Why Iowans Love the Pictured Rocks
Unlike any other place on Lake Superior, the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is where you’ll find breathtaking sandstone cliffs and formations, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, stunning waterfalls, and beautiful sandy beaches and dunes.
Your Pictured Rocks adventure starts in Munising. The little city along the lake is the western gateway to the park, offering narrated boat and kayak tours that show you the most stunning parts of the national lakeshore.
Within driving distance from Des Moines, here’s why Iowans love the Pictured Rocks:
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Paddle Through Caves and Coves
Hop aboard a kayak-launching boat and paddle where the most notable scenery in the park begins. With Pictured Rocks Kayaking, paddlers take in the beauty of the park during a relaxing boat ride before being launched into the water to kayak near gigantic archways, formations and through sea caves. The boat anchors near the Painted Coves where staff helps launch paddlers into the water for five miles (approximately 2 hours) of kayaking.
Since the boat stays close by, paddlers are always within distance of a bathroom and safety if the lake ever gets too rough once they’re launched into the water. Once done with the paddling portion of the trip, kayakers board the boat and head back to the mainland.
New this year: The kayaking outfitter is offering more than one type of tour during the 2022 season. See what people are saying about Pictured Rocks Kayaking and why you should book your adventure today.
There are over 15 luscious waterfalls found in the Munising area, with several in the Pictured Rocks! Looking for something to do while you wait to board a cruise, kayak the Pictured Rocks, or bike around Grand Island? Break up your adventure by chasing magnificent falls that are all within minutes of downtown Munising.
While there’s nothing like a Lake Superior sunset, watching the rays reflect off magical cliffs and caves in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is truly an unforgettable experience.
Although best viewed by water, exploring the Pictured Rocks by foot offers some of the most tranquil experiences and intimate views one can only bask in by land. So, put on a pair of comfortable shoes, grab a snack, water, map, and check out some of the most amazing trails Michigan has to offer.
Delighting passengers along the gorgeous shoreline as the oldest tour company in Munising, Pictured Rocks Cruises operates every day from early May to mid-October. View the brilliantly colored cliffs, sea caves, waterfalls and see famous landmarks like Lovers Leap, Miners Castle, Chapel Rock, and Grand Island’s East Channel Lighthouse aboard one of their 2 to 2 1/2-hour-long tours.
While the area is stunning year-round, fall in the Pictured Rocks is magnificent. Vibrant scarlets, vivid oranges, and deep burgundies line the cliff tops and reflect off the crystal blue waters of Lake Superior – further illuminating the hues in the sandstone rock face.
While no vacation to the Upper Peninsula is complete without visiting the Pictured Rocks, the rural area offers unique adventures. Click here to discover the top 10 adventures to check off your U.P. bucket list.
The top stops and things to do on your road trip from Iowa to Munising, Michigan, home to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
This route could start in either the Des Moines or Cedar Rapids area. It passes through Dubuquee and then takes US-151 N through Madison, Green Bay, and Escanaba to arrive in the home of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Munising, MI.
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