On our recent trip to the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota, we stayed in Grand Marais. However, we decided to take a day trip to Thunder Bay, Ontario to visit one of Canada’s amethyst mines.
We selected the Amethyst Mine Panorama. This family owned mine is open to the public.
At the Amethyst Mine Panorama, the amethysts formed in a fault which is the site of the quarry. The mine staff dig out the material, and visitors can search the material to find treasures!
Thunder Bay Amethyst Mine: What to Expect
The Amethyst Mine Panorama is 115 miles north of Grand Marais. The drive is quite scenic as it parallels Lake Superior.
We crossed the US-Canadian border at the Pigeon River. And, stopped to pick up sandwiches for a picnic lunch in Thunder Bay. Access to the mine is north of town and is approximately 4.5 miles off of Highway 11.
Amethyst Mine Panorama has a large area for parking. There is a welcome center and gift shop. And, restroom facilities (pit toilets) are available for guests.
There is an entry fee to access the mine. The fee includes a brief tour with history as well as what you need to know to find amethysts.
Fortunately, there is no need to bring tools. The Panorama Amethyst Mine provides everything you need to search for amethysts.
There are buckets and rods for moving material, but you won’t have to actually dig. Not a lot of work is required to get to the amethysts.
The area where you search is not shaded. So, I would suggest that you bring sunscreen, water, and a hat.
Several picnic tables are available if you want to bring your lunch.
Visitors may keep the amethysts – the price is based on weight. A wash station is available to clean your stones so you can decide which ones you want to take home.
We had a hard time narrowing down which ones to keep!
The Panorama Amethyst Mine takes credit cards. So, if you are coming from the U.S., there is no need to exchange money for Canadian dollars.
We spent about 3 hours at the mine including picnic time. You could definitely have a great experience in half that time. But, we had such a great time that we didn’t want to leave.
The Amethyst Mine Panorama was a SO MUCH FUN! It is easy to find some awesome stones. We all agreed it was a highlight of our North Shore adventure!
If you’re spending time along the North Shore in Minnesota, I HIGHLY recommend picking up this book: 61 Gems on Highway 61. It’s perfect for road trips between Duluth and the Canadian Border!
This post contains an affiliate link to a book we purchased.