LaVeaux Mountain

Superior National Forest, Minnesota

Trip Date: Sunday, July 1st, 2018
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 28th, 2018
By Ricky Holzer

Hike Information

Rating ★★★★★(5/5)
Overall Difficulty Easy
Navigation Difficulty     Easy
Distance 3 miles roundtrip
Time 1.5 hours
Terrain Hilly
Best Seasons All
Family Friendly No
Dog Friendly Yes
Accessible No

Highlights

Hike Walkthrough

Not far from the Minnesota Highway 61, LaVeaux Mountain is one of two peaks in the Sawtooth Range on the North Shore that you can access from this trailhead (the other being Oberg Mountain). Both of these peaks are excellent short hikes that feature extended views of Lake Superior and the Superior National Forest -- a very minimal amount of effort for the tremendous visual rewards. If you've ever driven further up north, you've probably driven past these mountains and never noticed them. Now is the time to stop missing out on these treasures of the North Shore!

The trail starts out nice and flat, and you'll pass a campground for trekkers on the Superior Hiking Trail on your right not far from the parking lot. Soon after, you'll cross the Onion River pictured below, some nice rushing water to inundate your ears with natural sounds after listening to road noise on the long drive here.

You'll cross the Onion River on a short wooden bridge

You'll cross the Onion River on a short wooden bridge

After crossing the bridge, the trail will gradually climb upward until you reach a fork in the trail. Turn left here to start the real uphill effort to the top of LaVeaux Mountain. The trail will switchback a few times, but the overall climb is quite short. Once the trail has leveled, you will continue along the northern edge of LaVeaux Mountain, eventually passing the overlook pictured below. This moment makes the entire hike worth it as you stare deeply into the wilderness of the Superior National Forest.
This boulder provides a great spot to sit and enjoy the view of the Superior National Forest

This boulder provides a great spot to sit and enjoy the view of the Superior National Forest

The great part about this hike is that there are multiple scenic overlooks, each with their own unique view. Unlike much of Minnesota, this part of the state actually has interesting topography as evidenced by the gentle bumps on the horizon in the picture below. If you think my pictures are beautiful, imagine what the scenery looks like on a blue, sunny day!
A small lake nestled between distant forest

A small lake nestled between distant forest

You'll eventually reach another fork in the trail; turn left here to continue to a loop with more scenic overlooks. Shortly after you turn, you'll reach another fork where you can choose either direction since the loop returns you to this spot. During this loop, you'll enjoy the views of Lake Superior in the two pictures below, and again I can only imagine these scenes are even more stellar when the sun is shining.
Fog from Lake Superior creeping across the forest

Fog from Lake Superior creeping across the forest

The last view of Lake Superior from the top of LaVeaux Mountain

The last view of Lake Superior from the top of LaVeaux Mountain

Complete that loop, then return to the parking lot by staying left at the next intersection. You'll begin descending, then you'll stay right as the trail merges with the main Superior Hiking Trail. Retrace your steps back to the parking from there.

LaVeaux Mountain is one of the best hikes on the North Shore, and it's one of the few hikes in this part of Minnesota I wouldn't mind doing a couple more times. If you enjoyed this hike, stop by Oberg Mountain for another great hike packed with views, either immediately after finishing this hike if you still have energy or on your return trip home after going further north. Let me know what you think in the comments section below, and be sure to use #nocoastbestcoast on Twitter and Instagram!

Important Information

Dogs are allowed on leash. This trail is short enough to be family friendly, but be sure to watch children closely at the top near the edges. The hike to Oberg Mountain, which also starts at this parking lot, is a better choice for families since it is shorter and most of not all of the ledges have wooden railings, whereas LaVeaux Mountain does not have any railings. You can hike this trail in all four seasons; its close proximity to the highway and the fact that it is part of the Superior Hiking Trail means it should be readily accessible even when it snows. Despite the rain on the Sunday morning I did this hike, there were still a few people out, so I imagine there will be many more if you go on a nice day.

Directions

From Duluth, take Minnesota Highway 61 north. After passing Temperance River State Park and Tofte, turn left on Onion River Road (County Highway 336). Turn left into the trailhead parking area ahead.

Google Maps Directions

Parking, Fees, and Facilities

Parking is free! There are pit toilets and a map kiosk in the parking lot.

External Links

Nearby Hikes

Oberg Mountain

Superior National Forest, Minnesota
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Carlton Peak

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Hiking Club Loop

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Eagle Mountain (Minnesota State Highpoint)

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