Winter wave, Chapel Beach.

Looking over the edge of the frozen Spray Falls. Normally the water falls down over the cliff, but with a strong wind off Lake Superior the water gets blown back up and freezes on the nearby vegetation.

Spray Falls and the distant Grand Portal Point, nearing sunset.

Mike standing near Spray Falls.

Icy Lake Superior.

Mike standing along an iced cliff at the end of Chapel Beach.

A wave crashing around a cove near Chapel Beach.

Sunrise, Chapel Beach.

Sunrise behind Chapel Rock.

Our tent, Chapel Campground.

Winter morning (3ºF), Chapel Campground.

Pancake ice.

Looking towards Grand Portal Point.

An epic ice climb.

The edge of Grand Portal Point.

Ice adrift on Lake Superior.

The view from Grand Portal Point.

Cliffs and ice.

Grand Portal Point.

The view from Indian Head.

Mike in front of Indian Head.

Cliffs leading to Indian Head.

Me hiking along the cliffs (Photo by Mike).

Lover's Leap. Large waves always batter the cliffs in this area.

Indian Head.

Mike enters a part of the trail where wave spray has turned everything into an ice land. We would eventually have to turn around and try another route when the trail became totally blocked by ice covered limbs. The extra weight of the ice combined with strong winds off Lake Superior will actually cause limbs and tree trunks to snap. There was one tree that had already snapped but was being held up by another branch which I bumped into with my backpack. I had anticipated what might happen next so I was able to safely watch as the tree creaked and moaned for a bit and then came crashing down, shattering all the nearby ice into pieces. Needless to say, one needs to use a lot of caution here, or avoid all together.

Mosquito Beach.

Iced vegetation above the cliffs.

Iced cliff.

Looking northeast from the Lover's Leap area.

Near Chapel Beach. Vegetation along the cliffs takes a lot of abuse from the Lake.

Waves fight through the slush and ice of Lake Superior.

Cliffs southwest of Mosquito Beach.

Ice floe. I wasn't sure we would get this lucky, to see the ice along the shore like this, because a week prior it appeared that it had all gotten pushed off shore by winds and currents but things can change quickly on Lake Superior.

Blue ice on Lake Michigan, Straits of Mackinac.

The image on the left is a satellite image of Lake Superior three days before our hike and the image on the right is the image from two days after our hike. Our path is in red. Some of the white stuff you see over the lake is clouds but I think it's clear that a lot of ice developed in the cold days preceding our hike.

Winter waves, Chapel Beach.

Waves crashing around a cove near Chapel Beach.


< Back to Photos & Trip Reports

» all photo reports from michigan's upper peninsula

Thinking about traveling to Pictured Rocks yourself? You might want to read my guide to Pictured Rocks.

Ice Climbing, Michigan
March 4 - 5, 2011
Ice Climbing at Pictured Rocks with a side trip to Miners Castle.
Ice Climbing, Michigan
March 4 - 5, 2010
Ice climbing in the Sand Point area of Pictured Rocks.
The Upper Peninsula, Michigan
October 2 - 11, 2009
Enjoying fall in the Upper Peninsula from Pictured Rocks to the Porcupine Mountains to the Keweenaw Peninsula.
Mackinac Island, Michigan
October 3, 2009
Spending a short day on the island and enjoying the views, even without the influence of fudge.
Pictured Rocks, Michigan
March 7 - 9, 2008
Skiing & snowshoeing in the Miners Castle & Grand Sable Dunes areas. We also checked out the ice in Grand Marais & Mackinac Straits.
Pictured Rocks, Michigan
March 17, 2007
Hiking along the ice shelf from Twelvemile Beach to Spray Falls.
Pictured Rocks, Michigan
January 27, 2007
Skiing & hiking the Chapel Loop in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on a stormy day.
Pictured Rocks, Michigan
March 2 - 4, 2006
Ice climbing and skiing in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
Pictured Rocks, Michigan
January 7, 2006
A backcountry ski trip to the remote lakeshore cliffs of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
Pictured Rocks, Michigan
July 3 - 4, 2005
Hiking in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and checking out some of the other sights in the area.
Pictured Rocks, Michigan
February 25 - 26, 2011
Backpacking the Chapel Loop in winter, with a side trip to Spray Falls.
Bare Bluff, Michigan
October 8, 2009
A fall hike to Bare Bluff, one of the more scenic areas of the Keweenaw Peninsula.
Pictured Rocks, Michigan
October 4 - 11, 2009
Some stormy fall weather along the Pictured Rocks lakeshore.
Ice Climbing, Michigan
February 25 - 27, 2009
Ice climbing in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
Pictured Rocks, Michigan
August 30 - September 2, 2007
Back to the Great Lakes with a rare summer visit to Pictured Rocks to see what it all looks like when it's green.
Mackinac Straits & Pictured Rocks, Michigan
March 16 - 18, 2007
Skiing to Miners Castle, lingering in the Straits of Mackinac, and some other stuff.
Pictured Rocks in Fall, Michigan
October 7, 2006
Hiking the Chapel Loop & checking out other sights like Spray Falls, Miners Castle, Miners Beach, Munising Falls, Grand Sable Dunes, etc.
Pictured Rocks, Michigan
February 19 - 20, 2006
Skiing & snowshoeing the Pictured Rocks backcountry. Areas visited include: Miners Castle, Miners Beach, Twelvemile Beach, and Spray Falls.
The Upper Peninsula, Michigan
December 26 - 28, 2005
Winter pictures from Tahquamenon Falls State Park and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.