5 Days in the Upper Peninsula

malibubts

Adventurer
A couple of weeks ago I posted here seeking some advice on a trip I had planned to the UP. I ended up with some good suggestions and requests for a quick trip report.

Going into the trip, the below was the rough plan:

Day 1
  • Drive to UP and cross Mackinac Bridge
  • Head N through the Hiawatha National Forest
  • Check out the beaches and do a bit of hiking at Naomikong Point
  • Camp at Tahquamenon Rivermouth Campground
Day 2
  • Tahquamenon Falls (Upper/Lower)
  • Hiking around Tahquamenon Falls
  • Crisp Point Lighthouse
  • Camp at the Mouth of the Two Hearted River Campground
Day 3
  • Drive to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
  • Miners Castle and Beach
  • Munising Falls
  • Pictured Rocks Boat Cruise
  • Stay at cabin on Au Train
Day 4
  • Drive to Kitch-iti-Kipi
  • Check out the area
  • Camp at Camp 7 Lake and do a little hiking
Day 5
  • Check out anything interesting on the way home
And here is a quick screenshot of the route on Gaia GPS:


UP_Route
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr
 

malibubts

Adventurer
Day 1 of the trip was relatively boring, setting out from Cleveland I was looking at about 7 hours of pavement pounding to get to the Mackinac Bridge and cross into the UP. The weather on the way up wasn't the best and there was a wind advisory for the bridge, I'm happy we were able to get across though.

I stuck somewhat close to the planned routes on taking mostly forest roads north, but dipped onto pavement a bit to try and make some time up on the way to camp. The plan was to camp at the River mouth Campground close to Paradise, but as I mentioned the weather wasn't looking to hot. As we were driving up I was holding out for things to turn around, but the weather reports only ended up getting worse. By the time we hit the beach along Lake Superior the forecast was calling for 2" of rain and wind gusts up to 60 MPH. We ended up calling an audible and booked a motel for the night; sitting in the back of the truck from 7:00PM onwards didn't seem like the most pleasant of evenings.

We decided to try and get a little hiking in along the beach and Naomikong Point before the rain though.

Crossing a little suspension bridge over the Naomikong Creek:

DSC04356
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr

Doggo on the beach:

DSC04264
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr

As we got back to the car the rain set in and made the motel decision seem like the right call. We actually ended up losing power to the motel around 2:00AM that night due to a tree coming down and taking a power line with it. I was fairly bummed we didn't end up camping since that looked like a cool site, but I think we made the right choice.
 

malibubts

Adventurer
We started off Day 2 with going to the Upper and Lower falls along the Tahquamenon River.

Lower Falls:

DSC04660
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr


DSC04685
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr

Upper Falls:

DSC04884
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr


DSC04915
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr

There is a trail that connects both sets of falls which would have been cool to hike, but due to the time it would have taken we had to skip. We did walk around a mile of it though starting at the Lower Falls, before turning around.


DSC04800
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr

After hitting the falls we had thought about heading over to the Whitefish Point Lighthouse, but decided on going to the Crisp Point Lighthouse instead. Since we planned on camping at the Two Hearted River it was more along the way. With all the rain and wind the roads weren't in the best shape and we found ourselves navigating around a decent amount of dead fall and running through some standing water. But in the end we made it to the light house no problem.


DSC05052
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr


DSC05159
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr


DSC05065
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr


DSC05069
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr

Driving to the Two Hearted River to camp was incredible to see the destruction from the forest fire. I didn't stop to take any specific photos as we were a bit short on time, but the damage can still be seen from the camp grounds.

Bridge to the beach over the Two Hearted River:

DSC05180
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr

Two Hearted River:

DSC05189
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr

Camp:

DSC05172
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr

I couldn't resist bringing along a little Bell's:

DSC05281
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr

While still fairly windy and cold all day, there was no forecast of rain until the next morning. So we built a fire and hung around camp the rest of the night.
 

wanderer-rrorc

Explorer
I'm not sure the route from deer camp (east of grand marais) goes thru..we did a route just south of white fish towards deer camp and it had parts barely a road and some parta were not even there even thou the roads showed on Garmin.

The best camp spot we had was on the road between grand marais and deer camp..

The boat ride for pictured rocks is AMAZING!!!!


Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk
 

the deputy

Member
Just mirrored your travels last week. Granted, we didn't start from Cleveland. We did the falls, Paradise, White Fish bay light house, traveled the northern route along Superior (like you) to Muskallonge state park (camped, the only day it never rained) and continued west towards the Porcupine mountains and Copper Harbor. But, after staying in Marquette area for the night...and watching the weather (calling for three solid days of rain and camping was on our venue)...we turned the wheels south and crossed the bridge on Tuesday. Spent a couple days wondering around Mackinac City, then rolled on home. Despite the rain, we still had a great time and will venture towards the destinations again someday soon.

Maybe l'll throw up some pictures of our trip in a topic.

Brian.
 

malibubts

Adventurer
As forecasted we woke up to some rain on Day 3. Luckily we did catch a break for a bit to break down camp and start heading West to Munising. Though it was raining we at least had pretty decent timing since we had a bit of time to spend in the car. The rain definitely did not help the mud situation however as about 1/2 of the roads we planned on taking were sand/dirt.

Pulling into the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore:

DSC05348
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr

One gripe that I have with the National Parks is they are very restrictive on pets. I'm almost always camping with my dog and it makes a lot of areas inaccessible. The Pictured Rocks area was no different. As we drove along we did stop by Miners Castle and Munising Falls since those areas were pet friendly.


DSC05401
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr


DSC05584
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr

Early on in the planning I didn't find too much in the ways of campgrounds with nicer bathroom/shower facilities. While I have no problem with dispersed camping, the girlfriend does like to have some facilities. As a bit of a compromise we planned on staying in a cabin on Lake Au Train from the start. Since we ended up staying at a motel for Night 1 we ended up staying indoors more than I'd like, but such is life.

Our Cabin:

DSC05697
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr

Lake Au Train:

DSC06033
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr


DSC05693
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr

The cabin also did make it convenient with the dog, we were able to pull the crate out of the car and leave her at the cabin so we could take a tour of the area with Pictured Rocks Cruises. They do apparantly have a kennel area, but we were early enough to the cabin and I felt better about dropping her off for a few hours in her own crate.

So we took the sunset cruise out of Munising and got a real cool overview of the Pictured Rocks area. If you go through the UP it's definitely worth your time.


DSC05709
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr


DSC05729
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr


DSC05822
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr


DSC05831
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr


DSC05850
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr


DSC05864
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr


DSC05886
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr


DSC06003
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr

Again the weather wasn't the most cooperative with it being overcast most of the cruise and then transitioning to rain towards the end, but it was still a good time. We grabbed dinner at a local restaurant and settled into the cabin for the night.
 

malibubts

Adventurer
Day 4 had us heading to Kitch-iti-Kipi and then camping around Indian Lake or making a little progress towards home and camping closer to the Mackinac Bridge.

From Munising to Indian Lake we took mostly forest service roads and stopped for a bit of hiking to Ned's Lake in the Big Island Lake Wilderness Area.


DSC06108-Pano
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr


DSC06221
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr

After a little more forest road driving we got to Kitch-iti-Kipi.


DSC06310
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr


DSC06293
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr


DSC06266
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr

It was definitely a cool stop and I'm glad we visited, but it didn't quite live up to the hype I'd seen. I think a good part of that had to do with the cold and the weather causing the spring to not have a not of action.

The rain was definitely doing a number of the roads and the truck:

DSC06318
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr

We sat at Kitch-iti-Kipi for a bit to decide where we wanted to camp. One thought was to backtrack a bit and camp at Camp 7 Lake and the other was to kill an hour off the drive in the morning and head East. We decided to go with the latter and set off for camp at Brevoort Lake. The trip was almost all pavement on Rt 2, but there were a number of good views to have as a portion of the road borders Lake Michigan.

We got to camp and setup then explored a bit around the area.


DSC06440
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr


DSC06524
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr

We got pretty lucky and found a site that backed right up to the lake and ended up with pretty good views of the sunset.


DSC06470
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr
 

malibubts

Adventurer
We also took advantage of the view on the last morning of the trip.


DSC06501
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr

From Brevoort Lake we set our sights on home and headed across the Mackinac Bridge to mainland Michigian. We took a quick stop off to get a view of the bridge.


DSC06534
by ebeiersdorfer, on Flickr

About 7 hours of highway and then we were home.

Overall the trip was really great and we had a lot of fun. The only real downside of the trip was the weather since it was cold and in and out of rain most of the trip. I wish we would have had a little more sun and all, but it was still a good time.
 
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malibubts

Adventurer
I'm not sure the route from deer camp (east of grand marais) goes thru..we did a route just south of white fish towards deer camp and it had parts barely a road and some parta were not even there even thou the roads showed on Garmin.

The best camp spot we had was on the road between grand marais and deer camp..

The boat ride for pictured rocks is AMAZING!!!!


Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk
Yeah I use Gaia for GPS and ran into a bit of the same thing. The rain and deadfall also didn't help on some of those roads up around Whitefish and we ended up with a bit of backtracking off the original route.

100% percent agreed on the Picture Rocks Cruise; that and the remoteness of the Crisp Point Lighthouse/Two Hearted were my favorite parts of the trip.

I'm jealous of your camp spot there along H-58! We took that route from Two Hearted to Muninsing and saw a few spots that would have made an awesome camp, but we were passing through in the morning.
 
Last edited:

malibubts

Adventurer
Just mirrored your travels last week. Granted, we didn't start from Cleveland. We did the falls, Paradise, White Fish bay light house, traveled the northern route along Superior (like you) to Muskallonge state park (camped, the only day it never rained) and continued west towards the Porcupine mountains and Copper Harbor. But, after staying in Marquette area for the night...and watching the weather (calling for three solid days of rain and camping was on our venue)...we turned the wheels south and crossed the bridge on Tuesday. Spent a couple days wondering around Mackinac City, then rolled on home. Despite the rain, we still had a great time and will venture towards the destinations again someday soon.

Maybe l'll throw up some pictures of our trip in a topic.

Brian.
Yeah our trip was Wednesday the 3rd through Sunday the 7th and we had a lot of the same struggles with the weather. It was a bit of a bummer, but it didn't ruin the trip.

But sounds like you had a great trip as well, definitely put up some photos. I had wanted to get more West but with the time we had it just wasn't doable, maybe next time around.
 

the deputy

Member
Yeah, we were up there on the 5th thru the 9th...and then a day and a half in Mac City.

Thank you, for all of the great pictures of Pictured Rocks. We were driving in the pouring rain and l had somewhat forgotten about them after leaving Grand Marais. We get rounding the bay to the northwest in Munising and my wife says..."hey, when do we get to the Pictured Rocks?" I'm like...oops..."well, if you look over your right shoulder, right now, you can just make them out, oops you missed them...lol". Yes, being a tour guide was never my calling...

Great recap on your trip!

Brian.
 

Black-Jacket

New member
I really should plan a trip to the Keweenaw Peninsula considering it's only a few hour away from me.

Cool old abandoned dredge and mill outside out Houghton I want to check out.
 

MCX

TalesFromTheDesert.com
Great pictures...thanks for sharing! Really beautiful part of the country (I'd love to see it sometime), I love seeing some of the bright orange, yellow & red tree colors in some of your pictures. Do they ever close the Mac Bridge, due to high winds?
 

GHI

Adventurer
Great pictures...thanks for sharing! Really beautiful part of the country (I'd love to see it sometime), I love seeing some of the bright orange, yellow & red tree colors in some of your pictures. Do they ever close the Mac Bridge, due to high winds?
Yes it closes on occasion for high winds. It is also known to close when the weather warms up too quick and big chunks and sheets of ice start falling off the towers and cables.
 
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