superiortrails - travel guide around Lake Superior superiortrails - shovel point

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Park &
Munising, Michigan
Waterfalls, Hiking & Camping - South Shore Lake Superior Circle Tour

sunrise over Grand Island
Sunrise over Grand Island, Munising, Michigan - Upper Peninsula

In our Michigan Upper Peninsula travels, we've been able to explore both the western and eastern ends of Pictured Rocks. The western end is anchored by Munising and the eastern end by Grand Marais. The most easily visited Pictured Rocks attractions are Munising Falls, Miners Castle, Miners Falls, the Grand Sable Dunes, the Log Slide Overlook and Sable Falls. County Road H58 runs along the southern edge of the National Park but is paved only at either end near the two bookend towns. Jo isn't a fan of driving sand roads, particularly during dry weather, so our exploration of the interior of the National Park was correspondingly limited. Yet what is more easily accessible is definitely worth visiting. (Note: In 2011 expect to see H58 fully paved)

While in Munising, we like staying at the Bay Furnance National Forest campground (actually in the little town of Christmas), a very nicely laid out campground on Lake Superior, with semi-modern facilities suitable for tent camping or RVs. At Grand Marais, we stayed at the Woodland Park municipal campground, also on the lake. The Grand Marais facility is fully modern with showers, electrical hookups, and dump station.


Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore - Munising Area

Pictured Rocks is backpacker and backcountry hiking paradise. In addition to back country camping, there are 3 drive in campgrounds. While these have picnic tables and tent pads, amenities are minimal (no showers or flush toilets). Yet the beauty of the area makes these minimalist campgrounds quite popular. No reservations, first come, first served. So plan to arrive early in the morning.

For the casual visitor who wants to "see" some of the Pictured Rocks beauty without a lot of effort, visit the Miners Castle and the Miners Beach. The road to the Castle is paved and there are handicap accessable trails to various overlooks. The trail to the beach is short and there is a road that goes down there also.

miners castle
Here's the Miner's Castle and the trail to and views from Miner's Castle Overlook. Was an overcast day when we were there, but the view was still impressive.
miners castle miners castle

miners castle overlook, pictured rocks

Hiking Trails & Waterfalls

There are also a few more accessible day hiking trails at the western (Munising) portion of the park. And some of them can be reached by paved roads and allow pets on leashes.

  • The Sand Point Marsh Trail is handicap accessible and located a few miles out of town along the lakeshore east of Munising.
  • The Munising Falls Interpretative Center and the trail to Munising Falls is at the entrance to the park along H58 from Munising.
  • On the way to Miner's Castle is the trailhead for the trail to Miner's Falls, an easy 1+ mile hike to an impressive 60 foot falls.
miners falls
Miners Falls
miners falls
Miners Falls
Munising Falls
Munising Falls

The Munising Falls Interpretative Center, features "displays on the rich natural and cultural history of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Exhibits on early iron smelting, geology, forest history, rare and endangered species, logging, and recreation portray the diversity of our nation's first national lakeshore."

Because the park is stretched out along the lakeshore with minimal road accessibility, it takes several days to really get an appreciation of it. But this changed in 2011 when the complete paving of H58 was completed which joined Munising and Grand Marais. There still are some unpaved sand spur roads to some of the campgrounds and trail heads.

Pictured Rocks Camping and Campgrounds - 3 drive-in campgrounds exist within the park providing water, tables, grills and toilets. There are no showers nor electric hookups so RV campers will have to dry camp. Also know that the access is via unpaved sand roads. Just south of the park are several more campgrounds located in Lake Superior State Forest, but are also limited in terms of services like electricity and showers.

In addition there are 13 backcountry campsites sprinkled along the Lakeshore Trail and 7 group sites. These are very rustic - wilderness style camp sites: no potable water and only a few have toilets. Camping is allowed only at designated sites and pets are not allowed on backcountry trails or in backcountry campgrounds. - Reinhold Development - 2015

Mobile-Friendly Lake Superior Circle Tour Travel Planner

bay furnace campground
Lake Superior Camping
& Campground Directory

Lake Superior Circle Tour Route

upper peninsula camping and campgrounds
Upper Peninsula Campgrounds

wagner falls - munising michigan
Munising and Pictured Rocks

Whitefish Point Observation Deck and Beach
Whitefish Point

pictured rocks of Pictured Rocks National Park
See the Pictured Rocks on a Pictured Rocks Boat Cruise

Upper Tahquamenon Falls
Michigan Upper Peninsula Waterfalls

red bar
Hotel, Motel Lodging
Ironwood, Marquette,
Houghton-Hancock, Michigan Upper Peninsula


lake superior circle tour map
Lake Superior Circle Tour Road Map & Guide to Travel Attractions around Lake Superior

Identifying Lake Superior Agates and Beach Rocks.Lake Superior Agate?

Porcupine Mountains Lake of the CloudsPorcupine Mountains State Park was voted #2 Best State Park in the U.S.

Best Rock Picking and Agate Hunting Beaches in the Upper Peninsula grand marais beach and grand sable dunes

Upper Tahquamenon Falls
Tahquamenon Falls State Park and Waterfalls

rainbow falls - color tourBlack River Harbor
Scenic Byway - Fall Color

miners castle on the pictured rocks cruise
Pictured Rocks Cruises

Lake Superior Golf Course Reviews
Reviews of Michigan Upper Peninsula Golf Courses around Lake Superior