7 Amazing Pictured Rocks Waterfalls

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Looking to visit the Pictured Rocks waterfalls?

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, is known for its stunning waterfalls that cascade over colorful sandstone cliffs into Lake Superior or nearby rivers.

Waterfalls are located throughout the park and offer different accessibility, making it enjoyable for anyone.

The 7 Best Waterfalls at Pictured Rocks

Get ready to hike, pack your beach gear, and discover the hidden gems within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.  Alternatively, hop on a Pictured Rock Boat Tour or Kayak along the Lakeshore!

Munising Falls

Munising Falls is a beautiful waterfall accessed from the Munising Falls Visitor Center park area, located minutes from downtown Munising (just outside the city limits of Munising).

While the Visitor Center is only open during the summer, access to the falls is provided year-round.

This is the only waterfall within the park that is easy to access year-round.

To reach Munising Falls, visitors can take a short walk along the 800-foot paved trail that is wheelchair accessible and offers stunning views of Munising Creek.

This waterfall is a lovely place to visit in the summer, as the path is shaded.  Ferns and wildflowers are often spotted along the trail.

Munising Falls in the Summer. Lush green trees surrounding the waterwall has it flows to the ground.

Visitors can admire the cool, clear pool of water at the base of the falls. You can also explore different perspectives by climbing the sets of stairs leading to viewing platforms. I prefer the upper viewing platform versus the lower viewing platform.

I favor the view from the stair platform on the right – if able, check it out!

The waterfall drops about 50 feet (15 meters) over a sandstone cliff, creating a stunning display of cascading water during most of the year, and also creates unique views when partially frozen in the winter months at Pictured Rocks

Its accessibility and short distance from the parking lot make it an excellent option for families and those with mobility challenges.

Address: 1505 Sand Point Road, Munising

Munising Falls in the Water.  The outside edge is frozen into a big icicle.  The bottom of the falls is a mound of ice. Water falls between the iced layers.

Miners Falls

Miners Falls is a magnificent waterfall that can be found about 0.6 miles from the parking lot. 

Follow the well-maintained gravel and dirt path that winds through the forest to reach two waterfall-viewing platforms. The lower platform is 64 steps down from the central platform.

This waterfall is the mightiest in the park as the fast-flowing Miners River plunges about 50 feet over a sandstone outcrop, creating a breathtaking display of cascading water.

This trail is known to have many wildflowers in the springtime.

Miners Falls in the summer and it cascades down the rock face.

During summer, visitors can enjoy swimming at the bottom of the falls. While there is no dedicated picnic area at the falls, picnic tables are at the trailhead.

In the fall season, the foliage surrounding the falls is ablaze with color, making it a popular spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts.

Address: 4 miles north of Alger County Road H-58 off Miners Castle Road (H-11)

Chapel Falls

Chapel Falls is a picturesque waterfall that can be reached after a 1.2-mile hike from the parking lot. The waterfall cascades about 60 feet toward Chapel Lake, creating a dramatic view.

Expect to traverse an old roadbed with several small hills to reach Chapel Falls. There are two viewing platforms along the way to the falls. The platforms provided views of the Chapel Basin. 

Chapel Falls in the summer. Waterfalls flowing gracefully down the smooth rocks surrounded by lush trees.

Chapel Falls is one of the more remote waterfalls at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The parking lot also provides access to Mosquito Beach/Falls Trailhead.

The road to the trailhead parking area is very rough – potholes and washouts are common. There is limited parking, and it tends to fill quickly during peak season.

Address: From Munising, take Alger County Road H-58, about 15 miles, and proceed about 5 miles north on Chapel Road. The road ends at the parking area.

Note: Pets are not allowed in this area of the park.

Mosquito Falls

Mosquito Falls is one of the smaller waterfalls found at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The waterfall drops over an 8-foot-high Mosquito River rock shelf, creating a serene and picturesque scene.

The road to the trailhead parking area is very rough – potholes and washouts are common. There is limited parking, and it tends to fill quickly during peak season.

Mosquito Falls in the Summer. Small waterfall gracefully flowing into a pool of water. Falls are surrounded by greenery.

To reach Mosquito Falls, visitors can hike towards Mosquito Beach, where a side trail leads to the falls.  The 1-mile long side trail is often muddy and rough. The hike to the falls and back will be about 2.5 miles.

Tip: As the name implies, bugs are notorious in this area. Plan to have bug spray on hand.

Address: From Munising, take Alger County Road H-58, about 15 miles, and proceed about 5 miles north on Chapel Road. The road ends at the parking area.

Note: Pets are not allowed in this area.

Sable Falls

Sable Falls is a beautiful waterfall located near the eastern end of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The waterfall plunges about 75 feet over a series of sandstone steps, creating a stunning display of cascading water.

To reach Sable Falls, visitors can take a short, well-maintained trail that leads through a forested area and along the banks of Sable Creek.

Sable Falls in the summertime. A series of waterfalls flowing gracefully down smooth rocks and surrounded by green trees.

For the best view, descend the 168-step staircase. The trail from the parking area to this staircase is relatively brief, only about 0.25 miles.

Continuing down the trail, past the falls, is a sand/rock beach where Sable Creek flows into Lake Superior. The Grand Sable Dunes will be viewable once at the end of the trail.

Address: Alger County Road H-58, 1 mile west of Grand Marais

Note: An alternative route is 1.2 miles long (one way) via the Sable Falls Visitor Center Parking lot. This route follows the banks of the Sable Creek. The trail is noted as the North Country Trail.

Bridalveil Falls

Bridalveil Falls is located about 0.5 miles northeast of Miners Beach and is perched along the Pictured Rock cliffs. Unfortunately, hiking to the waterfall area will not provide a view. 

To best view Bridalveil Falls, head to the water – a boat tour or kayak adventure are great options to gaze at the falls. Guests can also glimpse the falls from afar via the lower Miners Castle overlook or the westerly end of Miners Beach.

Bridalveil Falls trickling down the sandstone rock face on it's way into Lake Superior.

The waterfall is named after the flow of water, which resembles a bride's veil. It drops about 140 feet down a sandstone cliff, creating a picturesque scene.

This seasonal waterfall relies on snow melt and rain, making it best viewed in early spring. It is often dry by the time summer arrives.

Address: Best viewed via the Lake.

Spray Falls

Spray Falls is a stunning waterfall located in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The waterfall drops about 70 feet over a sandstone cliff, creating a spectacular display of cascading water.

Spray Falls in the summer. Trees at the top of the falls and the water is flowing over a sheer rock face of tans and black as it cascades into the bright aqua water of Lake Superior.

The falls are located along the cliffs and fall into Lake Superior. There are no trails that provide views of Spray Falls. To view this waterfall, you will need to be on the water. Check out a Pictured Rock Boat Tour or Kayak along the Lakeshore!

Address: Only viewed via the Lake.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Basics

If you're planning to visit Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, there are a few things to know before you hop in the car:

Park Hours: The park is open 24 hours a day, allowing you to enjoy the beauty at any time. Multiple visitor centers are open in the summer months, but they will be closed in the winter.

Before your visit, check for any updates on the operational status of the visitor centers.

Park Pass: You will need to obtain a pass to visit Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Passes are available online or at a visitor center.

Getting Here: If you're traveling by air, the nearest airport to Pictured Rocks is about an hour away in Marquette.

Where to stay: The park does offer some backcountry camping. There are campgrounds available near the park – we love the Munising Tourist Park Campground. If hotels are more your speed – check out the Roam Inn!

FAQ's: Waterfalls at Pictured Rocks

What is the best time of year to visit Pictured Rocks waterfalls?

The best time to visit Pictured Rocks waterfalls is typically from late spring to early fall. The weather is more pleasant, and the trails are generally in good condition at this time of the year.

Plan a winter trip to the park if you enjoy exploring partially frozen waterfalls, fewer crowds, and don't want to deal with bugs.

Note that a majority of the roads are closed to vehicles in the winter season at Pictured Rocks but are open to snowmobilers.

Are the Pictured Rocks waterfalls accessible for families with young children or individuals with mobility challenges?

Some of the waterfalls, like Munising Falls, is relatively easy to access via a paved trail, making it suitable for families and those with mobility challenges.

Accessibility to some of the waterfalls will be more difficult and may be adjacent to steep drop-offs. Check with the visitor center for recommendations based on the ages and abilities of those in your travel group.

Are there any other waterfalls in the Pictured Rocks area?

Yes, there are many nearby waterfalls: Alger Falls, Wagner Falls, Tannery Falls, Au Train Falls, Horseshoe Falls and Scott Falls are all nearby!

Some of these are roadside waterfalls – Alger Falls and Scott Falls. Some are large – Wagner Falls, and others, like Scott Falls, are small waterfalls.

Final Thoughts: Waterfalls at Pictured Rocks

The waterfalls at Pictured Rocks National offer visitors a stunning display of natural beauty.

From the towering cascades of Spray Falls and Bridalveil Falls to the shorter but still magnificent Sable, Mosquito, Chapel, and Munising Falls, each waterfall offers its own unique experience.

Whether you are seeking a challenging hike or a short stroll, there is a waterfall for everyone to enjoy.

Pin this for later!

7 Gorgeous Waterfalls Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore - waterfall in the summertime flowing down layered rocks.
Pictured Rocks Waterfalls. Images of four waterfalls in the summer time with lush green trees surrounding each of the waterfalls.
Pictured Rocks waterfalls - summer view of Munising Falls plunging to pool at bottom of falls.

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