Au Sable Light Station

Au Sable Light Station as viewed from Lake Superior.
Au Sable Light Station

NPS photo / Chris Case

 

Located within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, this light stands on Au Sable Point on the south shore of Lake Superior, approximately 12 miles west of Grand Marais, Michigan.

Built in 1873-1874, the light tower's base diameter is 16 feet with a height of 87 feet. The lens focal plane is 107 feet above lake level. A fog signal building was built in 1897.

The original two-story keepers dwelling was attached to the light tower in the back. In 1909, the building was added on to the front so it would accommodate two families. One lived upstairs, one down. The head keepers residence was built in 1909.

 

Visiting the Au Sable Light Station
To visit the Au Sable Light Station, travel to the Hurricane River Campground located 12 miles west of Grand Marais on Alger County Road H-58. Park in the day use parking area near the bridge.

It is a 1-1/2 mile walk (one way) to the lighthouse. Walk the hiking trail to the east beginning at the picnic area near the Hurricane River mouth. The trail is on the historic U.S. Coast Guard road to the light station. Be alert for occasional vehicle traffic.

On the beach below the trail, exposed shipwreck remains dot the shoreline. Watch for the signs and steps to the beach along the trail.

Bicycles and pets are not permitted on this trail and at the light station.

 
Summer Light Station Tours
Au Sable Light Station tours are scheduled Wednesday through Sunday from mid-June through the end of September or through the first week of October (as staffing permits). No tours on Monday and Tuesday. Tours begin at 11 am and run through 4:30 pm (11 am - 12 pm - 1 pm - 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm).

The 30-40 minute park ranger guided tours begin at the lighthouse east porch.

Tour fee is $3 for those 6 and older. Exact amount is required (no change provided). Fees are payable at the start of the tour.

Light station visitors are reminded that the area includes very sandy soils, narrow sidewalks, and steps to access the buildings.

Au Sable Light Station Guided Tours (pdf)
 

Au Sable Light Station Podcasts - A Virtual Tour
This podcast series begins with shipwrecks along the trail from Hurricane River Campground to the Au Sable Light Station. Enjoy this virtual tour if you are not able to visit in person, or download the podcasts to enhance your on-site visit.

Multimedia

 
Park Seeks Live-In Volunteers
Each year, the park uses volunteers to live at the light station and staff the museum and contact station and help with tours. A volunteer apartment on the second floor of the head keepers quarters includes a kitchen, indoor bathroom, small living room, and one bedroom. Volunteers work for one month at a time, 40 hours per week: June, July, August, September.

The park announces for volunteers at the end of December/beginning of January for the following summer at volunteer.gov.
 
Recent Progress at Au Sable
In 2010, the park celebrated the completion of our nearly 30 year effort to restore the structures and landscape of the Au Sable Light Station to its 1909 appearance. The final projects included whitewashing the light tower, replacing the pressed metal roofs, and restoring auxiliary structures.

In 2005, behind the scenes work was completed to the Au Sable photo-voltaic power generation grid to the control panels. Power is now available in both of the main buildings, and a liquid propane gas system is operational.
 
Lighthouse Furnishings Donations Sought
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is looking for a few good antiques ... lighthouse antiques to be exact. The lakeshore is seeking donations of furniture and other period memorabilia this winter to refurnish the first floor of the assistant keeper's residence at the Au Sable Light Station. The targeted period of refurnishing is 1910 or a few years prior to that. 1910 is the year the head keeper's quarters were constructed and the former keeper's quarters was divided into duplex apartments.
 
 

Last updated: August 2, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 40
Munising, MI 49862

Phone:

(906) 387-3700

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