Family Vacations: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

By: the Editors of Mobil Travel Guide

Sandstone cliffs give way to secluded beaches around Pictured Rocks.
Sandstone cliffs give way to secluded beaches around Pictured Rocks.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore spans 42 miles of Lake Superior shoreline, covering more than 73,000 acres of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It is a preserve of spectacular scenery and cascading sand dunes. The most photographed location is the five miles of "perched" dunes and sparse jack pine forests of the Grand Sable Dunes.

Of the signature sculpted sandstone cliffs, such as Indian Head, Miners Castle, Grand Portal, and Lovers Leap, all but Miners Castle can be viewed only by water. Cruises are a spectacular way to take in these views. Despite the remote location, almost 400,000 visitors each year seek out Pictured Rocks for hunting, fishing, hiking, and boating in summer and spring. In fall and winter, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and cross-country skiing are popular.

You can hike to astonishing waterfalls, including Spray Falls, Alger Falls, Wagner Falls, Chapel Falls, and Laughing Whitefish Falls, with its dramatic 100-foot drop. The 1874 Au Sable Light Station, thought to be the Great Lakes' finest masonry lighthouse, also draws crowds.


Pictured Rock National Lakeshore Information

Address: Sand Point Rd., Munising, MI

Phone: 906/387-2607

Hours of Operation: Dawn - Dusk

Admission: Free


To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Michigan State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Michigan, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.