Discover Sable Falls at Pictured Rocks in Michigan

Discover Sable Falls nestled in the eastern portion of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan's Alger County. This 75′ cascading waterfall is near Grand Marais and is accessible via a 0.4-mile round-trip hike along the Sable Falls Trail.

On my recent trip to this waterfall, I was reminded why I love exploring the hidden gems of my home state of Michigan so much. If you love waterfalls, check out some other waterfalls at Pictured Rocks.

Sable Falls at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the summer. Lush green trees surround the falls.

Getting There: Travel Directions

From Grand Marais, take Alger County Road H-58 and head west about a mile. Turn right onto Sable Falls Road. At the end of the road, you will find a large parking lot marked for visitors.

There are two trailheads in this parking lot; be sure to take the Sable Falls Trail, which will be near the bathroom building.

The other trail at this parking lot is the North Country Trail, which extends along the length of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. 

Picnic tables are available in the parking lot area if you'd like to have a meal or snack before heading down the trail to explore the area.

If this parking lot is full, another parking lot is available further west along Alger County Road H-58 at the Grand Sable Visitors Center. From there, you would take the North Country Trail and head north to meet with the Sable Falls Trails.

NOTE: You must have a park pass to park in these parking lots. The National Park Annual Pass will work. You must pick up a pass at the visitors center or order online.

Sable Falls at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the summer. Lush green trees surround the falls.

Sable Falls Trail

The hiking trail to Sable Falls is a well-maintained and scenic walk. As you walk alongside Sable Creek, the sounds of nature envelop you, setting the stage for the falls' grandeur.

There are 168 steps on the set of stairs leading to the bottom of the falls. The steps are well worth the effort. The falls are best viewed from the base of the falls.

The 75-foot falls cascade through a series of Munising and Jacobsville sandstone layers before joining the vast expanse of Lake Superior.

Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by total surface area (31,700 square miles). 

The Grand Sable Dunes and Lake Superior

Beyond the falls, the path leads to an enchanting convergence where Sable Creek meets Lake Superior.

A picturesque beach marks this tranquil spot. Look around once on the beach at the massive Grand Sable Banks and Dunes overhead.

A vast expanse of sandy dunes at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore stretches towards the horizon, with a solitary figure walking along the shoreline, flanked by grassy vegetation and a view of distant cliffs against the calm waters of Lake Superior.

FAQ's

Can you swim at Sable Falls?

Yes, this waterfall is one of the better ones in the area for a swim. The beach at the end of the trail is part sand and part rock.

What are some other nearby waterfalls?

There are plenty of choices! Here is a list, but to you can click here to explore seven of the most popular falls in the park.

  1. Miners Falls: Located within the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Miners Falls is a powerful and picturesque waterfall, accessible via a well-maintained 1.2-mile round trip trail.
  2. Munising Falls: Also in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Munising Falls is easily accessible, featuring a 50-foot drop in a beautifully forested setting.
  3. Bridalveil Falls: Visible mainly by boat tours, Bridalveil Falls is a stunning seasonal waterfall that cascades down the Pictured Rocks cliffs directly into Lake Superior.
  4. Tahquamenon Falls: While a bit farther away, Tahquamenon Falls State Park is home to one of the largest waterfalls in the eastern United States. The park has both the Upper and Lower Tahquamenon Falls, with the Upper Falls being particularly impressive.
  5. Chapel Falls: Another gem within the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Chapel Falls offers a serene 60-foot drop and is reachable by a moderately challenging hike.
  6. Spray Falls: Accessible primarily by boat, Spray Falls plunges about 70 feet over the Pictured Rocks cliffs directly into Lake Superior and is especially impressive from the water.
  7. Wagner Falls: A charming and easily accessible waterfall near Munising, Wagner Falls is a part of a scenic state park with a short, easy trail leading to the falls.

Final Thoughts: Sable Falls

In Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Sable Falls is more than just a waterfall; it's a journey through nature's artistry.

Whether you're completing the Lake Superior Circle Tour or exploring the eastern portion of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, these falls are a must-visit. It's a place that resonates with the spirit of exploration and discovery.

Be sure to check out the nearby Log Slide Overlook for amazing views and a little bit of logging history!

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Sable Falls at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the summer. Lush green trees surround the falls.
4 images: Sable Falls at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the summer. Lush green trees surround the falls, miles to falls wooden sign, persons hiking boot about to step in water puddle, beach near the falls
Sable Falls at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the summer. Lush green trees surround the falls with a pine tree branch in the foreground.

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