Michigan Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – Where to visit and stay

Most likely, you’ve heard of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

These colorful, towering sandstone cliffs at the shores Lake Superior are truly an amazing work of art…and they have to be seen to believe it.

The Pictured Rocks, located on the shores of Lake Superior east of Munising are a Michigan landmark you must see. These stunning cliffs, which rise 50-200 feet above the lake, are a top tourist destination in the U.S.

It is a beautiful area with enchanting natural beauty. There are thick forests that cascade over the rocks into the lake and clear inland streams and lakes to explore. There will be cliffs, beaches, sand dunes and plenty of wildlife.

Pictured Rocks is a national park that is very popular. This United States National Park may be the perfect place to go if you are looking for unique experiences.

Continue reading to learn more about Michigan’s Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

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Explore the National Lakeshore of Pictured Rocks

Pictured Rocks is located on the Lake Superior Coast, between Grand Marais MI and Munising MI. It is a testament to the natural beauty found in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Imagine gazing at the northern lights dance from a beach camp, or paddling in a kayak through Grand Island National Recreation Area.

These are the memories-making moments that are made every day at the Pictured Rocks.

Must-See Places in Pictured Rocks

Pictured Rocks

1.Sable Beach Area
2. Sable Falls
3. Hurricane River
4.Miner’s BEACH AREA
5. Chapel Rock
6. Chapel Beach Area
7. Spray Falls
8. Sand Point Beach

Guide to the Lake Superior Shoreline

Pictured Rocks is a popular spot in Michigan. Thousands of people travel from all over the globe to see this beautiful lakeshore backcountry, located west of Grand Marais.

This breathtakingly beautiful stretch of Lake Superior shoreline is a geological wonder and a hub for outdoor activities all year.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore offers boating, kayaking, and exploration on the many hiking trails that are available.

A trip on the Pictured Rocks boat is a must if you don’t plan to see the painted rocks from sea kayak.

Pictured Rocks’ kayaking makes for a great way to enjoy the stunning beauty of the shoreline.

Pictured Rocks in Winter

The Ice Caves along with ice along the shoreline offer tourists a great view of the United States national parks on the lakeshore.

Winter activities include cross-country skiing, ice fishing; and even ice climbing. Caves and ice formations in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan are a magnet for adventure seekers.

It might be worth considering a fall visit to Lake Superior, where the vibrant autumn foliage is visible against the bright blue water. This is a great spot to take a Michigan Fall Color Tour.

Visit Munising’s interpretive center if you are interested.

Grand Island Ice Caves: Frozen Pictured rocks

Pictured Rock National Lakeshore offers stunning views all year. There are many destinations that offer winter adventures.

In winter, you can find ice formations all along the lakeshore. The Grand Island Ice Caves is a spectacular sight.

Explorers travel to Grand Island, off the coast of Lake Superior to view the incredible curtains of snow and ice that form when the ice bridge crosses Lake Superior.

Winter’s power can be outmatched by the powerful roaring waters of Upper Peninsula.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore’s impressive waterfalls, such as Miners Falls and Spray Falls, will freeze. The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a winter wonderland that will make time seem to stand still.

Travel with caution, Lake Superior may not be always frozen. Winter can make roads slippery.

How Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore was Formed

Pictured Rocks’ shoreline is part the Munising Formation. This rock formation, which measures almost 2,000 feet thick, juts out of Lake Superior into Michigan. Mineral deposits formed the rock formations we see today off Lake Superior millions of years ago.

Brilliant streaks of color were created by the mineral copper, iron and manganese that flowed down from the cliffs.

The rugged terrain created by the glaciers was cut through northern landmasse. These were the Pictured Rocks.

The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore was established in 1966 and is the first national lakeshore to be established in the United States.

This is the most beautiful spot on the shores of Lake Superior. The serene views and tranquil landscape are unbeatable.

The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is the most well-known spot. It offers 15 miles of stunning scenery, from Grand Island to Grand Marais, and has beautiful, unmissable scenery.

Pictured Rocks is a great place to camp if you are into backcountry camping.

What to See at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Casual viewers can still enjoy Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore from the comfort of their homes. Twelvemile Beach and the surrounding trails in Munising allow them to explore the area on foot.

These highlights could be the missing piece to your experience.

These are the essential details to help you plan your trip to the Pictured Rocks.

Sable Beach Area

The gateway to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is located in the Sable Beach area. Sable Beach is located at the eastern end of the lakeshore. It is a rocky shore right on the edge Lake Superior. You will find many hidden treasures here, including the Grand Sable Dunes, and Sable Falls, which plunge 75 feet into Lake Superior from a rocky cliff.

Grand Marais can be found just a few miles from Grand Sable Lake, the Grand Sable Banks, and Dunes.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is often the focal point, but the Grand Sable Dunes are equally important.

The dunes are located just outside Grand Marais and rise 300 feet above Lake Superior. They are the highest point on the entire lakeshore.

The dunes are home to rare species and have been designated as a Research Natural Area. The pristine dunes are a great place to go if you want to experience something completely new and don’t mind heights.

You can hike the trails near Grand Sable Visitor Center or the North Country National Scenic Trail that runs through Grand Marais.

These trails will take you to a breathtaking view of the amazing sloping landscape.

Sable Falls

The Sable Falls, located nearby, are another must-see destination. The stunning waterfall is located near Sable Beach and is a breathtaking wonderland. For a better view, hike the Sable Falls Trail and then take the long staircase down to get the best view.

The Log Slide Overlook is located near Au Sable Light Station and offers stunning views of Lake Superior. It’s a still-active beacon on the lakeshore.

Hurricane River

Picture Rocks is a stunning area that you don’t want you to miss. It’s breathtaking in its natural beauty and rawness. This is the spot where the Hurricane River flows into Lake Superior. The contrast between the two bodies of water can be breathtaking at any time of year.

Miners Beach Area

Miners Beach is a beautiful, crystal-blue beach. This spot, located near the lakeshore’s western edge, is memorable for several reasons.

You can swim, kayak, or just marvel at the beauty of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore by taking a short walk through the forest.

Take a look at the Miners Castle Rock, one the most iconic formations along the lakeshore.

Its name is a miners castle because of its unique shape and mineral layers. It’s an amazing sight that is timeless and stoic, even though it’s constantly changing.

Elliott Falls

You can also trek through the forest to reach the Miners Falls. This is the largest waterfall on the lakeshore.

These waterfalls are more than 50 feet tall and cascade the Miners River’s water over stunning sandstone. The best way to see the falls is by descending the staircase to reach the lower viewing platform. Enjoy the breathtaking views and take in the beauty of your surroundings.

Elliott Falls is a historical landmark located near Miners. These waterfalls are only three feet high, but they have won the hearts of many visitors who come back year after year to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

Chapel Rock

Chapel Rock is a popular tourist destination. To see the layers of sedimentary past, hike to Chapel Loop.

This rock is a geological wonder. It was formed from layers of rock and millions years of watery erosion. The cartoon-like formation is now home to a single white pine tree, 250 years old, which makes it perfect for photos.

Chapel Beach

Chapel Rock and Beach’s dramatic scenery can be viewed from the Chapel Loop trail. It runs through Mosquito Beach and the pictured Cliffs. The entire Chapel Rock area including the grand portal point, Indian head, and Chapel Rock is accessible by the 10 mile Chapel Loop Trail. Don’t get too close to the edge.

The Mosquito River is a tributary of Lake Superior that stretches almost seven miles. It opens up to Lake Superior in this calm bay.

The tranquil and peaceful Secluded Mosquito Beach is a great spot to relax and have fun exploring.

Spray Falls

Spray Falls is another famous waterfall located right in the middle the national lakeshore. This waterfall is 70 feet tall and plunges directly into Lake Superior.

These falls are beautiful, remote, majestic and worth a visit.

Start your hike on the Beaver Basin Trail or take a look from below by kayaking or boating.

Sand Point Beach

Continue on the national lakeshore until you reach Sand Point Beach. Here you will find the headquarters of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Park. You can also find information that will help you plan your trip.

Sandstone Cliffs

The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is unique because of the Sandstone Cliffs. These Cliffs are the finest example of nature’s artistry. Every nature lover should visit Sandstone Cliffs, which tower over the waters of Lake Ontario.

These ancient paintings can be experienced by hiking, kayaking or on boat tours. Pictured Rock Cruises offers narrated kayak and boat tours.

Waterfalls around and in the vicinity of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

The beauty and wonder of the Pictured Rocks is not enough. There’s more to explore in the region. You may be familiar with the Tahquamenon Falls in Upper Peninsula, but there are more stunning falls that you should see on your trip.

Five more waterfalls are located within easy reach of the Pictured Rocks near Munising, some reaching as high as 70 feet above a rocky cliff into Lake Superior.

These are five waterfalls you must see when visiting Pictured Rocks.

  • Bridalveil Falls
  • Laughing Whitefish Falls
  • Mosquito Falls
  • Munising Falls
  • Wagner Falls

Discover More Upper Peninsula Locations

You should plan a longer visit to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Make sure you include time to see the top spots. These include the Porcupine Mountains and Keweenaw National Historical Park. More information about the Upper Peninsula can be found HERE.

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