Summer Adventures at Lutsen Mountains by Wander The Map
Lutsen Mountains is one of our favorite spots in Minnesota. In the winter, you can ski, snowboard, snowshoe, and more at one of the best and largest ski resorts in the Midwest. And, in the summer there’s an entirely different, but equally fun set of outdoor adventures at your fingertips. On our most recent visit this summer, we rode the gondola, slid down the hills on the alpine slide, relaxed in the hot tub, and dined at the chalet with fantastic views overlooking Lake Superior. There are also plenty of opportunities for hiking that we would have loved to explore as well if we had the time!
Eagle Ridge Resort at Lutsen Mountains
We’ve visited Lutsen Mountains and stayed at Eagle Ridge Resort several times over the years, so it was fun to stay in one of the newly renovated rooms this time around. Our “Mountain View King” room came with a toasty warm fireplace, a kitchenette with a fridge, sink, microwave and coffee maker, and a balcony with views for days.
We also made our way over to the new hot tub—soaking in the hot water overlooking the mountains was absolutely fantastic and a wonderful way to relax after our adventures earlier in the day.
Summit Express Gondola Ride
We started the afternoon with a ride up the Summit Express Gondola. The views throughout the Lutsen Mountains property are all gorgeous, and the gondola is no exception. With floor to ceiling windows, you can see the river that runs through the valley, ski runs, Lake Superior, the Sawtooth Mountains, and even wildlife.
The gondola takes you to the top of Moose Mountain, which rises 1,000 feet above Lake Superior. My face was practically pressed to the glass the entire ride…that is, when it wasn’t behind the camera! We had a beautiful, sunny day ahead of us and the ride up the gondola never gets old, especially the thrilling, steep incline at the end.
Once we reached the top of Moose Mountain, we made our way to the Mystery Overlook. The views of Superior National Forest from the platform are never-ending! While we were taking in the view, we overheard a fellow guest exclaim, “the views are literally taking my breath away!”, and I have to say, she was right. They really are that good. Lush green trees, rolling hills, and bright blue skies, kept our feet firmly planted on the deck for quite some time.
Summit Chalet Restaurant
Eventually, we were starting to feel our tummies rumble, so we decided to pull ourselves away from the overlook and walk the short distance over to the chalet. It was lunchtime, and we had more vistas to soak up, after all. We ordered burgers from the Summit Chalet, a poutine burger for Micah and a mushroom swiss for me, and we made our way out to the patio to bask in the sunshine while waiting for our order. There’s nothing quite like a warm and sunny summer day in Minnesota, especially when there are burgers on the grill!
After our delicious lunch, we made our way back down the gondola and over to the alpine slide. We hopped in line for the chairlift, and soon, we were on our way up. At the top of Lutsen’s Eagle Mountain, we grabbed our sleds and carried them over to the starting point.
Once the light turned green, we were off and flying down the hill at full speed. I had my sled going as fast as it would let me, but Micah still managed to beat me down the hill! He wooshed past me as we twisted, turned, and dipped our way along the path. One ride wasn’t enough, so we made our way down the hill a couple more times before calling it a day. There’s nothing like flying down a hill on a sled to channel your inner child—it’s always so much fun to act like a kid again, am I right?!
Next time we visit Lutsen Mountains in the summer, we are definitely going to add hiking to our itinerary. There are miles and miles of wonderful trails to explore, and you can even reach portions of the Superior Hiking Trail from the property. With a room right in the middle of the fabulous outdoor action, we know this is a spot we will continue to return to time and time again!