• Indianhead Point stands tall along the Pictured Rocks. Photo copyright Craig Blacklock

    Pictured Rocks

    National Lakeshore Michigan

Waterfalls

Why So Many Waterfalls?
Most of the waterfalls in this area are the result of water running over a shelf or cliffs of limey sandstone called the Munising Formation. This formation of rock extends from Tahquamenon Falls, some 75 east of the national lakeshore, to Laughing Whitefish Falls, about 30 miles west of the lakeshore. The Munising formation is also called the Northern Michigan cuesta or escarpment.

Please use caution while hiking to area waterfalls. Stay on the trails and watch for uneven footing. Where permitted, pets must be on a 6 foot leash at all times. Pets are not permitted at all waterfalls.

Waterfalls (pdf)

Jump to
Munising Falls
Miners Falls
Bridalveil Falls
Mosquito Falls
Chapel Falls
Sable Falls
Spray Falls
Nearby Waterfalls


 
Munising Falls is located in a secluded cool valley at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Munising Falls

NPS photo / Brenda St. Martin

Munising Falls
Located within the city limits of Munising where Washington Street becomes Sand Point Road, near Munising Memorial Hospital.

Walk the paved 800 foot trail up the cool shaded sandstone canyon along Munising Creek to the base of the falls. Two sets of stairs lead to platforms to view the 50 foot waterfall as it drops over a sandstone cliff. Watch for ferns, wildflowers, and an occasional mink.

The trail is fully accessible to the central falls viewing platform. Please stay on the paved trail. Munising Falls Area Day Hikes (pdf)

Pets are permitted on the trail to Munising Falls.
 
Miners Falls drops 50 feet over the sandstone outcrop.

Miners Falls

NPS photo / Ed Lasich

Miners Falls
Located about five miles north of Alger County Road H-58 off Miners Castle Road. The hike from the parking area to the waterfall is 1.2 miles round-trip.

A gravel path through the northwoods leads to two overlooks. Enjoy the Miners Falls Nature Trail and views of the Miners Basin along the way. The Miners River drops about 50 feet over a sandstone outcrop, creating this gorgeous waterfall.

There are 77 steps down to the lower viewing platform at the falls. This is an especially
beautiful trail in the springtime with abundant wildflowers. Miners Falls Trail Guide (pdf)

Pets are not permitted on the trail to Miners Falls, but are allowed in the parking lot and picnic area.
 
Bridalveil Falls slows to a trickle after the spring snowmelt.

Bridalveil Falls

NPS photo

Bridalveil Falls
Located about a half-mile northeast of Miners Beach along the Pictured Rocks cliffs.

Bridalveil Falls are only viewable by water or from a distance at Miners Castle. The falls cannot be seen from atop or from the North Country National Scenic Trail.

This is a seasonal waterfall that slows to a trickle in the summer and fall. Bridalveil Falls is often featured on postcards and publications about Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

 
Mosquito Falls drops over an eight foot rock ledge into the Mosquito River.

Mosquito Falls

NPS photo

Mosquito Falls
Located about 15 miles east of Munising off Alger County Road H-58, then about 5 miles north to the parking area at end of Chapel Road. Chapel/Mosquito area map (pdf)

Walking toward Mosquito Beach, a side trail leads .9 miles to the falls, which drops over an 8 foot high rock shelf on the Mosquito River. Watch for river otter and beaver in the stream. This is a lovely springtime trail through the forest carpeted with wildflowers.

Pets are prohibited on all trails in the Mosquito area.

 
Chapel Falls cascades 60 feet down sandstone cliffs on its way to Chapel Lake.

Chapel Falls

NPS photo

Chapel Falls
Located about 15 miles east of Munising off Alger County Road H-58, then about 5 miles north to the end of Chapel Road. Chapel/Mosquito area map (pdf)

After a brisk 1.5 mile walk past abundant stands of jewel weed, hikers can view the 60 foot high Chapel Falls as it cascades toward Chapel Lake.

The trail is on an old roadbed with several small hills. Two viewing platforms along the way provide views of the scenic Chapel Basin. The trail continues to Chapel Rock and Lake Superior.

Pets are prohibited on all trails in the Chapel area.

 
Sable Falls tumbles 75 feet down several sandstone cliffs.

Sable Falls

NPS photo

Sable Falls
Located about one mile west of Grand Marais on Alger County Road H-58.

Sable Falls tumbles 75 feet over several cliffs of Munising and Jacobsville sandstone formations on its way to Lake Superior. The first viewing platform is down a staircase with 169 steps. The hike from the parking area to this staircase steps is short.

The trail continues past the falls and down the canyon. It is about a half-mile to the beach as Sable Creek as it winds its way to Lake Superior.

Pets are not permitted on the Sable Falls trails, but are allowed in the parking lot and picnic area.
 
Spray Falls plunges over the Pictured Rocks directly into Lake Superior.

Spray Falls

NPS photo by Gregg Bruff

Spray Falls
Located about 1.75 miles northeast of Chapel Beach.

This remote waterfall is best viewed from the water though it may be seen from along the North Country Trail. Spray Falls plunges about 70 feet over the Pictured Rocks cliffs directly into Lake Superior. The 1856 shipwreck "Superior" lies at the base of the falls in 20 feet of water.

Pets are prohibited on all trails in the Spray Falls area.

 

Nearby Waterfalls
Estimates differ regarding the number of waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula, ranging from 150 to 300. Waterfalls may be on public or private land; please be respectful of the area you are visiting.

There are nearly as many websites about waterfalls as there are waterfalls. Here are a few to browse.

Laughing Whitefish Falls Scenic Site (Michigan DNR)
Tahquamenon Falls State Park (Michigan DNR)
Wagner Falls Scenic Site (Michigan DNR)

Map of Alger County Waterfalls
Michigan Nature Association - Memorial Falls
Munising Area Waterfalls
Upper Michigan Waterfalls

 

Did You Know?

Dune grass thrives on the Grand Sable Dunes near Grand Marais, Michigan, in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

On October 6, 1972, ceremonies in Munising marked the establishment of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, America's first national lakeshore. To symbolically link the park's two gateway communities of Munising and Grand Marais, water was poured from two glass containers into a third. More...