Sable Falls
·

21 Stunning Pictured Rocks Waterfalls Near Munising Michigan to Add to Your Bucket List

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a popular place to visit for many things, but waterfalls rank high on the list. Near Munising, the Pictured Rocks waterfalls are among the most beautiful and abundant found anywhere in the country.

The sheer variety of waterfalls in Michigan is astounding. Some are literally along the road, others require hiking, and some can only be viewed from a boat. You can even combine many of them into a day of thrilling sights and sounds.

And for waterfall lovers, the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a Michigan bucket list destination any time of the year. So, here are some tips for planning your Upper Peninsula waterfall tour.

Alger Falls

In Alger County, this waterfall is popular because it’s so easy to get to and view. Alger Falls is located right alongside the road, and you can view it on a drive-by. Because of that, it’s particularly attractive to those who are unable to trek through the woods.

This cascade-style waterfall is best viewed after rainfall. It consists of multiple cascades, and the tallest is around 15 feet. In the summer, the water level on Alger Creek may be more of a trickle.

If you want to get closer, you can park along the road and get out for a better view. Just be careful because it’s on a very busy road.

Alger Falls - Pictured Rock Waterfalls
Alger Falls | photo via @nbhaphotography

How to Get to Alger Falls

This fall is located on M-28, which is the main road going in and out of Munising. You can see it where M-94 merges with the highway. If you drive straight across M-28 from M-94, you’ll be facing the falls.

Other Pictured Rocks Waterfalls Nearby

This waterfall is close to Wagner Falls, and you can easily visit the two of them in one visit. 

Au Train Falls 

Au Train Falls is on the Au Train River. You visit two falls at this location — the upper falls with a 40-foot drop and the lower falls with a 10-foot drop.

In the spring or after heavy rain the waterfalls are quite magnificent. The setting is quite stunning, and the water runs slow enough for walking and frolicking in the water to be pleasurable.

Au Train Falls, Munising - Pictured Rocks Waterfalls
Au Train Falls | photo via photo credit

How to Get to Au Train Falls

Au Train Falls is southwest from Munising via M-28 and M-94. In about 13 miles, you’ll see Au Train Forest Rd on your right (you’ll pass Wagner Falls on the way). Turn there, and the first right will be Power Dam Rd, which will take you to the falls.

There are two parking lots, one at each waterfall. The walk to the upper falls is downhill and can be slippery, so watch your step. The walk to the lower falls is short and on a gravel road. Both walks are under a quarter-mile.

Bridalveil Falls

Bridalveil Falls has the distinction of being the tallest waterfall in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and it’s often used in advertisements. Although the water flow may only be a trickle during summer, it’s much heavier during the spring.

Since there’s no good viewpoint of Bridalveil Falls from the North Country Trail, the best places with a distant view are the Lower Miners Castle overlook and the far west side of Miners Beach.

For the best glimpse, though, you have to get out onto Lake Superior in a kayak or on a boat tour. For instance, Picture Rock Cruises offers a tour that includes Bridalveil Falls.

No matter your point of view, seeing the lacy-looking falls plunge 140 feet down the rock face and into Lake Superior is totally worth it!

Bridalveil Falls - Pictured Rocks Waterfalls
Bridalveil Falls | photo via @shoottothill

How to Get to Bridalveil Falls

From Munising, go east out of town on H-58 for 4.5 miles, and then turn left onto Miners Castle Rd. It’s 5 miles to Miners Castle, and there’s a parking lot there. Then, you can walk to the overlook or to Miners Beach.

Other Pictured Rocks Waterfalls Nearby

Two other waterfalls are nearby — Elliot Falls and Miners Falls.

Chapel Falls  

The Chapel Falls trail is an easy 1.4-mile hike that leads to a gorgeous waterfall with a 60-foot drop. Since it’s not right off a paved road, there’s a good chance that you’ll find yourself with some elbow room both on the trail and at the falls, even in the busy summer season at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

One of the unique things about Chapel Falls is that you can walk over, around, and behind it for multiple excellent views.

If you’re into hiking, Chapel Falls is on the Chapel Loop, which is a 10-mile loop that goes by Chapel and Mosquito Waterfalls and travels along the Lakeshore Loop for 4 miles to the Pictured Rocks cliff top. You’ll also get to see Chapel Rock, which is a magnificent sight.

Chapel Falls, Munising - Pictured Rocks Waterfalls
Chapel Falls | photo via Jesse Land

How to Get to Chapel Falls

Go about 15 miles east of Munising on H-58, and you’ll see a sign directing you to the “Mosquito / Chapel area.” Then, take Chapel Rd north for about 5 miles to the end of the road where there’s a small parking lot and trailhead.

You can follow the trail until you get to the fork. Then, bear right, and follow the gorge. You can view Chapel Falls from a platform near the top. You also get spectacular views of Chapel Basin.

Keep in mind that the trail has slight inclines, and pets are prohibited on all trails in the area.

Chipmunk Falls

Chipmunk Falls may have a drop of fewer than 5 feet, but its bucolic setting makes it one of the most pleasant Pictured Rocks waterfalls to visit. There’s plenty of solitude to enjoy here, so you won’t be disturbed by a crowd of onlookers.

The main Chipmunk Falls isn’t the only attraction here, though. If you continue walking along the gorge, you’ll come across Upper Chipmunk Falls too.

Chipmunk Falls - Pictured Rocks Waterfalls
Chipmunk Falls | photo via @wiltoninreallife

How to Get to Chipmunk Falls

To find Chipmunk Falls from Grand Marais, take H-58 east for about 1 mile. The falls will be on the right, and if you get to Rose Hill Cemetery, you’ve gone too far. There’s no dedicated parking lot, but you can park along the road.

Look for Chipmunk Creek because it passes under the road. The creek has formed a gorge that’s quite steep. Follow the gorge for about 400 feet to reach the falls.

Cole Creek Falls

Cole Creek Falls is a pretty and rather obscure cascade-type waterfall on Cole Creek in Au Train Township. It has a total drop of about 10 feet.

The falls is located about 5 miles south of Au Train and 10 miles west of Munising. From Au Train, take M-28 east, and from Munising, take M-28 west. When you come to Hwy 552, follow it for about 2 miles.

Cole Creek Falls - Pictured Rocks Waterfalls
Cole Creek Falls | photo via @johnnykacks

Elliot Falls (Miners Beach)

If you need another reason to visit Miners Beach, Elliot Falls is stunning. The color of the stone, the sand, and nature are all just lovely.

Bring your camera! You’ll be taking a lot of photos. The waterfall has two drops, both between 3 and 4 feet. The second drop is the most impressive. How could you not be impressed by water dropping off a rock ledge right into Lake Superior?

How to Get to Elliot Falls

Easy to get to, Elliot Falls is at the east end of Miners Beach. From Munising, it’s about 10 miles. Take H-58 east until you get to Miners Castle Rd, which leads north to the Miners Castle trailhead, overlook, and beach. You can easily see the path from the parking lot, and it’s only about a 5-minute walk.

Horseshoe Falls

Given that most of the other Pictured Rocks waterfalls are free, you might wonder why there’s an entrance fee for this particular one. Horseshoe Falls is actually on private property, the grounds are well maintained, and the walk to the falls is easy on a very safe path.

Horseshoe Falls is a combination of styles with a 20-foot plunge and a bunch of cascades. It’s a very serene and attractive location. The waterfall itself is fed by a spring. Because of that, you’ll see a steady flow of water all year, as long as it’s not frozen over in the winter.

While you’re here, you can feed the trout in the pond and do the gnome scavenger hunt, which is popular among kids. Best of all, it’s a great chance for some retail therapy. There’s a very nice gift shop as well.

Horseshoe Falls - Waterfalls to Visit in Fall, Pictured Rocks Waterfalls
Horseshoe Falls | photo via @dustingoodspeedphotography

How to Get to Horseshoe Falls

It couldn’t be easier to get to Horseshoe Falls from Munising. Follow M-28 east to Prospect St, which is the left fork. The drive is less than 1 mile and only takes about two minutes from downtown. You could even walk to it!

Laughing Whitefish Falls

Flowing through Laughing Whitefish Falls State Park, the Laughing Whitefish River plunges over 100 feet of a sandstone outcrop, followed by lots of small cascades. It’s an impressive sight and considered one of the most spectacular of the Pictured Rocks waterfalls (even in all of Michigan).

The 0.5-mile hike through the maple and beech tree forest is quite enjoyable. The trail is flat and takes you to the top of the falls. For a different perspective, you can climb down 155 steps to a lower platform.

Laughing Whitefish Falls - Waterfalls to Visit in Fall, Pictured Rocks Waterfalls
Laughing Whitefish Falls | photo via @toddandbradreed

How to Get to Laughing Whitefish Falls

This waterfall is about 35 miles west of Munising via M-28 to M-94. From M-94, turn north onto Hwy 327, which turns into Laughing Whitefish Falls Rd. The parking lot at the end has a restroom and picnic tables.

Other Pictured Rocks Waterfalls Nearby

The closest waterfall nearby is Rock River Falls.

Memorial Falls

Memorial Falls is one of the Twin Waterfalls Memorial Plant Preserve’s falls. Like its twin, Tannery Falls, you can walk behind it to see a cave. The waterfall has a 40- foot drop and is quite lovely, especially during the spring.

One unique feature is a window in the wall of the gorge. When you look through the window, you can see both falls.

Memorial Falls - Pictured Rock Waterfalls
Memorial Falls | photo via Christine Snow

How to Get to Memorial Falls

Head east on H-58 from downtown Munising. The trailhead for the falls is located at the junction of Washington Rd and H-58.

The trail goes over the top of the falls. A 10-minute walk takes you to the bottom of the gorge and the pool at the foot of Memorial Falls.

Other Pictured Rocks Waterfalls Nearby

Aside from Tannery Falls, the parking lot for Munising Falls is just 1 mile away.

Miners Falls

Miners Falls is one of the easiest of the Pictured Rocks waterfalls to visit. Fed by the fast-flowing Miners Creek, the falls has an impressive 50-foot drop with an exciting splash.

The walk to the waterfall is an easy 1.2-mile round trip on a mostly gravel trail with an abundance of wildflowers. When you get there, you can view the falls from the upper platform. However, the best view is from the lower platform at the bottom of 64 steps.

Miners Falls can get crowded on weekends, so go on a weekday if you want to avoid too many people.

Miners Falls - Pictured Rocks Waterfalls
Miners Falls | photo via Colleen Stankiewicz

How to Get to Miners Falls

Take H-58 east from Munising for about 5 miles, and turn left onto Miners Castle Rd. After about 3.5 miles, turn right onto Miners Fall Rd. You’ll come to a parking lot and an easy-to-find trailhead.

Mosquito Falls & Spectacle Falls

Mosquito Falls is a pretty waterfall with two drops. The upper drop is only about 5 feet, but after some rapids is a 10-foot drop. It’s the smallest of the named Pictured Rocks waterfalls, but the hike is very pretty, especially when the spring wildflowers are in bloom.

Not far away is Spectacle Falls, which is a cascade-type of waterfall.

Mosquito Falls
Mosquito Falls | photo via @heatherbeckett_

How to Get to Mosquito Falls

To get to Mosquito Falls, take the same route to Chapel Falls — 15 miles east on H-58 from Munising to Chapel Rd north for about 5 miles. You can park in the same small parking lot as Chapel Falls and start from the same trailhead too. Instead of going right at the fork, go left toward Mosquito Beach.

From the parking lot, it’s about a 1-mile hike to Mosquito Falls. You’ll cross over the falls via a wooden bridge, which gives you great views from both sides. Along the way, you’ll likely pass beaver dams and other wildlife.

If you continue past Mosquito Falls, you’ll come to the smaller Spectacle Falls near a second wooden bridge.

Other Pictured Rocks Waterfalls Nearby

If you want a longer hike, you can walk the entire 10-mile Chapel Loop to see Chapel Falls as well.

Munising Falls

This waterfall is within the city limits of Munising and is actually across the street from the municipal hospital. Fed by Munising Creek, the 50-foot Munising Falls drops over sandstone cliffs. It’s a very impressive waterfall and easy to access.

There’s a parking lot, restroom, and visitor center at the waterfall site. The walk to the falls is paved and only 800 feet, so people of all ages and disabilities can easily visit it. Even if you can’t climb the steps, you can see the falls.

There are two sets of stairs to platforms on the right and the left of the falls. The stairs aren’t too steep and provide great photo opportunities. Who doesn’t take pictures when visiting a waterfall?

You can actually walk very close to the falls. Because of rockfalls, though, the path behind the falls is closed to foot traffic.

Munising Falls - Munising - #MittenTrip, Pictured Rocks Waterfalls
Munising Falls | photo via The Awesome Mitten Team

How to Get to Munising Falls

From downtown Munising, take H-58 east to Washington St. Then, turn onto Sand Point Rd where you’ll see signs for the visitor center and parking lot. It’s less than a 5-minute drive from downtown!

Rock River Falls

Rock River Falls is a true wilderness waterfall. Located in the Rock River Canyon Wilderness, which is part of the Hiawatha National Forest, you’ll need to travel along some old logging roads to get here. Having an SUV is an advantage.

After your exciting ride, you’ll need to hike more than 1 mile to get to the falls. It may not be the easiest falls to find, but it’s beautiful enough to make the effort worthwhile. The Rock River flows into a pool which then pours into Ginpole Lake.

Bugs can be an issue while you’re hiking, so we recommend wearing bug repellent!

Rock River Falls - Waterfalls to Visit in Fall
Rock River Falls | photo via @snaphappymichigan

How to Get to Rock River Falls

Rock River Falls is about 29 miles west of Munising via M-94 for the first 25 miles. After that, you’ll need to travel on FR-2276 (Sandstrom Road) for about 3.5 miles and then on FR-2293 for about 0.7 miles. A parking area will be located on the left.

Other Pictured Rocks Waterfalls Nearby

A little north, you can visit Silver Falls. Or, go southwest to Laughing Whitefish Falls.

Sable Falls

With a 75-foot drop, Sable Falls is an impressive sight. It cascades over sandstone as it heads toward Lake Superior. This waterfall is unusual in that it’s surrounded by sand dunes. Visiting Sable Falls involves climbing 168 steps, so be prepared for a little workout.

When you finish viewing the falls, you can follow Sable Creek to the small beach on Lake Superior. It’s well worth the additional 0.5-mile trek.

Sable Falls - Pictured Rocks Waterfalls
Sable Falls | photo via @kathydphoto

How to Get to Sable Falls

From Grand Marais, the trailhead to Sable Falls is just a little over 1 mile west. Just take H-58 to Sable Falls Rd where a parking lot is waiting.

The ride is a bit longer from Munising. You can take H-58 east, and keep to the right to follow Adams Trail to M-77. Follow the highway north for about 8.5 miles, then turn onto Newberg Rd and then again onto H-58 before you get to Sable Falls Rd.

Scott Falls

A popular place to visit for several reasons, Scott Falls is a very attractive waterfall. The falls has a 10-foot drop over a sandstone cliff into a small pool. More than that, it’s visible from the road, so everyone will be able to enjoy viewing it.

Scott Falls offers the ability to walk behind the falls where there’s a cave. You can even let the water trickle over you!

Scott Falls, Munising - Pictured Rocks Waterfalls
Scott Falls | photo via Bradley Andrew Evon

How to Get to Scott Falls

From Au Train, Scott Falls is slightly more than 1 mile to the east. From Munising, it’s slightly more than 10 miles northwest. No matter which way you’re coming from, you can take the M-28.

This roadside waterfall is right across from the H.J. Rathfoot State Roadside Park. There’s no parking lot, but there’s a pullover to get you off the road. If you wish, you can just pull in and snap a few photos.

Silver Falls (aka Silver Bell Falls)

Located within Hiawatha National Forest, Silver Falls is a wild waterfall that’s fed by Nelson Creek. It has a 30-foot drop down a nearly vertical cliff. The best time to see it is during the spring or after a good amount of rainfall.

How to Get to Silver Falls

From Au Train, you can follow M-28 west until you turn left onto Deerton Rd and again onto Deerton Onota Rd. Then, you’ll make a right onto Onota Hill Ln, which can be pretty rough, until you get to a gate.

Whether or not the gate is closed, you can park here and follow the road behind the gate for a 1 mile to the trailhead. The path to the falls is easy and only about 0.25 miles.

Other Pictured Rocks Waterfalls Nearby

Rock River Falls is to the south, and Laughing Whitefish Falls is to the southwest.

Spray Falls

Spray Falls plunges 70 feet directly into Lake Superior. It’s in a category of its own when it comes to Pictured Rocks waterfalls. To get the best view, you really need to be on the water. You can either rent a kayak or hop on a boat tour.

The boat cruises are popular, so we recommend that you book in advance to guarantee a spot and arrive early on the day of your cruise. 

You can view Spray Falls from a distance and from a side view too. The Lake Shore Trail passes over the top of the falls, but the lookout point is about 0.25 miles away. The round trip hike to get a view is about 4.5 miles.

Spray Falls - Waterfalls to Visit in Fall, Pictured Rocks Waterfalls
Spray Falls | photo via @andrewfleesphoto

How to Get to Spray Falls

The trip from Munising is about 20 miles east via H-58 and Adams Trail for about 17 miles. Then, you’ll turn left on County Road 697.

Alternatively, you can head to the Chapel Loop via H-58 and Chapel Rd. From the parking lot, follow the loop trail to Chapel Beach. Then, hike the North Country Trail east to Spray Falls.

An interesting fact is that the shipwreck Superior is in 20 feet of water at the base of the falls and has been there since Oct. 29, 1856.

Tannery Falls  

If you prefer not to deal with crowds, Tannery Falls is a good option because it’s rarely busy. The water source for the falls is Tannery Creek. It plunges 40 feet over sandstone cliffs into a small bowl-style pond. The spring melt makes it especially impressive.

Visiting here in the winter is breathtaking. The waterfall freezes into a stunning piece of ice sculpture. Located in Twin Water Fall Memorial Plant Preserve, Tannery Falls is the twin of Memorial Falls. You can walk behind the falls too, which gives you access to a cave. 

Tannery Falls - Pictured Rocks Waterfalls
Tannery Falls | photo via Jesse Land

How to Get to Tannery Falls

From downtown Munising, follow H-58 to the junction of Washington St. The Tannery Falls is located about 1 mile from the Munising Falls parking lot, and you’ll have to climb up some wooden stairs.

Other Pictured Rocks Waterfalls Nearby

As mentioned, Memorial Falls and Munising Falls are nearby. Visiting all three waterfalls would be very possible in one day since none of them requires a long hike.

Wagner Falls

Wagner Falls is quite an impressive sight during all seasons of the year. It’s wide and fast-moving, plunging from Wagner Creek about 20 feet into a gorge where the Anna River flows.

Eventually, the water finds its way to Lake Superior. This cascade-style waterfall is in a very pretty location with plenty of pine and hemlock trees.

A wooden boardwalk and a lookout deck make this a great waterfall to photograph. There are some stairs to climb to get to the lookout, but some views are offered from the boardwalk as well.

Wagner Falls - Waterfalls to Visit in Fall, Pictured Rocks Waterfalls
Wagner Falls | photo via @markmiller_photo

How to Get to Wagner Falls

Wagner Falls is only 1.5 miles from Munising. To get there, take M-28 east and M-94 west. Shortly after, you’ll see a small parking lot on the left.

The hike in and out is less than a quarter-mile. The trail, other than the boardwalk, is gravel and well maintained. It’s an easy hike, and the waterfall is wheelchair accessible. Pets are also allowed on a leash.

Other Pictured Rocks Waterfalls Nearby

Alger Falls is right down the street from Wagner Falls.

Whitefish Falls 

Whitefish Falls may not be popular or well known, but it’s a lovely hidden gem! Located southwest of Munising and south of Laughing Whitefish Falls, this cascade is about 15 feet wide. The water travels over several rock shelves.

The highest drop is only about 5 feet, but it’s so pretty. The serenity of the locale will have you snapping pictures like crazy.

In terms of waterfalls, Whitefish Falls is easy to get to. Not the drive, which is rather out of the way, but the walk-in is very short and easy. When the water is lower, it is easy to walk across the river to cool off on a hot day. 

How to Get to Whitefish Falls

From Munising, head east on M-28 and then west on M-94 for about 15 miles until it meets up with M-67.  Go south on M-67 for about 12 miles, and then turn north onto US-41 for about 3.5 miles.

Next, turn left onto State Forest Campground Rd. Not long after, you’ll see a small loop turnoff where you can park and walk to Whitefish Falls.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pictured Rocks Waterfalls

How many waterfalls are in Munising?

Within the city limits, there are four waterfalls in Munising — Munising Falls, Tannery Falls, Memorial Falls, and Horseshoe Falls. But, there are 17 waterfalls in Alger County within easy driving distance of Munising.

What is the largest waterfall in Michigan?

It depends on what you mean by the largest waterfall in Michigan and how the height is measured. In some circles, the tallest is Douglass Houghton Falls at 110 feet. Other people believe Bridalveil Falls is the tallest with a 140-foot drop.

On the other hand, Upper Tahquamenon Falls is the widest waterfall in Michigan at 200 feet wide and 50 feet tall. When it comes to volume, it’s second only to Niagara Falls east of the Mississippi. It’s located in the eastern Upper Peninsula along the M-123 Tahquamenon Scenic Byway.

How many waterfalls are in the Upper Peninsula?

The National Park Service says that there are between 150-300 waterfalls in Michigan, with other estimates being 300 plus. Simply put, there are a lot of beautiful waterfalls in Michigan!

Plan a Tour of Picture Rocks Waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore has some of the most spectacular waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula. For waterfall lovers, it’s the perfect destination with waterfalls of all types and sizes.

All of them are worthy of a visit,  but depending on your love of hiking, you can have an easy walk or a serious challenge. Many of them are close enough to combine the visits into one day!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.