Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
495.00 ft (150.88 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.

The Lookout Mountain Loop is a 3.5-mile hike located in Cascade River State Park. This trail doubles as the state park’s Hiking Club Trail (see last paragraph for information about the club).  This hike features views from Lookout Mountain of the Cascade River Valley, Lake Superior, and the Sawtooth Mountains. The hike also passes by The Cascades, an awe-inspiring series of five small waterfalls. There is an elevation gain of about 500 feet on this hike, but most of the gain is fairly gradual. The trail is mostly wooded with birch, spruce, and fir. The trail is fairly well marked, with maps at most trail intersections. Look for blue Hiking Club signs as you travel this loop. Parking for this hike is available near the Trail Center.

From the trailhead it is a short walk to the bridge over the Cascade River, from which The Cascades can be viewed. The trail follows the river upstream for a short while and then heads west, using the well-worn Superior Hiking Trail. The trail crosses a small bridge over Cascade Creek and begins its climb up to Lookout Mountain. The climb right before the overlook is a bit steep. After taking in the view from the overlook, continue on the Superior Hiking Trail for a short distance. Take a left at the next intersection, this portion of the trail is less traveled and may be overgrown but is still easy to follow. This section of the hike is more open with numerous dead birch trees. When the trail meets the Pioneer Trail, take a left. Pioneer Trail is likely former forest road, so it is very wide. The trail meets up with the Superior Hiking Trail again to cross Cascade Creek. It then takes a different route back to the bridge that overlooks The Cascades. From here follow the trail back to the parking lot.

The Minnesota State Park’s Hiking Club program encourages hikers to hike a designated Hiking Club Trail at most state parks. A Hiking Club password is found on all of these hikes. You can earn patches, free camping, and even a plaque (if you hike all of the Hiking Club trails) for participating in the club. A Hiking Club kit can be purchased at most state parks for $14.95 (as of 2020). More information about the program can be found here.



Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)


Parking Pass

State Park Fee

Open Year-round



Views from Lookout Mountain and the Cascades waterfalls.


Roots on parts of the trail.

Trailhead Elevation

700.00 ft (213.36 m)

Highest point

1,195.00 ft (364.24 m)


Near lake or river
Vault toilet
Big vistas
Geologically significant

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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