spur trail.

Moose Mountain is one of the tallest peaks on the North Shore and offers unbelievable views of Lake Superior, the Superior National Forest, and the Poplar River valley. At the top of Moose Mountain stop into the chalet for a snack or a drink! Purchase a one-way gondola ticket and ride the aerial lift back to the base. 

Be sure to check the hours for the Summit Express Gondola before taking this hike in Lutsen. Map of Gondola Loop. 

Hike to Poplar River Falls in Lutsen, MN

For a quick and scenic hike in Lutsen, take the Superior Hiking Trail to Poplar River Falls. This one is cool because the trail takes you to a bridge right over the falls. It’s in a spot where the river narrows forcing the water into an aggressive flow just under your feet! The rumbling is amazing and a little scary during high flow! The water tumbles down a long slope, and it’s a cool sight to see. 

To get there, go to the end of Ski Hill Road (Cook County 5). Park in the Superior Hiking Trail parking lot. Take the smaller spur trail to the left. Take the short hike to the river, it’s less than a half-mile. You’ll hear the river rumbling as you get closer! 

Map to Poplar River Falls

Lookout Mountain at Cascade River State Park

Lookout Mountain, Cascade River State Park, Lutsen

Sit and enjoy the view from Lookout Mountain

Hike to the top of Lookout Mountain for a spectacular reward! This 3-mile round trip hike near Lutsen takes you through Cascade River State Park to a wonderful mountaintop vista. It’s perfect for a morning or afternoon hike near Lutsen, MN. 

Start at the Cascade River and follow the signs to Lookout Mountain. You’ll pass the Cascade River Falls, go through a variety of forest types, cross the bridge over Cascade Creek, and switchback your way uphill to Lookout Mountain. 

Stop to admire the view from a wooded, rocky outcrop. There are amazing views of Lake Superior and the Superior National Forest. 

Continue along the trail and loop back to your car, or take the same trail back down. 

Cascade River State Park has tons of trails! It’s a good idea to have a Cascade River State Park map.

Read the complete story of hiking to Lookout Mountain.

Britton Peak & Carlton Peak

view from Britton Peak, hiking near Lutsen, mn

View from Britton Peak.

Just a few miles from Lutsen, the Superior Hiking Trail leads you to two more mountaintop vistas – Britton Peak & Carlton Peak. 

For both of these, launch from the Britton Peak Trailhead parking area off the Sawbill Trail in Tofte. It is also the main parking lot for the Sugarbush Trail System which has some of the best cross country skiing and mountain biking trails on the North Shore. 

It’s just a quick uphill jaunt to the top of Britton Peak for a nice view of Lake Superior. 

Carlton Peak is a 3-mile round trip down the Superior Hiking Trail. The lovely trail through mixed maple forest slowly ascends the twin peaks of Tofte Peak and Carlton Peak. It’s worth the effort to get to both peaks for panoramic views of Lake Superior and the sprawling Superior National Forest! Britton Peak – Carlton Peak Hiking Trail Map. 

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One thought on “The Best Hiking Trails Near Lutsen, MN

  1. Mary Hasselbring says:

    I love the Northwoods trails. I had a cabin in the woods, twenty miles north of Two Harbors when I was growing up! There will always be a piece of my heart there! Thank you for all the nice tips!

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