Northern Lights Driving Tour

Approximate Drive Time: 3 hours

Suggested Leisurely Trip with Attraction and or Recreation Viewing: 6 hours with lunch or picnic

Approximate Miles: 165 miles

Cities on Route: Virginia, Tower, Soudan, Ely, Hoyt Lakes, Aurora, Biwabik, Gilbert and Eveleth

Route Time:
Virginia to Ely: 1 hour
Ely to Hoyt Lakes: 1.5 hours
Hoyt Lakes to Virginia: 30 minutes

Must See Attractions:
Soudan Underground Mine State Park
1379 Stuntz Bay Road
Soudan, MN
Open: Memorial Weekend – Sept. 30, call for exact times.
Travel ½ mile below the surface and take an electric train ride to the deepest area mined.

International Wolf Center
1396 Highway 169
Ely, MN
May 1st – Oct. 31, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Nov. 1st – April 30, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Experience the spine-tingling sensation of howling wolves as you view a pack of five wolves up close.

Wildlife and Viewing Opportunities:
Moose Viewing – Highway 5, 1 & 2
Nesting Eagles – Bear Head Lake State Park
Grouse – Jenkins Creek Hiking Trail
General Wildlife & Birding – Superior National Forest Scenic Byway

Scenic Vistas & Fall Views:

Laurentian Divide / Lookout Mountain
Enjoy a spectacular view of over 20 miles from on top of the Laurentian Divide summit that runs along the crest of low, rocky hills. Eight miles of hiking trails.

Skibo Vista
Hoyt Lakes
A beautiful panoramic view spanning 20 miles of the Laurentian Divide.

Best Hiking and Walking Locations
Bear Head Lake State Park
9301 Bear Head Lake State Park
Find 17 miles of scenic hiking trails near Lake Vermilion. Spotting wildlife is always a possibility.

White Pine Interpretive Trail
Towering 300-year old white pine highlight this spectacular hiking area and view.

Bird Lake Recreation Area
Hoyt Lakes
9 miles of hiking trails wind through dense stands of black spruce, bogs and hills of aspen and birch.

Historic & Heritage Stops:
Longyear Drill Site
Hoyt Lakes
Open: Year round
This site along a nature trail leads visitors to the actual 1890 first diamond drill site of Edmund J Longyear.

Dorothy Molter Museum
2002 East Sheridan Street
May – August 31 Daily
September, Friday, Saturdays 10 – 5, Sundays noon – 5 p.m.
This museum is a tribute to the legendary last resident Dorothy Molter of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness who is known for her homemade root beer and great hospitality

Iron Range Historical Society Museum & Jail
19 South Broadway
Open: Days and hours vary
History of the Iron Range dating back to the early 1890’s of the can be found at this museum.

United States Hockey Hall of Fame
801 Hat Trick Avenue
Open: Year Round, Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
This national shrine is dedicated to honoring hockey by showcasing all levels of the sport.