• Activities:

    Photography, Swimming, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    10.4 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    230 Feet

Beach
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Cliff Jumping

Take in stunning views of Chapel Rock, Chapel Falls, and Chapel Beach on this 10 mile loop.

The trail loop from Mosquito Beach to Chapel Rock takes hikers through woods, to the edge of cliffs, and to the bottom of beaches along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The trail head begins inland and contains a 10.4 mile loop to numerous locations and viewing areas.

The cliffs tower to heights hundreds of feet high over Lake Superior. Hikers are able to test their fears by standing or sitting on the edge with no railings or barriers. Sea caves can be found near Mosquito Beach and there are cliff jumping areas from heights of 40-50ft.

Before leaving town for the day, grab water. There are no water spouts along the trail or at the trail head parking. Backwoods camping is permitted if a permit is obtained from the visitor’s center. The area is populated with coyotes, wolves and bears. All back camping sites have food hanging poles and metal canister storing containers for all other scented supplies.

Most visitors to the Pictured Rocks take a boat tour. This leaves the trail mostly unpopulated and uncrowded. There are many times when no one is around beside your group and the beauty that surrounds you.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Hiking shoes
  • Camera
  • Bathing suit
  • Bug spray
  • Trail map
  • Snacks
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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My husband and I decided to do this hike spur of the moment and we are SO glad we did! Neither of us had been to this part of the Pictured Rocks before or knew what to expect or what we would even be seeing. Like the article says, it takes you through the forest, past waterfalls and rivers, to the edge of cliffs and down to the beaches of Lake Superior. It really is a great way to experience all that the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore has to offer. Make sure to bring your cameras because the views are incredible and absolutely breathtaking. Since we have hiked this trail, it has inspired us to hike more of the Pictured Rocks and are planning a trip to do the whole trail from Grand Marais to Munising this upcoming summer!

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

I'd never been to the Upper Peninsula or seen Lake Superior until I visited Pictured Rocks, and this was the main attraction that I came for. It did not disappoint! For it being late May, the temperature was actually not bad, with high's in the low 70's and a distinct lack of mosquitos and black flies, for which I was thankful. I definitely recommend taking your time along the cliffs, the view out over Lake Superior are stunning, and several photos I took made me feel as if I was looking out over an ocean that had no end.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

This is one of the best hikes in Michigan. Maybe the best, for sure top 3. People who don't know the area can't believe it's in Michigan. I like to do the hike counter clockwise with mosquito falls as the last sight. If you are a photographer leave plenty of time for photos, like 8 hrs or so. Or better yet stay at one of the backcountry campsites at either Chapel Beach or Mosquito Beach. That gives you lots of time for photos. October is the best time to visit IMO.

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

This is a great day hike and allows you to see a little bit of everything Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore has to offer.

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Shalee Blackmer Explorer

I have my heart in Michigan and my mind around the world. Adventurer, travel blogger and outdoor enthusiast. You'll probably find me in the woods.

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