Grand Sable Dunes temporary closure to all public entry for visitor safety
Grand Sable Dunes are rapidly eroding into Sable Creek and Lake Superior. The area from the trail to the Grand Sable Dunes north to the beach along Lake Superior to the west side of Sable Creek is temporarily closed. Follow closure signs for your safety. More »
Walking in a Winter Wonderland ...
Winter at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore brings solitude and beauty to the northwoods. This is your winter wonderland for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ice climbing, winter camping, ice fishing, and snowshoeing.
From late November through mid-April, the Upper Peninsula is blanketed with snow. You will hear all sorts of predictions. “Munising gets 200 inches of snow a winter!” “The annual snowfall in Grand Marais is 300 inches!”
Fact is, the lakeshore does not receive as much snow as it did a few decades ago. According to the National Weather Service in Marquette, the current average for Munising is somewhere between 140 and 144 inches while the average for Grand Marais is similar.
Near Melstrand in the middle of the park, their average is probably higher - possibly due to that area not being as protected by Grand Island from northwesterly driven lake effect snowfall.
Speaking of averages, the National Weather Service uses a 30 year average when they use that term. In some locations, snowfall is measured by citizen weather observers and records are incomplete for all of the years.
Residents of Munising often note significant differences between in town and up on the hills outside of town. Snowfall often depends on the track of the storm and local conditions.
So, when people ask how much snow the national lakeshore receives, we usually say “a lot” and leave it at that. But thanks for asking!
Did You Know?
The Grand Sable Dunes are a federally designated Research Natural Area. The five square miles of dunes are an unusual glacial kame terrace with overlying dunes caused by fluctuating lake levels over the centuries. The dunes are located in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, near Grand Marais, Mich. More...