Temperance River State Park Travel Guide

  • Temperance River State Park
    by babybird
  • Upper Temperance during high water in May 2011
    Upper Temperance during high water in...
    by babybird
  • Just the start of the Cauldron Falls Section
    Just the start of the Cauldron Falls...
    by babybird

Temperance River State Park Transportation

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    Hwy 61 between Schroeder and Tofte, MN

    by babybird Written Jul 29, 2004

    If you are traveling up Hwy 61 you will see the signs for this park near the small town of Schroeder. There is usually ample parking
    off of 61 in the park. There are camping facilities and toilet facilities in the park area.

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Temperance River State Park Warnings and Dangers

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    by babybird Updated Aug 27, 2011

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    This is a very wild river, especially during spring runoff. NEVER GET CARELESS when hiking or exploring here.
    The trails are mostly very safe and easy to follow. However, be extremely cautious in
    leaving them to get that "ideal" photograph, especially in the spring and during higher water levels. One look at the narrow and deep gorges should give you a hint at the power of this river. It is NO JOKE if you fall in!!! The rocks and boulders near the waterline often have slippery surfaces which could send you off your feet and into the swift currents. Falling into this river at almost any point after it starts its plunge of nearly 200 ft in a half mile could easily be fatal.

    At least 8 people have died in recent years while trying to swim or dive in the Temperance. Tragedy struck again in June of 2008. The Temperance claimed the lives of two young people who were swept away by swift currents while simply wading in a shallow part of the spring runoff. "Being a good swimmer" will NOT be enough to save you if you get in trouble on this wild river.

    If your children are "hard to control" or even slightly prone to "wandering" or "running off ahead," they are NOT ready for this hike. You simply MUST be the adult and MAINTAIN CONTROL AT ALL TIMES! This river is breathtaking but absolutely UNFORGIVING of careless mistakes. There are many steep ledges in the gorge and a rescue from a spill could be next to impossible. Although I have seen people swimming at the mouth of the Temperance, I have also noticed the swift current that carries far out into Lake Superior. The park discourages swimming here as well, despite it's seemingly "benign" looks. Drownings have also occured in this very spot in recent years. People should NOT be swimming there, no matter how well they swim. I have seen the hydraulics below the final drop hold a heavy tree trunk underwater for HOURS before releasing it.

    The River may be run (paddled) far upstream well above the falls area. NOTE: Only EXPERTS with rescue teams and proper equipment/scouting should attempt this run. The final "Cauldron Falls" section has been run in increments during spring runoff but I equate this with playing a game of "Russian Roulette." It's not a matter of "if" but "when" the odds will catch up with the "extreme idiot" set. This river is amazing but you must respect its power at all times.

    Gorgeous Falls, but Be Careful!!!

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Temperance River State Park Off The Beaten Path

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    Watch the stars!

    by leahmichele Written Jan 5, 2007

    The North Shore of Lake Superior in MN is a beautiful to watch the stars, and even the Northern Lights if you're lucky. We always stay at Temperance River State Park. There are bluffs right on the lake at this park to climb out to and watch the stars. If you prefer, go out to the rocky beach with your blanket, it is beautiful from there as well.

    Along with star gazing, waiting for the sun to come up and enjoying the lake crash against the bluffs is also right up there at the top of my list!

    Rocks at Temperance River Lake Superior shore Take a rest and enjoy the lake
    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Camping

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    It pays to hike further up the trail

    by babybird Updated Aug 27, 2005

    The "Caldron Falls" section refers to two things. Thousands of years ago a fault occurred in the rock and the river began to flow thru the cracks that developed in the soft lava rock. Over time, a miniature version of the grand canyon was formed. There are several spots in the gorge that are at least 100 feet deep, although the river itself is rarely wider than 8-10 feet in this section. Even in low water levels (during most of these August 2005 pictures), the roar is spectacular.

    The water carries small (and large) rock deposits that wear away at the soft lava and produce spectacular and unusual "Caldrons"
    throughout the entire drop.

    one of the falls further up the trail

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