If you’re a rock enthusiast or simply intrigued by the beauty and mystery of geological formations, embarking on a rock hunting expedition along the Lake Superior Circle Tour promises an exhilarating adventure to discover nature’s treasures. From sparkling agates to mesmerizing amethysts and unique Yooperlites, the Lake Superior region is a haven for rock collectors and adventurers alike.


Lake Superior Natural Wonder - Lake Superior Agates

One of the most sought-after gemstones by rock hunters traversing Lake Superior is the illustrious Lake Superior Agate. Renowned for its striking bands of red, orange, yellow, and white, these gemstones are formed within the region’s volcanic basalt rocks. The continuous erosion and movement of rocks by ancient glaciers unearthed these treasures, scattering them along the lake’s shores. The beaches of Minnesota’s North Shore and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are particularly famed for their abundance of agates, making them prime hunting grounds for enthusiasts though they can be found all around the lake.

Fun Facts

  • The Lake Superior agate is the official state gemstone of Minnesota
  • Gemstone healing properties:  grounding gemstone, stabilizes emotions and promotes physical healing. Its soothing energy connects us to the Earth and encourages balance.
  • The largest Lake Superior agate found was over 110 pounds
  • People born in May have two birthstones, the emerald and the agate


Venture further into the heart of the Lake Superior Circle Tour, and you’ll stumble upon the enchanting world of amethysts. These vivid purple gemstones, formed within ancient volcanic rocks, adorn the shores of northwestern Ontario and Minnesota’s North Shore. The Amethyst Mines in Ontario offer visitors a unique opportunity to dig for their own amethyst specimens, allowing for an immersive and rewarding rock hunting experience. Whether you’re an avid collector or a novice enthusiast, the allure of discovering your own piece of amethyst amidst the rugged wilderness is simply irresistible.

Fun Facts

  • Amethyst is the official provincial gemstone of Ontario
  • Gemstone healing properties: a calming gem, eases stress, balances emotions, and enhances intuition. Its spiritual energy dissolves negativity and promotes inner awareness.
  • If you were born in February, your birthstone is amethyst


As you meander through the rugged landscapes of the Lake Superior region, keep an eye out for the distinctive conglomerate rocks known as Puddingstones. Characterized by their colorful composition of rounded pebbles embedded within a matrix of hardened sand or clay, these geological marvels offer a glimpse into the tumultuous geological history of the area. Found scattered along the shores and riverbeds of the Great Lakes region, Puddingstones are a testament to the relentless forces of erosion and sedimentation that have shaped the landscape over millennia.

Fun Facts:

  • It is called puddingstone because the English believed it looked like suet pudding with berries
  • Diamonds, gold, platinum, and sapphire have been found in puddingstones in rare instances
  • They are believed to have formed during the Ice Age


Grand Marais, MI – Jason Thompson

No rock hunting expedition along the Lake Superior Circle Tour would be complete without the thrill of discovering Yooperlites. These captivating fluorescent rocks, discovered by Erik Rintamaki along the shores of Lake Superior’s Upper Peninsula, emit a vibrant glow under ultraviolet light. Composed primarily of sodalite, these unique specimens appear unremarkable in natural light but come alive with an otherworldly brilliance when exposed to UV light. Imagine standing on the shoreline of Lake Superior at night, scanning the beach with a UV flashlight, and witnessing these rocks light up like celestial gems.

Fun Facts:

  • The term “Yooper” is slang for people from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, hence the name
  • They are also referred to as emberlite

Embarking on a rock hunting adventure along the Lake Superior Circle Tour promises an immersive journey through the geological wonders of the Great Lakes region. Whether you’re drawn to the mesmerizing beauty of agates, or the ethereal glow of Yooperlites, the shores of Lake Superior offer endless opportunities for exploration and discovery. So grab your rock bucket, a UV light, pack your sense of adventure, and prepare to uncover nature’s hidden treasures amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Lake Superior.