Cook County Blog

Northern Lights Viewing Routes - Find the best places to view the aurora borealis in Cook County MN

Posted by Visit Cook County MN on 11/12/17 11:00 AM

Catching a glimpse of the northern lights is at the top of many "bucket lists" but the number one question we hear is "where are the best places to view the northern lights in Minnesota?" With the help of local photographer, Bryan Hansel, we have created a comprehensive list of some of the best places to view the northern lights in Cook County, MN.  

Please note: These maps are intended for reference only. Please pick up an official road map for offline navigation. Locations identified can be done individually or as a driving route. Not all roadways accessible year-round or maintained regularly. Proceed with caution during winter months and observe all road signs or closures. Visit Cook County is not responsible for lost or stranded drivers.  Safety is at the discretion of the driver

Northern Lights Map_2017-18 - FINAL

 Download the Northern Lights Map (PDF)


Google Map Routes for Viewing the Northern Lights in Cook County MN

To help you navigate to these locations, we've created some suggested routes using google maps for viewing the northern lights in Cook County, MN. Please be advised, in many of these locations, there will not be cell phone service. Downloading the maps and directions prior to embarking on your journey is critical. 

Important: when traveling in the winter - please be advised that not all of these roads are plowed. Refer to the Northern Lights PDF to identify which routes are on plowed roads. Some of these roads are snowmobile trails in the winter, which can look plowed at first but you'll quickly learn that they are not. When it doubt, turn around. Do not risk being stuck on a trail overnight in the winter.  

 Recommended Northern Lights Viewing Locations in the Lutsen, Tofte & Schroeder area

 Recommended Northern Lights Viewing Locations on the 

Gunflint Trail

 Recommended Northern Lights Viewing Locations in the

Grand Marais area


 Recommended Northern Lights Viewing Locations in the

Grand Portage area  


For more tips and tricks on capturing the Northern Lights 

Download The Photography Guide

Topics: Grand Marais, Gunflint Trail, Grand Portage, Lutsen Tofte Schroeder, Northern Lights & Night Sky