4 Ways To See Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore From The Water

4 Ways To See Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore From The Water


This year marks the 100th anniversary of our National Park System, and the 50th anniversary of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. This could be a record attendance year for Michigan’s amazing national lakeshore on Lake Superior because of those anniversaries, so we wanted to get an early start with our travel tips. We’ve already shared 50 Things To Do at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and 8 Pictured Rocks Day Hikes. Today we’ll be looking at four different ways to see Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore from the water – a variety of boat cruise options and kayak trips that offer fun for the entire family. Some of the highlights of seeing Pictured Rocks from the water are waterfalls, colorful cliffs that reach heights of up to 80 feet, rock formations (Miners Castle, Lovers Leap, Grand Portal, Chapel Rock), wildlife and more.

Indian head pictured rocks

1. Pictured Rocks Boat Cruises – The best photo opportunities of Pictured Rocks from the water come from the Pictured Rocks Cruise boats, which offer a variety of daily departure times in the summer months. The “Regular Cruise” passes Miners Castle, Lovers Leap, Indian Head, Chapel Rock and more on a two and a half hour trip, while the “Spray Falls Cruise” is the Regular Cruise with the addition of the 70 foot Spray Falls waterfall. The popular “Sunset Cruise” departs later in the day and takes visitors past all of these same landmarks while also showing off stunning Lake Superior sunsets. Find out more information on times and fees: http://www.picturedrocks.com/fares-schedule/. You can also check out our Photo Gallery Friday: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore for more pictures from this trip.

Shipwreck Glass Bottom Boat Munising

2. Glass Bottom Shipwreck Tours – Since 1992, visitors to Munising have had the opportunity to see well-preserved shipwrecks in Lake Superior on the Glass Bottom Boat Shipwreck Tours. On this trip you’ll have great views of the Pictured Rocks cliffs, Grand Island, the historic Grand Island East Channel Lighthouse, bald eagles and nests, and several shipwrecks. The Herman H. Hettler, a 200 foot steam barges, and the Bermuda, a 150 foot wooden schooner, are the featured shipwrecks for these trips. Find a 2016 schedule at: http://shipwrecktours.com/schedule-rates/. For more pictures, check out our Photo Gallery Friday: Glass Bottom Shipwreck Tours post.


3. Kayak Trips with Uncle Ducky Outdoors – The most up close and personal experience with Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore comes from daily kayak trips led by Uncle Ducky Outdoors. This had been on our “bucket list” for some time and in 2015 we got the chance to take a kayak trip through Pictured Rocks, an experience that definitely lived up to the hype! You can check out our pictures in our Photo Gallery Friday: Kayaking Pictured Rocks post, and find out more about Uncle Ducky Outdoors at http://www.paddlingmichigan.com/. Kayaks, paddles, spray skirts, dry bags, and basic instruction are provided for each trip, and there are a variety of options to choose from. You’ll get within a few feet of the towering cliffs, pass the famous rock formations, see sea caves, watch wildlife, pass over shipwrecks, and more on these trips that put you in control on Lake Superior.

Riptide Ride Grand Island North Lighthouse

4. Riptide Ride – The “baddest boat on the bay” takes visitors around Grand Island, stopping at two historic lighthouses, waterfalls, towering colorful cliffs, wildlife viewing opportunities and more. This boat can also make 360 degree spins, and it is consistently rated as one of TripAdvisor’s top Munising attractions. You’ll have great views of Lake Superior and Grand Island, and views of the Pictured Rocks cliffs in the distance. This is the only way to see the privately owned Grand Island North Lighthouse. Find out more about 2016 rates and schedule at: http://riptideride.com/tour-features/. You can also check out our Photo Gallery Friday: Riptide Ride post for more pictures from this trip.