White Sky Rock & Lake Agnes: Great Hike in Lutsen
White Sky Rock & Lake Agnes: Popular Hike in Lutsen
Hike to White Sky Rock for incredible fall color views on the North Shore, MN. This part of the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) cuts through some of the North Shore’s best maple forests so you can walk through the colorful canopy, on your way up to White Sky Rock for panoramic views. Mid-September is the best time to see fall colors along this great hike in Lutsen, MN.
The SHT to Lake Agnes, Lutsen MN
Start this hike from the parking area on County Rd. 34, off of the Caribou Trail (County 4), in Lutsen, MN. The Superior Hiking Trail to Lake Agnes starts out nice and easy under the glowing maples. As you crunch along the fallen leaves, you can smell that moist, earthy aroma of fall. Something about this always reminds me to relax and take in the present moment.
There had been a lot of rain around the time of this hike, so the low spots were quite muddy. In fact, the mud was so deep in spots that my dog was practically swimming in the mud up to her back (she loved it!). Fortunately, there were boardwalks for the hikers.
It only takes about 10-15 minutes to get to Lake Agnes. A perfect spot for my dog to wash off! There are some nice views through the trees of this wild, undeveloped lake.
The trail continues around the lake where it meets up with the Spur Trail to White Sky Rock. If you continue on the Superior Hiking Trail you will come to a couple of campsites by Lake Agness, and eventually, cross the Poplar River.
Spur Trail (1) to White Sky Rock
Take the spur trail to the right, which is clearly marked. Adventure along a hillside of rocky outcroppings and massive tree roots. You can see from the map below that the trail traverses the lower portion of a steep hill. Hiking poles come in handy! It is a really interesting part of the trail.
However, note that the more difficult terrain can add extra time to your hike, and it may not be as doable if you have shakey feet or inappropriate footwear. Or, maybe you’re not in the mood to hike on rocky hillsides and tree roots? I get it! See below for the short cut to White Sky Rock.
Click here for the entire Superior Hiking Trail map for the Lutsen section.
Spur Trail (2) to White Sky Rock
Just when you’re wondering if you’re there yet, there is a sign for a second spur trail, straight up to White Sky Rock! This section is straight up the hill to the top. (Please note that this is the same section of trail that you’ll hike if you take the short cut mentioned below)
When you get there, it’s one of the best fall color views on the North Shore, MN! It features Caribou Lake and the Superior National Forest.
View from White Sky Rock
Short Cut to White Sky Rock
There is a much shorter way to get to White Sky Rock. Take the Superior Hiking Trail Spur Trail from the Caribou Lake Public Access. Hike across the Caribou Trail (Cook County 4) to the spur trail which takes you straight up to the top. This hike is strictly uphill and relatively short.
If you take this short cut, you will miss Lake Agnes and the more difficult terrain I mentioned earlier. But you will still see the incredible view of Caribou Lake pictured above.
For another option, park two cars – one at the County 39 trailhead (so you can hike past Lake Agnes), and the other at the Caribou Lake Public Access. Doing this will make it a one-way hike to save you time and energy while still taking in this entire section of trail.
While you’re in Lutsen
Stop by Caribou Cream Maple Syrup. You’ll pass it on the way to the Caribou Trail (Cook County 4).
Visit any of the popular attractions in Lutsen including the Alpine Slide, Gondola, and Superior National Golf Course.