This past week, we checked out the fall colors at Lutsen Mountains and took a ride on the Alpine Slide! Located just a 10-minute drive from Bluefin Bay, Lutsen Mountains is nestled a couple of miles inland from Lake Superior. The maples are currently showcasing stunning peak color along the ridgeline of Moose Mountain.
To start, hop on a chairlift and ride to the top of Eagle Mountain. One of our favorite parts of this cool activity! Sit back and enjoy a unique panoramic view of the fall colors. As you climb, the transition to the bright golden birch along the valley and toward the lake is not quite at its peak yet but getting close. In addition, the contrast with the evergreens is a treat for the eyes. We can expect good color for a couple more weeks with the best autumn hues shifting closer to the lake.
Once at the top, don’t forget to linger awhile to take in the view of Lake Superior and the Superior National Forest. Then, head to the start and zip down a half-mile track on your sled! You control your own speed so your trip can be fast and thrilling or slow and easy. We recommend going more than once to take in all the views and thrills.
The Alpine Slide is open Saturday and Sunday through October 23 with additional days of October 20 and 21 for MEA Weekend. For even more fun while at Lutsen Mountains buy a ticket for the Summit Express Gondola for dramatic views of Lake Superior plus ridgeline access to the Superior Hiking Trail.
As you ride the gondola over the cascading Poplar River and just above the tree line to the top of Moose Mountain, you’ll experience fall color as far and wide as the eye can see. Not to mention, you’ll have a pretty spectacular and expansive view of Lake Superior’s rugged coastline!
Riding the Summit Express Gondola at Lutsen Mountains is one of the North Shore’s most popular fall attractions. Once at the top, you can enjoy mountaintop hiking trails, scenic overlooks, and, well, lots of fresh air.
The mountaintop Summit Chalet offers lunch, snacks and beverages — in addition to the gorgeous views. Both limited indoor seating and outside deck seating are available.
Fall hours for the Summit Express Gondola are daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but weather dependent. We strongly encourage Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts guests to call in advance to learn more about the fall schedule and Covid protocols. To make a reservation in advance, call 218-663-7281.
Ticket prices range from $25 for adults to $17 for children; children under 5 are free with a paying adult. And, if you want to experience the fall color of the Sawtooth Mountains both from the air and the ground, you can save $4 per ticket by riding the Gondola up the mountain and hiking the Superior Hiking Trail down.
You can learn more on the Lutsen Mountains website here.
Experience fall foliage on our new kayak tour
If you haven’t yet experienced North Shore fall colors from a canoe or kayak, you’re in for a real treat. This fall we’re offering a new guided activity and fun way to explore our gorgeous fall colors from the water.
The Fall Kayak Tour begins at Bluefin Bay Guest Services and then takes the scenic route (by car) through the maples of the Superior National Forest where colors include vibrant oranges, reds and yellows. Then, we continue our adventure to a remote lake within the Superior National Forest where we’ll leisurely paddle in a wilderness setting.
A a reminder, all Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts’ guided adventures are complimentary to guests. We provide all of the gear, as well as expert instruction. So, whether you’re an experienced kayaker or you’ve always wanted to learn, our guides will facilitate a fun and safe experience for all. By the way, this is a great outing for families.
Here are a few tips to make the experience fun and enjoyable:
Be sure to dress in layers for the unpredictable fall weather and bring your phone/camera as we’re likely to see some wildlife on this adventure!
Some procedures with our guided activities have changed due to Covid-19 safety protocols. First, our recreational kayaks are two-person tandem kayaks and guests participating must be paired with one other person from their family group. Unfortunately, as a safety precaution, we can’t pair anyone with someone outside their friend/family group.
We’re asking guests to drive separately to the trailhead again so we don’t mix family/friend groups in our resort shuttles. If requested, we will have shuttle space for one family group of up to four people. Masks are always required when riding the shuttle.
We do encourage advance sign-up for our resort guided activities — including the Fall Kayak Tour — as we have limited space in most of our activities. Learn more and sign up here.
We’re excited to bring you fall color by car and kayak, and hope to see you this Fall!
P.S. If you haven’t made your reservation for fall travel yet, hop on it. We are booking fast! Traveling this fall does require pre-planning. Learn more here.
To see the full schedule of Fall resort activities, click here and type in your travel dates.