Temperance State Park and Carlton Peak

Tofte, Minnesota

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1 Review
4 out of 5
From the shores of Lake Superior, along the narrow tumultuous river gorge, and up to Carlton Peak for a magnificent overlook of Lake Superior and the forests. Native Americans in the area descriptively named the river here Kawimbush, “deep-hollow,” for the gorge that cuts through the basaltic rocks. Its current name, Temperance River, was bestowed later, when the voyageurs—probably jokingly—referred to the fact that the river lacked a bar (a sand bar) at the mouth of the river. Carlton Peak, one of the most prominent peaks along the shore, was named after Reuben Carlton who took part in an early geologic survey of the area. The peak is actually made up of a large inclusion, or block, that arose from deep within the Earth’s crust. This rock, anorthosite, is composed of the mineral Labradorite, which is light green when freshly broken and then turns a whitish color. The quarry on the south side of the mountain has supplied rocks for water fountains, a breakwater in Taconite Harbor, and the ranger station in Grand Marais. This hike begins with a tour along the river gorge, then veers off, leaving the river to climb the peak. Special attractions: Temperance River gorge and overlooks of Lake Superior.
Hiking Minnesota (Pukite)

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Minnesota (Pukite)

by John Pukite (Falcon Guides)

From the shores of Lake Superior, along the narrow tumultuous river gorge, and up to Carlton Peak for a magnificent overlook of Lake Superior and the forests. Native Americans in the area descriptively named the river here Kawimbush, “deep-hollow,” for the gorge that cuts through the basaltic rocks. Its current name, Temperance River, was bestowed later, when the voyageurs—probably jokingly—referred to the fact that the river lacked a bar (a sand bar) at the mouth of the river. Carlton Peak, one of the most prominent peaks along the shore, was named after Reuben Carlton who took part in an early geologic survey of the area.

The peak is actually made up of a large inclusion, or block, that arose from deep within the Earth’s crust. This rock, anorthosite, is composed of the mineral Labradorite, which is light green when freshly broken and then turns a whitish color. The quarry on the south side of the mountain has supplied rocks for water fountains, a breakwater in Taconite Harbor, and the ranger station in Grand Marais. This hike begins with a tour along the river gorge, then veers off, leaving the river to climb the peak. Special attractions: Temperance River gorge and overlooks of Lake Superior.

©  John Pukite/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Tofte
Distance: 6
Elevation Gain: 924 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Trailhead Elevation: 600 feet
Top Elevation: 1,500 feet
Local Contacts: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 800-652-9747
Local Maps: Superior Hiking Trail map, state park trail map for the Temperance River section. USGS quads: Schroeder and Tofte.
Driving Directions: Directions to Temperance State Park and Carlton Peak

Recent Trail Reviews

11/1/1999
0

i love this trail! i go here a few times every winter when i snowboard at lutsen mountain. it's a teeny bit difficult at the bottom which adds to the fun, but the best part is the view from the top -- absolutely wonderful. it's long enough to spend a bit of time soaking in nature. it's a great break from snowboarding -- esp. at the beginning & end of the season when the snow's pretty mushy. i've never gone in the summertime but i'll bet it'd be great w/the little river flowing and some flowers a'bloomin'.



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