Why You Need to Take a Kayak Tour of Pictured Rocks

Photo Credit: Tim TrombleyPhoto Credit: Tim Trombley
With miles of gorgeous sandstone cliffs towering 50 to 200 feet along Lake Superior’s pristine shoreline, stretches of white sandy beaches, and breathtaking formations and mineral stained rock face, the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula provides some of the most incredible sights in the world.

For over 60 years, visitors have flocked to Picture Rocks every summer for intimate views of the majestic wonders by taking a boat cruise in Munising, the western gateway community to the park. While Pictured Rocks Cruises remains the area’s top attraction, there’s another recreational activity for those looking to explore the Pictured Rocks that’s made quite the splash in recent years – kayaking.

Kayaking the Pictured Rocks has become a favored attraction among people of all skill levels and is the only kayaking attraction in the area that launches paddlers from a boat. Even if you’ve never kayaked before, you’re guaranteed to have a safe and fun-filled experience during a guided kayak tour along the Pictured Rocks.

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Paddle close enough to touch

Paddle close enough to touch

While hiking or taking a boat cruise along the Pictured Rocks certainly gives explorers an intimate feel, kayaking near the rocks brings paddlers so close to the cliffs that they can touch them while gliding through magical sea caves.

When you tour Pictured Rocks by kayak, you see 13 stunning points of interest, including Miners Castle, Painted Coves, Caves of all Colors, Lovers Leap, Rainbow Cave, Indian Head, Gull Rookery, Grand Portal, Battleship Rocks, Flower Vase, Indian Drum, Chapel Cove, and Chapel Rock.

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Tranquility Guaranteed

Tranquility Guaranteed

Lake Superior isn’t just the largest and freshest of the Great Lakes – it’s also the world’s largest freshwater lake by surface area. It’s easy to let the worries of everyday life drift into oblivion and ease into a state of sweet tranquility when floating or paddling along the majestic body of water. When paddling near the Pictured Rocks, gorgeous colors stream down the rock face from the cliffs and mirror Lake Superior’s turquoise waters, making you feel like you’re living a dream.

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Safety & Convenience at its Finest

Safety & Convenience at its Finest

Pictured Rocks Kayaking provides the only off-shore launch – which means rather than taking off from land, kayakers cruise from Munising Bay aboard a kayak-launching boat and are released into Lake Superior just past Painted Coves. You can skip hours of paddling and get straight to the best parts. Once finished with the paddling portion of the trip, kayakers board the boat for a ride back to shore, leisurely gazing at the colorful cliffs.

Also, since the launch boat follows kayakers along as they paddle, you’re always within a reasonable distance of restrooms and emergency help. Plus, by using tandem kayaks, stability is greatly improved. Trips are around 4-5 hours long with 2 hours – or 5 miles – of glorious kayaking time. Kayakers are asked to bring appropriate layers as the temperature is often cooler along the lake.

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A Brand New Vessel

A Brand New Vessel

In 2019, Pictured Rocks Kayaking launched its newest vessel, Kayak Express, a 64-by-19 foot boat created to take 72 passengers, six guides and 36 kayaks aboard. The boat was designed specifically for launching kayaks into the water.

Kayaking Pictured Rocks will create memories for a lifetime. Tours fill up fast, so book yours today!

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