Caribou Falls State Wayside


This recreation area is closed in the winter from the first major snowfall in late November through late March.




Minnesota DNR logo




Minnesota DNR








Caribou Falls State Wayside was established in 1947.














Printable Map(s) with GPS coordinates




91 acres




N47 27.858, W91 1.824




Parking limit six hours. Overnight parking is not allowed.




No fee (?)


Driving Directions

  Area and County  

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          Lake County  
          Northeast Minnesota  

Hiking Trails


2¼ miles

The Caribou River Spur of the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) follows the east side of the Caribou River 0.54 mile from the trailhead and parking area on Highway 61 to the Caribou Falls. A long set of wooden stairs leads from the bluff down to the base of the 35-foot waterfall. The trail continues 0.35 mile on the spur and on the main SHT to the northern boundary of the wayside. Google Earth shows what appears to be a pedestrian bridge crossing the Caribou River 0.22 mile north of the falls. The Minnesota DNR (Geospatial Commons) shows a trail that follows the west side of the river from the crossing back to Highway 61 to form a 1.66 mile hiking loop.




Trout fishing


Ecological Classification

  Ecological Classification  
  Ecological Province    

Laurentian Mixed Forest Province

  Ecological Section    

Northern Superior Uplands

  Ecological Subsection    

North Shore Highlands

  Land Type Association    

North Shore Till Plain


Native Plant Communities*


Aspen - Birch Forest

Aspen - Birch Forest: Hardwood Subtype

Northern Mesic Mixed Forest

Wet Mafic Cliff (Northern)


  * Source: The Minnesota Biological Survey, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Ecological Resources      

Natural Features


River gorge, waterfall


























Caribou Falls WMA

Caribou Falls State Wayside is adjacent on the east and west to the East and West Units, respectively, of Caribou Falls Wildlife Management Area.

Visitor Photos

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Wayne Rasmussen


Caribou Falls

    Caribou Falls State Wayside      

Caribou River gorge

    Caribou Falls State Wayside      


    Caribou Falls State Wayside      

Caribou River

    Caribou Falls State Wayside      






Visitor Videos

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Other Videos
  4 Caribou Falls State Wayside, Minnesota

Published on May 31, 2013

  Caribou Falls / Superior Hiking Trail / Waterfalls of Lake Superior's North Shore
Pine Forest Camper

Published on Sep 4, 2014

The family and I stopped at the Caribou Falls Wayside Rest and took a jaunt up the half mile trail there to see the falls. This is a rather easy hike. Very little elevation change and the trail might as well be paved. That doesnt mean there wasnt a wow factor waiting for us at the end.

The video runs a little long at 17 minutes but you'll have to forgive me as this doubles up as a home movie and my attempt to bring the entire experience (including the waterfall) home with me.

For those who are wondering I would have gladly carried my little girl however had I done so no one would have carried the camera and recorded any video. No video would have forced me to leave the entire experience there and left you without an opportunity to peak in on this.

If you'd like more info on waterfalls in the Lake Superior Area there is no better source than "Waterfalls of Minnesota's North Shore" by Eve and Gary Wallinga which currently has limited availability. I have a copy and its currently stored at an undisclosed location. Safe and ready for the next waterfall hike on the north shore.

This is not for the faint of heart. Patience is a must. This is not a 25 second video clip. Nor is it filled with silly stunts or acrobatics. Instead think Sunrise Earth or Lawrence of Arabia panoramic shots.

  Caribou Falls, Caribou River, Minnesota
Jonathan Katje

Published on Jul 16, 2012

A half mile hike on the Superior Hiking Trail takes you to the amazing Caribou Falls on the Caribou River, seen here in 2012 at high water compared to our visit a year prior.

  Caribou Falls, MN

Published on Sep 15, 2012

This is a recording of the falls taken on September 8th, 2012.

  Caribou Falls, MN

Published on Apr 27, 2012

We in Caribou Falls, on Caribou river close to scenic North Shore Drive along lake Superior.




Visitor Sightings

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eBird Field Checklist




Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Fishes List


Fungi and Lichens


One fungi and lichen species with conservation status in Minnesota has been seen here:


Shag-Belly Stippleback Lichen (Dermatocarpon moulinsii)


Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Lichens List




Three plant species with conservation status in Minnesota are found here:


alpine woodsia (Woodsia alpina)

Special Concern

intermediate sedge (Carex media)

spike trisetum (Trisetum spicatum)


Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas and Minnesota Biological Survey Vegetation Releves Plant List


Plants frequently found in:

Aspen - Birch Forest FDn43b

Aspen - Birch Forest: Hardwood Subtype FDn43b2

Northern Mesic Mixed Forest FDn43

Wet Mafic Cliff (Northern) CTn42a







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