Caribou Falls State Wayside


Area and County

    Lake County
    Northeast Minnesota

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91 acres




N47 27.858, W91 1.824

Hiking Trails

2¼ miles



Ecological Classification Province  

Laurentian Mixed Forest Province

Ecological Classification

Northern Superior Uplands


North Shore Highlands

Land Type Association(s)

North Shore Till Plain

Native Plant Communities1

Aspen - Birch Forest

Aspen - Birch Forest: Hardwood Subtype

Northern Mesic Mixed Forest

Wet Mafic Cliff (Northern)

Natural Features

River gorge, waterfall

Ownership Minnesota DNR logo        

Minnesota DNR


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

Caribou Falls State Wayside was established in 1947.

Hiking Trails
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.









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 Observations

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Fungi and Lichens

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



Shag-Belly Stippleback Lichen (Dermatocarpon moulinsii)


One plant species with conservation status in Minnesota is found here:



alpine woodsia (Woodsia alpina)


Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas 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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