Soudan Underground Mine Tours

People in hard hats return to the surface after taking an underground tour

 

Underground adventures are returning!
Tours resume in spring 2024.

   

Travel 2,341 feet down the shaft to the 27th level of the Soudan Underground Mine to experience one of the most unique tours in not just Minnesota, but in the whole nation. (Some might even say the whole world!) You will journey into the mine on authentic, expertly-maintained hoisting equipment, followed by an underground train ride nearly a mile to the Montana stope, the last working area of the mine.

The mine operated for 80 years from 1882-1962 and was gifted to the state of Minnesota to become a new state park in 1965. Tours have been offered safely ever since!

NOTE: Due to space limitations, tickets are required for everyone, including children.

Schedule and reservations

Tour schedule

Mine tours run daily from Memorial Day weekend through the end of September, and Fridays and Saturdays through the third weekend in October.

In the off-season, only educational and group tours are available. These tours must be prearranged with the park.

Reservations

These are popular tours - tickets often sell out! Advance reservations are highly recommended, but not required. Reservations may be made in advance, up until 30 minutes before the tour. Please check in at least 15 minutes before your scheduled tour time. 

Reserve online or by calling 866-857-2757.

To reserve an adult group or school tour, contact the park office at 218-300-7000 or email [email protected].

General tour information

  • Please check in at least 15 minutes before your scheduled tour time. 
  • The temperature of the mine is a cool, constant 51° F. Wear a warm jacket and sturdy boots or shoes.
  • There are no restrooms underground.
  • The three-minute cage ride down into the mine is in a dimly lit, closed, confined space. You will be kept with your family or group and always accompanied by staff. 
  • No purses, bags, backpacks or strollers are allowed underground.
  • Other than the Walking Drift Tour, all mine tours are fully accessible. A powered wheelchair is available on a first-come/first-served basis. 
  • Yes, you may take photographs underground!
  • The mine's surface buildings and over seven miles of hiking trails are also available to explore. 
  • Per state park rules, rock and artifact collecting is not allowed. All artifacts must be left in the mine.

Underground mine tour (90 minutes)

Experience the life of the miner as you travel 2,341 feet - nearly one half mile - underground. You'll travel by cage on authentic, expertly maintained hoisting equipment. Once underground, you'll board a train and ride nearly a mile to the last and deepest area that was mined. Hear true stories of the miners, innovations and safety improvements, and learn firsthand about the working conditions that made this underground iron mine known as the "Cadillac of Mines."

Educational and group tours

Educational and group tours of the underground mine are available year-round by reservation only. Off-season tour group rates and increased minimums may apply.

Contact the park office for more information or to make a group reservation.

  • Educational tours are for schools K-12. $5/person or a $50 minimum, whichever is greater.
  • Organized adult group tours are for scouts, colleges or any other organized group. $13/person or $130 minimum, whichever is greater.
  • 15 day advanced reservation required for all education and school group tours. 

How to get to the mine tour entrance

location mapSoudan 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

Lake Vermilion/Vermilion Ridge Campground: Highway 169 approximately one mile east of Soudan toward Ely. It is a 15-minute drive from here to the mine site.

About the bats

White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a disease that kills hibernating bats and has destroyed bat populations in eastern North America. WNS is now present in the mine and in the park. Bats are the only animals susceptible to the disease - WNS does not pose a threat to humans or other wildlife, but people may inadvertently spread the fungus to new areas on their clothing or shoes. The fungus can remain in a cave long after all the bats have died.

Soudan Mine is still home to one of Minnesota's largest bat hibernacula. Prior to WNS, between 10,000 and 15,000 bats over-wintered in the mine each year, emerging in the summer to roost in the woods. The mine's bat population has plummeted since then, and we are unsure of its current numbers. In warmer months, look for bats at dusk at the Alaska shaft, as they leave the mine in search of food.

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.

Audio tour map and guide

  1. Introduction: Listen (0:59) or read
  2. Dry House: Listen (2:24) or read
  3. Tower Mine Pit: Listen (2:56) or read
  4. Man Cage and Ore Skip: Listen (1:02) or read
  5. Headframe and No. 8: Listen (2:50) or read
  6. Rescue Room: Listen (1:01) or read
  7. Security Shack: Listen (0:39) or read
  8. Underground Implements: Listen (2:13) or read
  9. Drill Shop: Listen (2:13) or read
  10. Crusher House: Listen (2:41) or read
  11. Trestle and Stock Pile: Listen (2:26) or read
  12. Engine House: Listen (5:01) or read

Get the 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

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