Vermilion Falls Northern Minnesota Day Trip

vermilion falls

One of my favorite places to stay is at Elbow Lake. I have a cabin on Elbow Lake Lodge that you can rent here, and one just off of the property here. These are great destinations on their own, but I love to visit the Vermilion River. One of the more spectacular spots on that river is the Vermilion Falls and Chute. Looking for something else to do? Check out this page. 

It is simple to access from Elbow Lake:

To get there, you simple drive to Crane Lake. It can be reached one of two ways, if you go through Orr, take Highway 23 to the Northeast toward Crane Lake. Just south of town, you will see a sign for Vermilion Falls. Take this 5 miles and there is a very well done parking lot, bathroom, and walkway to view the falls. If you aren’t coming from Orr or Cook, go further north on 24 after leaving the resort to Crane Lake Road. Crane Lake Road will connect into Highway 23 by Buyck. Then follow the first set of directions from there.

I also made this panorama while I visited last time:

When you park, you are only a few dozen yards from the falls. The falls has a island in-between them so it is a very cool set up. As the water falls over these falls, it just boils in a little pool before being shot out at a 90 degree angle through a violent chute. You can walk along the edge of this chute on a deck with a railing. But you still need to keep a close eye on kids.

Superior National Forest Vermilion Falls

The bottom washes out into a small pond before the river continues around a corner and in a short distance entered the Vermilion Gorge before ending in Crane Lake.

wildflowers at vermilion falls

If you want to see rapids in the Lake Vermilion or Elbow Lake Area, this is by far the easiest access to a decent falls and rapids. It might be fun to plan a picnic lunch here.

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About Chris 759 Articles
Chris Ashbach is one of the founders of Dan330. Chris is a pilot and avid outdoorsman who loves fishing, hunting, camping, and exploring. He loves taking kids (especially his own) on trips to share his passion of the outdoors. Chris is also a gardener, volunteers at Let's Go Fishing, and teaches Sunday school. Chris holds a MA in Organizational Leadership and is faculty at a local university in Minnesota; teaching undergraduate business classes.