Fabulous Fall Colors on the North Shore
Hillsides awash in color. Clear blue skies. Crisp clean air. Crinkly leaves underfoot. Autumn is wonderful at Caribou Highlands Lodge at Lutsen Mountains. The resort sits in a maple-lined valley rolling down to Lake Superior. The hillsides are magnificent, awash in grand strokes of orange, yellow, red and maroon, offering extraordinary fall color views from your accommodations, the coffee shop, the spa, the lobby, the courtyard ... everywhere!
Take a North Shore Vacation this fall!
We begin to see color change around Labor Day when an occasional maple bursts into red, or edges itself in maroon. The first week of September, we slow down on the way to work to marvel at the stunning orange of a maple set against the intense blue backdrop of Lake Superior. By the middle of September, we know we work at the best place to be during autumn on the North Shore. The entire season lasts into the third week of October, when the golden birch and aspen leaves line Highway 61.
And Stay at the Resort with It All
Caribou Highlands Lodge at Lutsen Mountains is a premier Minnesota vacation resort. Explore fall colors by foot, by car, by tram and from your accommodations. Choose from wonderful mountainside lodging - suites, condos, town homes, vacation homes and lodge rooms. And enjoy all of our resort amenities and activities.
North Shore Fall Color Tours
From Caribou Highlands Lodge at Lutsen Mountains
- Ride the Lutsen Gondola at Lutsen Mountains
Take an easy walk up the Ski Hill Road and board the tram to the top of Moose Mountain. Take in panoramic vistas of Lake Superior, Moose Mountain and the maple-covered Sawtooth Mountain Range. Grab a picnic lunch and walk the pathways at the top of Moose Mountain, or pick up the Superior Hiking Trail and hike the 3.6-mile trail through the maple forest down to Polar River.
- Hike the Poplar River Gorge
This is the hilly end section of the trail from Moose Mountain. Walk up the Ski Hill Road, along the Poplar River and into the maple forests climbing from the river valley. Turn around at any time and head back.
- Explore Lutsen Mountains Hiking Trails
15 miles of trails traverse the hills and forests of Lutsen Mountains offering shaded hikes, open meadows and views of Lake Superior. Pick up a trail map at the Vasque Hiking Center, which rents hiking boots, walking sticks, day packs and child carriers, too!
10-minute drive from the resort
- Hike Oberg Mountain
This trail is tops during fall colors. Hike through maple hillsides to a loop with seven stunning overlooks of Lake Superior, the Sawtooth Mountains, Teal Lake and LeVeaux Mountain. Bring your camera!
- Hike and Tour Cascade River State Park
Hike the trails from Hwy 61 up and over the many cascades of this state park's namesake river during late fall colors. Flaming underbrush, golden birch and Superior's shoreline make a great autumn combination.
- Hike Carlton Peak
Hike through lowlands, up maple hillsides and on to the gray rock Carlton Peak, where you will be treated to treetop views of the forest you just walked through, and a panorama of Lake Superior, Tofte and the Temperance River Valley.
20-minute drive from the resort
- Drive Heartbreak Ridge
This is a great driving tour! Hop in your car and drive down this stunning maple-canopied back-country road. You'll ooh and aah from the comfort of your car, latte at your side, amazed at how easy it is to experience great fall colors.
- Drive, View & Hike at the Pincushion Mountain Overlook
The Sawtooth Mountains climb 1,000 feet up from Lake Superior near Grand Marais. Drive a few miles up the Gunflint Trail to this popular overlook of Grand Marais, the harbor and Lake Superior. Turn around and explore the woods over 25-kilometers of trails.
- Sail Aboard the Schooner Hjørdis
View fall colors from Lake Superior! Set sail from the Grand Marais harbor for a 2-hour tour. The Hjørdis sails daily from mid-May through mid-October, four times a day.