Sunday, November 11, 2012

Caribou Falls - Minnesota

Caribou River
northeast of Little Marais, Minn.

The trail to Caribou Falls is in a state wayside rest area right off of Highway 61 on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Less than a mile of easy hiking here will put you at the base of an almost 40 foot waterfall. This is part of the Superior Hiking Trail, and the trail continues on past Caribou Falls to a few more sets of falls and even a hidden waterfall on Crystal Creek inside a cave. Another offshoot carries the trail all the way into George Crosby Maintou State Park, home to more falls.

The falls here are incredibly powerful, and depending on water levels it is not hard to get very close to the base of the falls for pictures.
The river is forced into a tight squeeze between rocks at the top, but then fans out over its drop for a very dramatic effect. When we re-visited in 2012, we once again had the place to ourselves, but were able to tell the difference in water levels as getting in as close as I am in the picture above was not possible.

Getting there: The wayside is located on the west side of Highway 61 near mile marker 70. Follow the easy, well-worn trail to the falls, but be sure to consult the detailed direction in the Wallinga's book before heading farther to Crystal Creek.

Overall: Great
Hike: Moderate

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