Devil's Cascade is a cataract in the Little Indian Sioux River on the western edge of Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). It is a steep drop through a deep gorge between Lower Pauness Lake and Loon Lake. A high rock viewing area is accessible from the portage going around the cascade.
BWCAW permits are required to access this site via a fairly popular canoe route or a remote hiking trail.
In addition to the main overlook off of the portage trail, viewing and photographing Devil's Cascade is possible from several different viewpoints for those willing to do some scrambling on rocks. Some of the viewpoints may not be accessible during high water. Campsites and fishing opportunities for smallmouth bass, northern pike and walleye can be had on nearby lakes. The Sioux Hustler Hiking Trail also accesses the area.
The most common way to access Devil's Cascade is to take the Little Indian Sioux River north from a parking area on the Echo Trail (County Road 116) east of Orr, Minnesota. A short downhill portage takes users from the parking lot to the river. Paddling north (downstream) for about four miles while making another portage midway, brings travelers to Upper Pauness Lake. Another short portage accesses Lower Pauness Lake. The portage from Lower Pauness to Loon Lake provides the access to Devil's Cascade. Total travel distance from the parking lot is five miles. Other canoe routes from Crane Lake or Moose River are also possible.
The Sioux Hustler Trail can also bring users to Devil's Cascade. It starts in a small parking lot off of the Echo Trail to the east of the Little Indian Sioux River and brings hikers to the cataract after about six miles. Travelers on the trail should note that the Sioux Hustler Hiking Trail is remote and lightly used. Trail maintenance may not occur for long stretches of time. Getting to the trail in winter may involve unplowed roads and parking areas.
Pet Friendly Notes
Pets are allowed in the Superior National Forest if they are under control at all times.
During open water seasons, Devil's Cascade is accessible via several possible canoe routes and the Sioux Hustler Hiking Trail provides access year-round. Travelers on the trail should note that the Sioux Hustler Hiking Trail is remote and lightly used. Trail maintenance may not occur for long stretches of time. Getting to the trail in winter may involve unplowed roads and parking areas. Avoid the river in winter, its current leads to unsafe ice conditions.
Camping fees are required in the summertime for the BWCAW, around $16 per person.