Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
320.00 ft (97.54 m)
Trail type
3.50 mi (5.63 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

This popular hike to the summit of Carlton Peak is moderately strenuous, but the beautiful views of Lake Superior and the surrounding forest make the outing well worth the effort. This 3.5 mile out-and-back hike on the Superior Hiking Trail gains 320 feet in elevation. The summit of Carlton Peak towers 924 feet above Lake Superior.

The trailhead for Carlton Peak is located at south end of the Britton Peak Trailhead parking lot. The parking area is 2.5 miles from the town of Tofte on the east side of the Sawbill Trail (County Road 2). 

After a short walk from the trailhead the trail crosses the Sawbill Trail. The hike on the Superior Hiking Trail is well-worn and is marked with blue blazes. The first half of the hike is relatively flat and there are several sections of boardwalk. The entire trail is nicely shaded with a mix of hardwoods and softwoods. The second half of this hike has a number of rocky climbs. Eventually you will see a sign for the Ted Tofte Overlook, the spur trail to the summit of Carlton Peak is a short distance past Ted Tofte Overlook spur and is a hairpin turn to the right off the main trail. This short spur trail leads the summit of Carlton Peak that provides scenic views of Lake Superior.

Be sure to take the Ted Tofte Overlook (Tofe Peak) spur trail on way to Carlton Peak or on the return trip. The spur trail is only about one-tenth of a mile in length and rewards the hiker with breathtaking 360-degree views from a rocky outcropping. A nice view of Carlton Peak can be seen from this overlook.


Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Scenic overlooks.

Trailhead Elevation

1,206.00 ft (367.59 m)

Highest point

1,526.00 ft (465.12 m)


Vault toilet
Big vistas
Geologically significant

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping

Temperance River State Park, Minnesota
Temperance River State Park, Minnesota
Superior Hiking Trail, Minnesota


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