Top 7 Highlights of a Pictured Rocks Kayaking Tour
What are the Pictured Rocks?
Located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula between Munising and Grand Marais, massive sandstone cliffs, caves and unique formations along Lake Superior shoreline, sand dunes, miles of incredible hiking trails, beaches, waterfalls, inland lakes, and wild forests make up the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Minerals from Lake Superior stain the rock face with magnificent hues of white, red, blue and greens as water seeps into cracks and crevices in the sandstone.
Your First Step: Book with Pictured Rocks Kayaking
Pictured Rocks Kayaking is the only company in Munising that launches kayakers from a boat. “This is the BEST way to see the rocks. What great views! Best crew. Felt safe the entire time” is one of the many raves about the outfitter on TripAdvisor.
Tours begin aboard a vessel heading out of Munising Bay with amazing views of Grand Island, the Historic East Channel Lighthouse, and Miners Castle. The boat anchors near the Painted Coves where staff helps launch paddlers into the water for five miles (approximately 2 hours) of kayaking along the lakeshore.
To ensure the safety of all passengers, the vessel stays with the kayaking groups throughout their entire adventure. Once done with the paddle portion of the trip, kayakers board the boat and head back to the mainland.
While phenomenal views are enjoyed from the boat, the true adventure begins once paddlers are launched into Lake Superior.
Here are the top highlights of a Pictured Rocks Kayaking tour:
1. Towering Cliffs: Grand Portal
3. Paddling through A Gigantic Archway: Lover’s Leap
In case you needed another reason to paddle Pictured Rocks, near the end of the tour, you’ll reach Lover’s Leap. The popular 250-feet-tall archway is one of the most iconic and photographed formations in the Pictured Rocks park – going through it is certainly a magical memory you won’t forget.
4. Gliding over the Big Lake
The Pictured Rocks can attribute most of its unique geological features to the big lake. Not only is Lake Superior the largest of the Great Lakes, it’s also the world’s biggest freshwater lake by surface area. And it’s clean! So much in fact that people can see an average of 30 feet below its magical turquoise waters.
5. Eagles and falcons, oh my!
Bald eagles and peregrine falcons are common birds found along the lakeshore, with one Pictured Rocks Kayaking guide even claiming they saw 6 falcons on one trip!
“We lucked out with amazing weather and not only saw a bald eagle but saw baby peregrine falcons learning to fly! Pictured Rocks were gorgeous. Seeing it from the kayaks was better than any other way in my opinion,” another TripAdvisor review raves.
6. A Tree-Topped Icon: Chapel Rock
The solitary tree atop Chapel Rock has its roots clinging to the narrow base of the rock formation. Not only that, but it also reaches across to the nearby cliff. It seemingly defies gravity, yet is thriving, and has been for hundreds of years.
Of course, the rock formation itself is incredibly unique. Over time, the forces of nature have shaped Chapel Rock into its current form. This awe-inspiring power is one of the many reasons the National Lakeshore has been cherished and worshiped by the Ojibwe tribe for hundreds of years. As paddlers glide along the cliffs and caves, tour guides will share fascinating stories and beliefs passed down from Native Americans.
7. The Imposing, Turret-Like Miners Castle
Miners Castle is quite possibly the most popular formation in the Pictured Rocks park. On the Ultimate Kayak Tour, you can enjoy this beauty aboard the vessel and prepare to be launched from the boat shortly after. On the Miners Castle Tour, it’s one of the main events and you can kayak right next to it.
Pictured Rocks Kayaking Highlights: All That’s Missing Is You
Pictured Rocks Kayaking tours allow you to see the national lakeshore’s top rock formations and iconic sights — along with the opportunity to explore its unique features up close. It’s the only outfitter with a boat, which means you don’t have to paddle miles to see the good stuff. What are you waiting for? Learn more about Pictured Rocks today! Book your Pictured Rocks Kayaking tour now.