Escarpment Trail

MODERATE 45 reviews

Escarpment Trail is a 8.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Ontonagon, Michigan that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

8.1 miles
1,587 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips






wild flowers



The Escarpment Trail can be directly accessed via 3 trailheads, and makes up a portion of Porcupine Mountains State Park's very robust trail and backpacking system. Several of the other trails can be accessed via Escarpment Trail. The westernmost 2 miles of this trail follows the ridgeline to the north of Lake of the Clouds, which is easily the most scenic - and visited - place in Porcupine Mountain State Park. If you're planning to visit this portion of the park be prepared for large crowds as Lake of the Clouds offers some incredible photo opportunities. The other two trailheads are located just off of the road (M-107) approximately two and four miles east of the Lake of the Clouds parking area.

4 days ago

Amazing views!

5 days ago

Definitely pack smart for this hike. Bring snacks and lots of water. The elevation changes and rocky terrain make this hike challenging! For a great view and less exhaustion, start the trail by the old mine shaft (picnic area). It cuts the hike in about half for those, like myself, without hiking poles or tough footwear.

5 days ago

This trail is awesome. Some sections have loose rock but it’s not exceedingly challenging. Bring lots of water and if you have trekking poles, bring them. Great views. Would love to go again at sunrise/sunset.

9 days ago

awesome so many views and it was so much fun but it was not moderate

9 days ago

12 days ago

One of my favorite hiking trails in the Porkies. Beautiful views and nice up and down hills to keep it interesting. I carried my son in a hiking pack on this trail today and found it challenging but not impossible. The trail was damp after raining most of the morning, but even with a heavy pack it was passable and the virgin forest is so worth it.

16 days ago

This trail is rated as moderate? I would say closer to difficult. Well worth the hike. Unbelievable views. No need to go further than two miles in though. But definitely get to the first bluff, which is just shy of two miles. About 1586 ft elevation.

19 days ago

Amazing trail. Recommend starting on the east side of the trail and hiking west, incredible views of lake of the clouds about halfway in, and we decided to hike back from there! Probably on the more difficult side of moderate if you take this way, lots of elevation changes (but WELL worth it!)

20 days ago

Better the further you hike. Beautiful views. Beautiful forest sections between lookouts.

24 days ago

This is a great trail. Beautiful vistas as you near Lake of the Clouds. We did this in under 4 hours. We had to stop for wild blueberries throughout. Mid July. This is a stunner not to be missed.

2 months ago

Great trail! Secluded with nice views of Big Carp River/Lake of the Clouds.

2 months ago

Beautiful place to visit in the fall. Easy hike.

2 months ago

The most beautiful trail in the park. If there's one thing you do in the Porkies, it has to be the Escarpment. Especially beautiful during sunrise and sunset over the Lake of the Clouds. You won't be disappointed!

3 months ago

Fantastic views the whole trail! I would say it’s on the harder side of moderate but totally worth it!

9 months ago

This can be a very difficult hike especially when it's the trial you use to start off. Your pack is the heaviest and your body has to right away get used to tough uphill and downhill. Great hike though

11 months ago

I don't think I would call this trail moderate, there is a very difficult uphill from the trailhead on hwy 107 to the bluffs, but it is worth every step and I will be returning in a couple weeks for the fall colors peak. There are a couple campsites along the bluffs that would be amazing to stay at, but if a campground is more your speed, Union Bay has great facilities.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Fantastic hike along the rocky escarpment that separates Lake of the Clouds and Lake Superior. Fantastic views of Lake of the Clouds. Heavy crowds near western end, but crowds thin as you go east. Quite a bit of up-and-down, so on the harder side of moderate. Mostly shaded but some sunny areas along the cliffs. Overall, best day-hike in the Porkies.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

We started from the eastern end in the morning putting the sun at our backs. A long steady uphill to start with takes you to views that get better and better at every turn. Not at all crowded at that end on A Friday in late July, although there were plenty of people at the western end overlook.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Awesome views that are probably the best in Michigan.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

The Escarpment Trail offers breathtaking views through vigin forests of hemlock, sugar maples, birch, and many other kinds of trees. Being so close to Lake Superior, temps in the summer are often very mild. Be prepared for lots of up and down hiking with several beautiful bluff vistas from which to peer down on Lake of the Clouds and the Carp River. FYI - bring bug spray. My wife and I really enjoyed the trail and will do it again.

Monday, June 23, 2014

To be above lake of the clouds and have lunch on the ridge is a positive memorable experience. Took a group of Boy Scouts and enjoyed the time.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

This is a beautiful hike along the escarpment ridge beside the lake of the clouds. One of the most stunning hiking trails in the UP.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

This is a great trail with breathtaking views! You can hit the trail from 3 trailheads but unless you shuttle a car it is an out and back trail. Fast access for a day hike!

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