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 1-800-360-7222.
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.
North Shore Fall! If you want in, book now
Our Fall availability is filling fast!
Fall on Minnesota’s North Shore is one of the most breathtaking seasons and best times to visit. The star of the show is, of course, the vibrant fall color along Minnesota’s North Shore, including the Sawtooth Mountains and Superior National Forest.
Waves of red, orange and yellow extend as far as the eye can see from the rocky ridges overlooking Lake Superior. In contrast are the pine green forest and blue hues of Lake Superior herself.
Fall enthusiasts contend there are actual two fall peaks on the North Shore. First to turn are the inland maples, followed by the yellow and golds of the aspen and birch along Hwy 61/North Shore Scenic Drive. So in a good year, fall colors lasts for weeks! Lucky for us.
At Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, we enjoy helping guests experience the North Shore on foot, by pedal, canoe, kayak, or car.
For those who prefer to hit the trails to experience the changing leaves up close and personal — our guided fall hikes are fantastic. Prefer to go solo? No problem. We can you point you to the best (and less-populated trails) and the best color during your visit. The cool days are perfect for hiking in your favorite sweatshirt, and best when followed by a campfire and smores’ from the Bluefin Bay beach.
If you prefer to explore by bike, you can choose from the Gitchi Gami paved trail along the shoreline or off-road biking trails that offer adventure and an up-close-and-personal leaf peeping experience. Wilderness canoeing and inland kayaking are exceptional ways to see the colors from a different vantage point – the water. Join a guided excursion or head out on your own and paddle at your own pace.
In the fall, the North Shore feels a bit more laid back and relaxed — and that’s why we love it! But this year, we’re seeing different travel patterns and more people favoring driving vacations. Our fall is booking in fast.
Book now for fall travel through October
So, if you’re planning to join us at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts for a fall getaway, we encourage you to plan and book ahead. Fall bookings are already strong and availability for Sept. is limited.
Here’s a tip: If you don’t see your ideal dates or unit style available online, consider midweek travel as there is likely to be more availability and the fall colors are just as great midweek. 😉 If you have the flexibility due to remote work and/or the kids are distance learning vs the classroom, midweek travel could be a great option. Our reservationists can help at 1-800-258-3346.
Fall dining — also good to plan ahead
Planning your dining in advance may also help with your travel experience. If you would like indoor dining reservations at the Bluefin Grille, we encourage you to book in advance of your stay. We seat by reservation only for limited indoor seating at the Grille due to Covid-19 restrictions. View our online menu or book your reservation here.
Tip #2: Pack your jacket (and maybe your gloves), as well as your patience. The weather can be a bit more unpredictable for outdoor dining in the fall than summer, especially with Lake Superior breezes. We continue to offer takeout, outdoor dining on several patios and picnic tables, as well as limited indoor dining at both the Bluefin Grille and Coho Cafe & Bakery. Visit our dining pages here to learn more.
Tip #3: Many of our unit styles have full kitchens, so consider booking one of these and cooking and eating in your condo or townhome. All Temperance Landing log homes have full kitchens, as well as two bedroom townhomes at Surfside, and most one and three bedrooms at Bluefin Bay. If you’re unsure, ask a reservationist for help at 1-800-258-3346.
Sign up for activities and fall color tours in advance
Because the fall will be busier this year, we encourage you to register in advance for our complimentary guest activities. Whether it’s a guided fall color hike, or you want to join a wilderness canoeing or inland kayaking adventure, it’s best to sign up in advance to ensure your spot. Check out our full schedule of activities and pre-register here.
We look forward to welcoming you to Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts this fall and hope these tips will help you plan a safe and fun experience.
Now, Fall is almost here. So enjoy this fall video for a little inspiration!