When the Soudan Mine opened in 1882 it was Minnesota's first iron ore mine. Operations went underground by 1892 since the ore body continued deep into the ground. The mine's value was in the special kind of ore it produced. The ore's high oxygen content was used to make high-quality steel in open-hearth furnaces. When technology changed, the ore from the mine was no longer needed. Low-cost ores of the Mesabi Range took over, and Soudan Mine closed in 1962.
The mine shaft is undergoing repairs in 2022. The underground mine tours normally held at the park will not be offered this season. Instead, consider joining us for an interpreter-led tour of the above-ground facilities.
- Guided Soudan Mine surface tour
Join our interpreters as they guide you through the various Soudan Mine surface facilities. Learn about the surface jobs that made mining possible, see what happens to the ore once it reaches the surface, and explore the different equipment that was used.
- Tours last one hour and fifteen minutes.
- $5 per person ages five and up.
- Tours run daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
- Maximum of ten people per tour.
- Tours run rain or shine. Dress appropriately, and bring water to stay hydrated in the sun.
Reserve online or by calling 866-857-2757.
- Self-guided surface audio tour
Free downloads available anytime! Explore the above-ground buildings and features with this audio tour, or follow along with the written transcripts.
- Introduction: Listen (0:59) or read
- Dry House: Listen (2:24) or read
- Tower Mine Pit: Listen (2:56) or read
- Man Cage and Ore Skip: Listen (1:02) or read
- Headframe and No. 8: Listen (2:50) or read
- Rescue Room: Listen (1:01) or read
- Security Shack: Listen (0:39) or read
- Underground Implements: Listen (2:13) or read
- Drill Shop: Listen (2:13) or read
- Crusher House: Listen (2:41) or read
- Trestle and Stock Pile: Listen (2:26) or read
- Engine House: Listen (5:01) or read
Click for RSS feed of the whole series or paste this URL into your podcast software: https://files.dnr.state.mn.us/destinations/state_parks/audio_tours/soudan.xml
- How to get to the mine
Soudan Underground Mine is located in northeastern Minnesota (St. Louis County) just off State Highway 169/1 in Soudan. Follow the signs when you get to Soudan.
Summer mine entrance: 1302 McKinley Park Road
Winter mine entrance: 1379 Stuntz Bay Road
- Contact the mine
Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park
P.O. Box 335
1379 Stuntz Bay Road
Soudan, MN 55782
- About the bats
Soudan Mine is home to one of Minnesota's largest bat hibernacula. It is estimated that between 10,000 and 15,000 bats use the mine for their winter home. The bats can be found throughout the mine in the winter. In late June and July they leave the mine to roost in the woods, where—like most bats in Minnesota—the females will have one pup. The bats return to the mine in late July and early August, when you can often see them at dusk as they leave the mine in search of food.
White-nose syndrome (WNS)—a disease caused by a fungus dangerous to bats—has been confirmed at the park. WNS is harmful and mostly fatal to hibernating bats, and has decimated bat populations in the eastern portions of the United States and Canada. It is transmitted primarily from bat to bat and is not known to pose a threat to humans, pets, livestock or other wildlife.
Learn more about white-nose syndrome and what you can do to help slow its spread.