Enjoy Scenic Views at Log Slide Overlook at Pictured Rocks

Ever wanted to stand somewhere you could swear the earth touches the sky?

Welcome to Log Slide Overlook, a perfect stop for driving along Michigan's Lake Superior Circle Tour! 

Nestled in the heart of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, this is where you'll find yourself on the edge—literally and figuratively. It's a place that offers lessons in gravity (what goes down might not come up as quickly) and tales from the past. 

Strap on your hiking boots and bring your sense of adventure (and a little sense of humor). Ready to see what all the uphill fuss is about?

While it isn't a place you would need to visit more than once, it is a unique place full of history.

Note: Entry fees are enforced at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Be sure to obtain a park pass to avoid getting a ticket!

View from Log Slide Overlook at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, showcasing the vast blue waters of Lake Superior and the towering sand dunes, with a birch tree in the foreground.

How to get to Log Slide Overlook

Nestled within the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, the Log Slide Overlook is more than just a point on the map; it's a journey back in time with a view.

Log Slide Overlook is about 7 miles from Grand Marais in Michigan's Alger County. The Log Slide Overlook is 175 feet above Lake Superior atop the Grand Sable Dunes.

This natural lookout, nestled on Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore's eastern side, offers unparalleled views of Lake Superior's dunes, stretching out into the horizon like a golden sea.

This secluded spot is easily accessible from Alger County Road H-58 and Log Slide Road. A short trail from the parking lot leads to the lookout, inviting travelers to embark on a brief but rewarding hike through nature's untouched beauty.

Enjoy the Lake Superior shoreline from this unique vantage point. You will have a short walk from the parking lot to the trailhead and pass by historic logging equipment as you approach the lake. 

Note: Since you are near the park's Eastern end, stop by the Grand Sable Visitors Center to collect the National Parks passport stamp. Oh, and Grand Sable Falls is a great site, also!

A distant view of the historic Aiu Sable Point lighthouse perched on a lush green peninsula extending into the calm waters of Lake Superior, as seen from the Log Slide Overlook.

The Legend and History of Log Slide Overlook

The Log Slide Overlook holds a piece of Michigan's logging history. Originally, loggers built a wooden chute on this dune to slide logs into Lake Superior, easing their transport to Grand Marais sawmills.

There's a legend that the chute would sometimes catch fire from the friction of the logs. Though the chute no longer exists, signs along the trail share stories of this logging era.

View from Log Slide Overlook at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, showcasing the vast blue waters of Lake Superior and the towering sand dunes.

What to Expect at Log Slide Overlook

The view? Imagine Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake, merging with the skyline and the rugged beauty of untouched forests on shore. It's a painter's dream and a photographer's paradise.

The Au Sable Point Light Station can be seen in the distance (head to the west end of the viewing platform for the best view).

A view of the historic Aiu Sable Point lighthouse perched on a lush green peninsula extending into the calm waters of Lake Superior, as seen from the Log Slide Overlook.

Here's where the story takes a comedic turn. Picture this: a family at the overlook, kids buzzing excitedly, racing down the dune's steep face: the descent, a thrilling dash.

The return, however, is a comedic show of groans, huffs, and puffs. It's a scene that had me chuckling during my visit!

As tempting as the “short climb” down the tall dunes might appear, it is best to sit this option out if you have heart conditions.

The North Country Trail crosses the Log Slide Overlook Trail and is a much better option if you want to stretch your legs more in this area. Take the North Country Trail to the Au Sable Lighthouse – about 2.2 miles one-way.

The iconic Au Sable Point Lighthouse stands tall against a cloudy sky, with its white tower and black lantern room, next to a red brick keeper's house with the American flag flying proudly.

Planning Your Visit to Log Slide Overlook

Early morning or late afternoon light creates a golden glow in the landscape, perfect for those postcard-worthy shots. My favorite time to visit is in the fall, as the leaves change color – breathtaking!

Essentials for the trip? Water, comfortable walking shoes, and perhaps a snack. A sense of humor is also important for the day, especially if you plan on racing down (and trudging back up) the dune.

Note: Leave your pet at home – they are not allowed on the Log Slide Trail or the nearby dunes.

A tranquil view from the Au Sable  lighthouse at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, overlooking a vast expanse of Lake Superior with a backdrop of grand sand cliffs and a lush green forest foreground.

Nearby Places to Visit at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

After enjoying the vistas at Log Slide Overlook, your adventure in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is far from over. The area is full of natural wonders that should be on your park bucket list. 

Just a stone's throw away, the Grand Sable Dunes and Waterfall offer an expansive dune landscape and 75-foot-high cascading water.

Further along the coast, the trails leading to Miners Castle and Miners Beach provide stunning views of the Pictured Rocks cliffs, showcasing nature's artistry created by water and time.

A tour boat glides past a striking rock formation along the shoreline of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, where layered sandstone cliffs are topped by green trees.

FAQs: Log Slide Overlook

How long is the Log Slide Overlook trail?

The trail to Log Slide Overlook from the parking area is relatively short, offering an easy walk for visitors of all ages and abilities.

The pathway leads you directly to the overlook in less than half a mile (around 0.4 miles), making it accessible for a quick visit or a stroll in the scenic beauty.

How tall is the log slide in Grand Marais?

The log slide at Grand Marais, situated atop the Grand Sable Dunes, stands approximately 175 feet above the shores of Lake Superior.

This impressive height offers visitors a panoramic view of the lake and surrounding forests, making it a breathtaking vantage point.

Final Thoughts: Log Slide Overlook

Visiting Log Slide Overlook at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is more than a checkmark on a travel list.

It's a place where the wind carries laughter away as you watch others rush down the dune and struggle to get back to the top (okay, maybe that was a bit mean to say, but it's true)!

It's also a neat place to imagine the log slide area getting enough friction to cause logs to burst into flames!

Pin this for later

Choose the image(s) that resonate with you to pin to your travel board on Pinterest!

Dramatic sand dunes slope steeply into the wavy turquoise waters of Lake Superior at Log Slide Overlook, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan, framed by a lush green foreground and a bright sky.
photo collage of different angles: Dramatic sand dunes slope steeply into the turquoise waters of Lake Superior at Log Slide Overlook, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan, framed by a lush green foreground and a bright sky.
Dramatic sand dunes slope steeply into the flat turquoise waters of Lake Superior at Log Slide Overlook, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan, framed by a lush green foreground and a bright sky.

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts