Enjoy scenic views of Lake of the Clouds and Big Carp River Valley. This hike on Michigan's upper peninsula is a great place for fall colors in late September or early October.

Upon arriving at Porcupine Mountains State Park (from Highway 107) in Ontonagon, Michigan, follow signs to the Lake of the Clouds Overlook parking lot. From this overlook you will get a taste of the many views of Lake of the Clouds that are to come. The Escarpment Trail begins here and parallels the lake above the two rocky peaks, Cloud and Cuyahoga, for the majority of the hike.

Along the trail there are several opportunities for panoramic views of the lake and the Big Carp River Valley. In between the two peaks the trail drops into the woods, and this is where you will experience slight elevation changes. The majority of the hike, however, has minimal elevation gain or loss.

Since you will be out away from the forested area for most of the hike, make sure you bring plenty of water -- especially on a hot, sunny day. Just as you are reaching the end of Cuyahoga Peak, you can catch a glimpse of Lake Superior (on a clear day). The trail then descends through the woods to a trailhead parking lot on Highway 107.

If you don’t want to hike the 4.3 miles back, make sure you have a second car parked at the trailhead parking lot by Cuyahoga Creek. You will see this parking lot on your way to the Lake of the Clouds Overlook parking lot.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Hiking boots
  • Bug spray
  • Camera if desired
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RT Distance 8.6 Miles
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Wildflowers

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Stunning views

The Escarpment trail offers great views from the high ridge. Keep your eyes peeled for Lake Superior on your way back to the lot. Consider backpacking in with a friend (max 6 total) for wilderness camping along the trail, and catch the sunset or sunrise.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

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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