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I spent 4 days in the UP recently, April 29 - May 2. Gorgeous place. Even driving up to Pictured Rocks, you pass through the Hiawatha National Forest and the Seney National Wildlife Refuge, which looked to be a pretty big (and pretty thick) place. I left Grand Rapids and 5:45 am on Friday, made it to Munising in 6 hours flat, checked in at the Trailhead Register and grabbed my Backcountry Permit, and I was on the trail by noon.
Nice looking trailhead:
The first of a million little falls:
Feet over cliffs. Not quite at the rocks yet:
First look at Miner's Castle, which is more or less where the "rocks" part of Pictured Rocks starts:
Looking up the Miner's River:
Miner's Beach looking at the coming cliffs:
Some small cold falls spilling out into Lake Superior at Miner's Beach:
Leaving Miner's Beach, looking at Bridalveil falls. Not as grand as her western counterpart, but nice nonetheless:
The first look at the big cliffs:
At Mosquito Beach, looking ahead:
Camp night 1, Mosquito Beach:
The Mosquito River as it tumbles into the mighty Superior:
Sandstone along the lakeshore:
Sunset over Lake Superior:
Day 1 recap: 10 mile hike from Sand Point trailhead to the Lakeshore trail junction to Mosquito Beach campground.
Don't be tempted by the beautiful water; it is COLD:
Looking back at a smaller portal:
Rocks marching into the lake:
Long way down, son:
Looking back at Grand Portal Point:
Maybe the tallest cliffs? Around 200 feet:
Trees hanging on:
Taking a break:
Looking back at Spray Falls:
Chapel Rock #2:
Camp night 2 at Chapel Beach:
Day 2 recap: spent hiking from Mosquito Beach to Coves, where I turned around and headed back to Chapel Beach, 13 miles total. I could have kept going, but past Coves it is mostly beach, and the shuttle service doesn't run yet this early in the year, so I would have had to count on a hitch back to my car. I figured I might as well just see the cliffs again in reverse.
Ready to get back to it:
Rocks have color:
Nice day for a walk:
Looking back at Indian Head:
Side trip to Mosquito Falls:
Mosquito Falls again:
Spring flowers opening up for the first time of the year:
Walkin' through the woods:
Camp night 3 at Cliffs:
Day 3 recap: Chapel Beach to Mosquito Beach, took a 3.2 mile side hike to Mosquito Falls. Back along the Lakeshore Trail to Cliffs. 14 miles.
Day 4 was an early morning rise to hike 3 miles out to the car. Big Boy on the way home in Mackinac City. Terrific little trip right there. So auf wiedersehen!