Pictured Rocks: The Gem of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Pictured Rocks National LakeshorePictured Rocks National Lakeshore. PC: Instagrammer @somedayisnow_rtw

Sandstone cliffs towering 50 to 200 feet along Lake Superior’s pristine shoreline, stretches of white sandy beaches, dunes, and breathtaking formations and mineral stained rock face – the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula provides some of the most incredible sights in the world.

Pictured Rocks: A Trip for the Entire Family



Munising is the western gateway to the park, offering narrated boat and kayak tours that show you the most stunning parts of the national lakeshore.

Why is it Called Pictured Rocks?

The colors of the cliffsThe colors of the cliffs. PC: Craig Blacklock

Pictured Rocks got its namesake from the minerals that stain the rock face of the 50 to 200 feet sandstone cliffs along miles of pristine Lake Superior shoreline. Vibrant hues of red, blue, white and green color the cliffs from minerals like iron, copper, manganese, and limonite, and reflect off the turquoise water that surrounds them.

10 Breathtaking Photos of Pictured Rocks

Cruising the Cliffs

Cruising along the national lakeshoreCruising along the national lakeshore. PC: Munising Visitors Bureau

Delighting passengers along the gorgeous shoreline as the oldest tour company in Munising, Pictured Rocks Cruises operates every day from early May to mid-October. View the brilliantly colored cliffs, sea caves, waterfalls and see famous landmarks like Lovers Leap, Miners Castle, Chapel Rock, and Grand Island’s East Channel Lighthouse aboard one of their 2 to 2 1/2-hour-long tours.

Everything You Need to Know About Pictured Rocks Cruises

Tour Highlights

East Channel LighthouseEast Channel Lighthouse. PC: Instagrammer @maymiejameson

Pictured Rocks Cruises offers three tours for guests: the Classic Cruise, the Spray Falls Cruise, and the Sunset Cruise. Each tour offers intimate views of the East Channel Lighthouse on Grand Island, Miners Castle, Lovers Leap, and other park landmarks. The Spray Falls Cruise takes passengers a little farther along the lakeshore to an additional waterfall – Spray Falls. Cruises vary from 2 to 3 hours long, each traveling approximately 40 miles round-trip.

Each tour departs in front of the Cruises’ office and gift shop near the city dock in downtown Munising.

Over 10 Gorgeous Waterfalls

Spray Falls, Pictured Rocks National LakeshoreSpray Falls, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. PC: Tim Trombley

You don’t have to travel far in the U.P. to find stunning waterfalls … the area is home to hundreds of them! With its proximity to the Great Lakes and countless streams and creeks, it’s no wonder the rural area is overflowing with these gorgeous sights. Several of the falls can even be found within the Pictured Rocks.

Beautiful Sandy Beaches

Sand Point Beach, Pictured Rocks National LakeshoreSand Point Beach, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. PC: Instagrammer @maymiejameson

Surrounded by Lake Superior, there are countless pristine beaches for you, your family, and friends to enjoy in the Munising area, with more than five in the Pictured Rocks!

Find Cruise Tour Tickets

The Grandest Island

Grand Island Recreational AreaGrand Island Recreational Area. PC: Munising Visitors Bureau

Take a 5-minute ferry ride from Munising to historic Grand Island! It’s the perfect place to spend a day or even a few hours hiking, biking, fishing, and exploring. The island provides a combination of rugged dirt trails and gravel roads that will accommodate any level of adventurer.

Hundreds of Miles of Trails

Chapel RockChapel Rock PC: Instagrammer @maymiejameson

Whether you’re looking for a short walk, a day-long excursion, or a backpacking experience, Pictured Rocks has some of the best trails in the world. Nearby Hiawatha National Forest also has a slew of hiking and biking options for adventure seekers.

How to Experience the Beauty of
Pictured Rocks by Trail

Kayaking Through Sea Caves

Paddling through cavesPaddling through caves. PC: Pictured Rocks Kayaking

Why You Need to Take a Kayak Tour of Pictured Rocks



Glide through sea caves! With Pictured Rocks Kayaking, paddlers take in the beauty of the park during a relaxing boat ride before being launched into the water to kayak near gigantic archways, formations and through sea caves. The boat anchors near the Painted Coves where staff helps launch paddlers into the water for five miles (approximately 2 hours) of kayaking.

What People are Saying about
Pictured Rocks Kayaking

How Do I Get There?

MunisingMunising. PC: Munising Visitors Bureau

Nothing says adventure like hitting the open road. Or fly into Sawyer International Airport, which is conveniently located in the central U.P. and a 45-minute drive to Munising, where your Pictured Rocks adventure awaits!

Planning Your Pictured Rocks Adventure