Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

4:50 p.m. on May 7, 2011 (EDT)
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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.  

Mackinac Bridge:


Nice looking trailhead:


The first of a million little falls:


Climbing higher:


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:


Drying out:


Chapel Rock:


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!


4:58 p.m. on May 7, 2011 (EDT)
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I've done that same hike several times.  I saw some snow there in some of the pictures, which surprises me since I didn't think the UP got much this winter.  Nice hike and pictures!

6:48 p.m. on May 7, 2011 (EDT)
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Love that part of the UP.

1:24 p.m. on May 8, 2011 (EDT)
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1,469 forum posts

Very cool

12:28 a.m. on May 9, 2011 (EDT)
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Looks like some nice kayaking possibilities -- very nice rocks and formations.

7:42 a.m. on May 9, 2011 (EDT)
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I've never been to that part of the country, but it looks like a place I would love to backpack!

I love the sandstone cliffs, rock formations, shoreline, and such.

Mosquito River looks like a place I would have to explore.

Thanks for posting your trip, I'm glad you got to go.

10:37 a.m. on May 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Great photos, thanks for posting.  I've been there a couple of times and your pictures bring back fond memories, makes me want to head back.

10:52 a.m. on May 10, 2011 (EDT)
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that looks like a really interesting place. Thanks for posting!

4:20 p.m. on May 10, 2011 (EDT)
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142 forum posts

Thanks all for the kind words.

Alan, do you happen to be toting a Rivendell Mountain Works Jensen pack in that photo?

11:10 p.m. on May 10, 2011 (EDT)
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As a matter of fact I am wearing a giant Jensen in that photo along with a Hine Snowbridge fanny pack in front.

11:36 p.m. on May 10, 2011 (EDT)
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69 forum posts

The Sandstone pic. is really nice. 

8:04 a.m. on May 11, 2011 (EDT)
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142 forum posts

How do you like that Jensen?  They look like such cool packs!

9:23 a.m. on May 11, 2011 (EDT)
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1,156 forum posts

I like the Jensen a great deal, but like any pack there are a few things to keep in mind.  First, the pack has to fit your body.  The suspension is not adjustable so you do need to do the measurements as on the website to make certain you order the correct size.  In my case, a medium fits me like a glove.

Second, the pack does take a bit more effort to load properly.  You can't just toss stuff in and go.  This becomes second nature after a day or two, but the first time you use it you will have to tinker a bit to get the load right.

Third, because there is no frame, you can't carry really heavy loads, perhaps a max of 40 pounds or so.  Beyond that and you'll likely want a frame.

This review, all those years ago, is what got my mind spinning on these packs.


I assume you know the Jensens are now being made again.


March 31, 2020
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