Beaches

Visitor watching a sunset over Lake Superior at Hurricane River.
Sunset over Lake Superior at Hurricane River.

NPS photo

Pictured Rocks has some of the most beautiful, pristine beaches found anywhere on Lake Superior. These beaches dot the lakeshore’s coastline from Munising to Grand Marais. Each beach gives visitors a stunning view of Lake Superior just perfect for swimming, reading, photography, and other relaxing activities. Most park beaches are sandy, although a few are rocky and several are a combination of both. Beaches can also change dramatically from year to year, so when you come back to the park your favorite beach may look very different.

Many beaches are easy to access by car while others require a longer hike. Beaches close to parking lots have vault toilets available. More remote beaches do not.

The main park beaches are listed below.
 

Safety First!

Please be aware of these swimming and safety issues at Pictured Rocks beaches:

  • There are no lifeguards at park beaches, or any beaches in the surrounding area.

  • The water is typically quite cold, occasionally rising to the upper 60s by late summer. Sand Point Beach, along Munising Bay, generally has the warmest water for swimming. Water temperatures at beaches that face the open lake rarely get above the low 60s.

  • Rip currents can happen on any beach. Learn about rip currents (PDF 73.26 KB), how to recognize them, and how to save yourself if you are caught in one.

  • All park beaches can be reached by boat. Please make sure to watch for swimmers as you approach the beach.

 

Pets


Pets are allowed only on certain beaches. Check the Pets page for rules regarding pets at the national lakeshore. Where pets are allowed, they must be on a 6-foot maximum leash on the beach and in the water. Make sure to pick up after your pet!
 

BEACHES EASY TO ACCESS

 
Pink sand makes up part of the beach. Water-worn tree trunks are on the beach. Calm Munising Bay.
Sand Point Beach

NPS photo

Sand Point Beach

Sand Point Beach, just outside the town of Munising near the end of Sand Point Road, is the park’s most family-friendly sand beach. Sheltered along Munising Bay, it offers shallow water, less waves, and usually slightly warmer water than other park beaches. This is the only beach with picnic tables out on the sand, including one wheelchair-accessible picnic table. Also, a wheelchair-accessible mat extends from the parking lot all the way across the beach to the water's edge. Look for pink garnet sand in the beach area at the very end of the road. Pets allowed.
 
Miners Beach with the cliffs in the distance.
Miners Beach

NPS photo

Miners Beach

Miners Beach is a beautiful, nearly mile-long stretch of sand and some rocks with the main parking area at the west end (with access to Miners River) and a small parking area at the east end. From the west end a short wheelchair-accessible boardwalk leads through a pine forest and picnic area to a small platform overlooking the beach. You can see stunning Bridalveil Falls and the high cliffs to the east. A staircase leads down to the sand. Most commercial kayak tours leave from this beach, so it may be crowded on busy summer days. Pets allowed.
 
Twelvemile Beach and Lake Superior as viewed from the campground.
Twelvemile Beach

NPS photo

Twelvemile Beach

As the name suggests, there is a 12-mile-long stretch of pristine sand beach extending east of the cliffs, approximately in the middle of the park. One access point is the day-use area at the east end of Twelvemile Beach Campground. It’s a short walk from the parking lot, but be prepared for a long flight of stairs leading from the bluff down to the beach. Pets allowed.
 
Small stones make up much of the shoreline on the beach at Lake Superior Overlook.
Lake Superior Overlook Beach

NPS photo

Lake Superior Overlook Beach

Just past Twelvemile Beach Campground heading east on County Road H-58 is a day-use parking lot with 38 steps leading to the beach. Stop here for a quick swim and stroll along the shore. Sullivan’s Creek empties into Lake Superior just west of the parking area. The overlook includes a wheelchair-accessible platform with a view of the lake. Pets allowed.
 
A gull rests on a rock along the Lake Superior shoreline at Hurricane River Beach.
Hurricane River Beach

NPS photo

Hurricane River Beach

The beach at the mouth of the Hurricane River is an interesting mix of sand and rock that looks different every year. Park at the day-use area of the Lower Hurricane River Campground. Picnic tables are nearby. Access to the beach is down a short flight of stairs. When lake levels are low it’s possible to walk the beach 1½ miles east to the Au Sable Light Station. Shipwreck remains can be found along this beach. Pets allowed.
 
Sunset along Sable Falls Beach overlooking Lake Superior.
Sable Falls Beach

NPS photo

Sable Falls Beach

The beach at the end of the Sable Falls Trail is mainly a rocky one, with views of the Grand Sable Dunes towering above. The trail from the parking lot is only about 1/4 mile long but there are 168 steps to the bottom of the falls and a few more steps along the remaining path to the beach. Please remember that collecting beach stones is not permitted within the national lakeshore. Picnic tables and a flush restroom are available near the parking lot. Pets allowed.
 

BEACHES REQUIRING A LONGER HIKE

 
Small and medium sized boulders and rocks on the beach and in the water.
Mosquito Beach

NPS photo

Mosquito Beach

Mosquito Beach is a popular day-hike destination, about 4 miles roundtrip from the parking area at the end of Chapel Road. Beautiful sculptured sandstone terraces leading up to the higher cliffs are adjacent to this sand and rock beach. The mouth of the Mosquito River is also here. Pets are prohibited on all beaches and trails in the Mosquito area.
 
Small beach on Lake Superior. Rock cliffs rise out of the water in the distance. The water is calm.
Chapel Beach

NPS photo

Chapel Beach

Chapel Beach is also a popular day hike, about 6 miles roundtrip from the parking area at the end of Chapel Road. This picturesque sand beach contains high bluffs, the mouth of the Chapel River, and the famous Chapel Rock. Pets are prohibited on all trails and beaches in the Chapel area.
 
Lonely beach near the Beaver Basin Wilderness Area along Lake Superior.
One of the beaches within the Beaver Basin Wilderness

NPS photo

Beaver Basin Wilderness Beaches

Those looking for solitude along a wild Lake Superior shoreline should hike out to the section of Twelvemile Beach that lies within the Beaver Basin Wilderness. The quickest access is via a 1½ mile trail to Lake Superior from the day-use parking area near the end of Little Beaver Lake Road. Once at the shore, you can walk for miles in both directions. Heading west will take you to the Coves area where the cliffs start to rise. Pets are prohibited on all trails and beaches in the Beaver Basin Wilderness.
 

Help Keep These Beaches Beautiful!


There are a few rules to keep our beaches clean, safe, and unspoiled for all visitors:

  • Take only photos and leave only footprints! After you have enjoyed your time at the beach leave it just the way you found it.
  • Glass containers are prohibited on park beaches for safety reasons.
  • Littering, including leaving cigarette butts in the sand, is prohibited.
  • Beach fires are not allowed except in the metal fire ring provided at Sand Point Beach, which is available first-come, first-served.
  • Overnight camping is prohibited on all park beaches.
  • Removing sand or stones from park beaches is prohibited.
When hiking to remote beaches with no toilets available, practice Leave No Trace principles by burying human waste and packing out your toilet paper.

Last updated: September 17, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 40
Munising, MI 49862

Phone:

(906) 387-3700

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