Pictured Rocks

MODERATE 22 reviews

Pictured Rocks is a 7.4 mile out and back trail located near Munising, Michigan that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from May until October.

DISTANCE
7.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
524 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

beach

views

no dogs

hiking
9 days ago

Easy hike with awesome views of the cliffs and a *great* lake.

23 days ago

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

This segment was my favorite hike of Pictured rocks.

If you're not doing this as part of the backpacking trail, but just doing a day hike out and back, start at the North Country Trailhead instead of the Miners Beach trailhead, and you can avoid the kayak rental/tours crowd. Then, just skip the Mosquito Beach part on the other side, and turn around before the descent to the river.

The only "moderate" part of the trail is the climb from the beach to the top of the cliffs on either end. Once you get to the top, you've got 6 miles or so of essentially flat hiking.

Also, pay close attention to the little offshoot trails. Aside from those going to the backpackers campground, they all lead to a cool view or feature.

The marshy forest to the south/southeast of the trail is fairly interesting too. There were some nice fern forests, and some fairly open forests of maple and birch. Not the best examples in Pictured Rocks but still a cool, biologically-diverse area.

For those backpacking through the area, the campground, which I think was called Potato, or something like that, was ok, there were three or four campsites up there, and the usual pit toilet. Unfortunately, the camping sites are all directly next to or surrounded by marsh, which meant lots of mosquitoes. If you're in the off season it might be a great campsite, in the summer, I'd avoid staying still too long. On the plus side, if you read below, there's a nice place to rinse off nearby.

**Spoiler alert**
Coming from west to east, one of the first offshoots you reach takes you to a fairly spectacular vernal (I think) waterfall, which you can hike under. While we were there, there was a smaller (very little water) fall about 10 feet away that was light enough we could stick our heads in it. The main falls were far too powerful to risk that, but were a lot of fun to watch from behind them (and you're still up a fairly steep descent to where you would not want to lose your footing).

About (I'm guessing here) halfway, there's a nice sand beach, except at the edge of the sand there's a 80-120 (also guessing this height, I didn't have a altimeter) foot drop before the water. This area is not at all safe and no one should go out on it. We really enjoyed sun bathing for a while, laying in the sand and peering over the edge. There were no black flies up that high, so it was the only place we were really able to enjoy a beach feel. However, there was a good bit of poison ivy, so be careful before getting down to just your bikini.

11 months ago

Not physically demanding. Amazing views (like everywhere up there)!

backpacking
11 months ago

Did this trail Memorial Day 2015. Simply amazing! Not physically difficult. Definitely plan your trip. Book early so you can select the sites you want. Took a shuttle from Munising to Grand Marais. Super nice people. Started at Grand Marais with mostly wooded hike. Sable Dunes is spectacular. Stayed first night at Sable East. Awesome views. Easy access to water. Tough 12+ mile hike second day. Hike along the water is very beautiful. Interior hike was a bit blah following the water and cliff views. Second night was at Beaver Creek. More awesome views and cool sites. Bear boxes at both sites. Hike day three from Beaver Creek to Chapel Beach was amazing yet again. Had to depart early due to lightning approaching so hiked out to parking lot near Chapel parking lot. BEWARE: ZERO CELL COVERAGE! Hitched a ride to main road and shuttle picked up at corner store. Overall an incredible experience! We apparently did the ugliest part first. If that section was less desirable, can't imagine the rest!

Me: 40s, 5'11, 185lbs in moderately good physical condition. Carried 85L pack

Girlfriend: 40s, 5'3", 115lbs in moderately good condition. Carried 65L pack

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Completed Miners Castle to beach. Amazing water, very clean. Great places to cliff jump!

hiking
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Did this hike in segments, nice place

hiking
Saturday, July 09, 2016

sea kayaking
Thursday, July 07, 2016

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Sunday, May 22, 2016

hiking
Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Beautiful! Words can't describe the beauty!

camping
Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Went on a 5 day/30 mile hike/camping trip and was stunned by how nice it was. Beautiful view and a good challenge. Started at Log Slide and ended at Minor's Castle

hiking
Tuesday, August 11, 2015

beautiful picturesque hike

hiking
Thursday, February 05, 2015

We have hiked the entire Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore trail in several day hikes (40 miles + connection to trailheads). It is one of the most varied, spectacular trails you will encounter. Waterfalls, hidden coves, rock formations, inland lakes, Lake Superior shoreline. None of the trail is that difficult...some up and down but mostly along the shoreline.

hiking
Saturday, July 05, 2014

Hiked out to the rocks and saw amazing waterfalls. Incredible hike to secluded beach.