The name of this beach speaks for itself. Flowing out of the surrounding hills, Crystal Beach is full of multicolored stones and the beach is truly majestic. White northern trees surround the area and the sea caves seem to hide hidden treasure or secrets.
This may be the reason why the founders of 3M chose this location to mine for minerals. The company spent a year mining what they thought was corundum—a stone they thought they could use to fashion their own type of sandpaper. Finally, in the winter of 1903-04, they shipped a ton of the ore to Duluth, only to discover they had made a mistake and the ore was useless. 3M quickly packed up and moved on (still to this day you can find discrete remnants of the old foundation near the beach).
A steep, narrow hike down to the lake reveals a beautiful, hidden cove. Crystal Beach is secluded enough that most of the time you will be the only traveler on the beach. There are sea caves in the cliff face and on the beach where you will find a mix of different colored stones.
Drive north (east) on Highway 61 from Silver Bay. A quarter-mile past Highway 1 and five miles north of Silver Bay, cross the “overpass” for Crystal Creek (marked by a green sign) and park on the right side (Lake Superior side) of the road just past the bridge. A very steep, narrow and winding trail that begins next to the bridge/overpass leads down to the beach.