Pictured Rocks – Munising, MI

Sep/3/2011 6 Malia Lane

From the start of planning my trip around Michigan, people began writing me and saying not to miss the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.  Just one look at some of the pictures I’d seen from other people were enough to convince me, so when I was staying near Marquette, I decided to take the Pictured Rocks Cruise so I could see them by boat.  They’ve been providing these tours for 50 years now, so I figured they knew where to go.  🙂

Here’s our boat, the Miners Castle.  I like having the option of being on top in the open or more sheltered inside.  A lot of times I start off on top but opt for inside on the way back, but I loved this entire cruise so much, I stayed above the whole way!

Once we got to this spot, I thought that the pictured rocks may have been the main attraction, but that unreal aquamarine color of the water and how clear it was was an unexpected bonus!

I admired how the colors and designs were reflected in the water here.

The boat near the cliffs gives perspective on how massive and tall this shoreline is!  I particularly enjoyed this iron stained section.

Archways crafted by nature are among my favorite architectural features, and this one was magnificent!  The point is known as “Lover’s Leap.”

The caves were pretty impressive, too!  I liked how this one had vertical and horizontal design features.

Can you believe these colors and contrasts?

Some formations are given names indicating what they resemble.  This is called Indian Head.  Can you see why?

This one is called Miners Castle, although one of the “turrets” collapsed due to natural erosion on April 13, 2006.  Here you can see viewpoints at the top that you can drive to; however, you won’t be able to see the colors of the sandstone cliffs from here since you’re on top of them.

The captain even took us inside this cove named Chapel Cove – pretty appropriately named – I was in awe!

A 30 second video: Inside Chapel Cove

Me having way too much fun…nah, no such thing!

The entire cruise takes about 2-1/2 to 3 hours and time just flew by!  As we were leaving, the wake of the boat created waves against the shoreline I thought were neat looking.

And the thing is, I took over 300 photos and even some video. And they STILL don’t really show how glorious it is in its entirety. The whole experience – the sights, the sounds of the water, the sunshine and the people oohing and aahing…really an amazing trip!

As much as I like taking my own pictures, the Pictured Rocks Cruises photo gallery has some gorgeous views that I didn’t see on my cruise.  Like the Spray Creek Waterfall – I guess it wasn’t in spraying mode when I was there.  Good enough reason to visit in another season!

This is definitely a trip worth taking at any time they’re cruising – don’t miss it if you’re in Munising.  If you’re just passing through, their parking lot is plenty big enough for RVs, also.

Link to short video from Pictured Rocks Cruises.

Kid Rock’s “Born Free” video shot in UP – features Pictured Rocks.  It always makes me smile!

I also took this company’s Alpena Shipwreck Tour while I was staying at Hoeft State Park.  See their Other Cruises page.

Note:  I’m having so much fun and seeing so much of Michigan wonders, I’m a bit behind in blogging – I took this trip on August 16.