King of the Lode.

Mine View in the Sky

Field review by the editors.

Virginia, Minnesota

This romantically-titled attraction is in fact a viewing platform on a hill that overlooks a part of the abandoned Rouchleau open pit iron mine. At 450 feet deep and three miles long, the pit is a kind of mini-Grand Canyon, and signs explain that your vantage point was once enjoyed only by the privileged pit foremen.

Our Chamber of Commerce contact was especially enthusiastic about the "nicely graded road" that leads up to this attraction -- and, indeed, you don't want a terrifying series of switchbacks to spoil your mood. But we were most impressed with Mineview in the Sky's gift shop, which had an excellent assortment of bleak open pit postcards.

Also here, as a photo op, is a giant ore truck named "King of the Lode."

Update: Mine View in the Sky is still open, but it will be destroyed by 2017 to make make way for the expansion of a taconite mine. The Mine View will probably be moved nearby, but no word yet on when or where that might be.

Mine View in the Sky

Address:
5320 Hwy 53, Virginia, MN
Directions:
South of town, on the north side of US Hwy 53 just north of its intersection with Hwy 135.
Phone:
218-741-2344
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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April 21, 2014

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