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Seeing Waterfalls at Pictured Rocks is a truly unique experience. Upper Michigan has a large variety of waterfalls and some of the most beautiful ones are located at Pictured Rocks. Most of the waterfalls are accessible on foot although there are exceptions.
The best time to go on a waterfall hike at Pictured Rocks is usually during summer or fall when temperatures are mild and you get to enjoy the colorful fall foliage at its most beautiful. Make sure you add seeing waterfalls like Chapel Falls, Sable Falls, Bridalveil Falls, and Spray Falls to your list of things to do when you visit Pictured Rocks.
7 Must-see Waterfalls at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a natural wonderland. Its stunning cliffs and colorful sandstone formations stretch along the Lake Superior shoreline for 42 miles. One of the most popular attractions is its waterfalls, many of which sit tucked away in quiet coves and canyons. Here are 7 must-see waterfalls to explore at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
1. Munising Falls
The Munising Falls are located close to the city of Munising and can be reached fairly easily on foot. The trail leading to the waterfall is paved and only about 800 feet long. There are viewing platforms to help you see the waterfall in its true glory.
The water drops from a height of 50 feet and tends to freeze in winter creating impressive ice structures. You can sometimes spot mink in this area so keep an eye out when visiting Munising Falls.
2. Miners Falls
Miners Falls is located on the south-western end of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The walking distance from the parking lot to the falls is 0,6 miles each way which makes it a nice hike for beginners.
The Miners Falls is the most powerful waterfall at Pictured Rocks. The water drops for a height of 50 feet into the Miners Basin. You can see the falls from two different viewing platforms. Don’t forget to take your camera to see this incredible waterfall at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
3. Mosquito Falls
Not too far from Miners Falls, you’ll find the Mosquito Falls, another must-visit waterfall at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The Mosquito Falls are only about 10 feet high but still a great place to put on your hiking itinerary.
The walk to the falls is about 1,5 miles long and can easily be extended to see Mosquito Beach as well which is not too far away. During springtime, you’ll get to see a carpet of wildflowers decorating the trail and turning it into a living painting. Keep an eye out for otters and beavers which are frequently sighted along the river. You’ll pass a large Beaver Dam along the trail before reaching Mosquito Falls.
As the name might suggest Mosquito Falls can have large amounts of insects and black flies. Make sure to bring insect repellent.
4. Chapel Falls
The Chapel Falls lie close to Chapel Lake in the center of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The falls are around 60 feet in height and can be seen from one of the three lookout points. Make sure to stop along the trail at the scenic lookout points with incredible views of the Chapel Basin. You can follow the trail past Chapel Falls to Lake Superior and Chapel Rock.
5. Sable Falls
Located at the very top of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore close to Grand Marais is the Sable Falls. The walk from the parking lot to the waterfall is only around 0,5 miles long so it is easily manageable for most levels of fitness.
The falls are more than 74 feet high and surrounded by sand dunes which makes them a unique waterfall at Pictured Rocks. If you continue on the trail past the falls you’ll reach the shore of Lake Superior and Sable Beach. A long staircase takes visitors down to the bottom of the falls which is the best place to view them. Make sure to go see the Grand Sable Dunes while you are there.
6. Bridalveil Falls
The Bridalveil Falls are located on the shore of Lake Superior and plunge directly into the lake. This is the part of the lakeshore that makes Pictured Rocks so famous with its steep sandstone cliffs and multi-colored rock. The Bridalveil Falls are not too far away from Miners Beach.
It is tricky to see the falls from land, you can only spot them from a distance at the Miners Castle lookout point. If you want to see the Bridalveil Falls up close you should book a scenic boat cruise or a kayak tour to take you. You cannot see the falls from the top of the cliff.
The Bridalveil Falls are seasonal and don’t carry very much water in summer. Visit during spring or fall for the best view of the falls. Although the exact height is hard to determine, the Bridalveil Falls have been mentioned as the tallest waterfall in Michigan.
7. Spray Falls
The Spray Falls is another waterfall that is only accessible from the water and is hard to reach on foot. These falls have a hidden secret; a sunken shipwreck from 1856 submerged in 20 feet of water below the cliff. They are more than 70 feet high and probably the most remote waterfall at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. If you want to see the Spray Falls yourself book a boat or kayak tour to take you there.
Whether you’re looking for adventure or simply want to take in nature’s beauty, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore offers something for everyone! With its numerous waterfalls tucked away amongst vibrant foliage, there’s no better way to explore all that this park has to offer than by visiting these 7 must-see waterfalls on your next visit! So grab your hiking boots, pack some snacks and drinks, then head out on your own personal journey through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula paradise!