Backpacking - Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

NOTE:  Sorry, there are no refunds for this trip, but you can "sell you spot" to someone.

There is a pre-trip meeting Tuesday, Aug. 20. See separately-listed meetup event. IMPORTANT:  If you can't make the meeting, you must e-mail me.


Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is by far the most beautiful place in Michigan!

This is well worth taking most of a week to hike and see it all. It's a 42-mile hike but we're only doing 6 to 9 miles each day. This allows plenty of time to stop and enjoy the scenery, not just focus on reaching the destination as quickly as possible. We'll cover several different types of terrain as we progress. There are some hilly parts, and 200' sand dunes to climb. I guarantee you'll be tired enough to sleep well every night.

It's a deservedly popular hike. I reserved the group campsites back in March. The end of August was the earliest they were available!

*Note: the campsites are limited to 20. It's cross-posted on both MAC and AAAC. Check both to read comments and see who is attending.

**Please join if you are prepared, equipped, committed, and willing to bring cash. $30 will cover the campsite reservation fee, your backcountry permits ($5 per night x 5 nights), and a couple bucks to pay meetup dues. This doesn't cover camping fees for Saturday or optional motel rooms on Friday.  NOTE:  Sorry, there are no refunds for this trip, but you can "sell you spot" to someone.

Links to prepay through MAC or AAAC

(For internal use - who paid me)

It's important to hike as a group in case someone needs help for any reason, so please do not march on obliviously. We'll designate a sweeper, and wait for them to catch up and give a go-ahead sign every mile or so. There are no roads and cell phones probably won't work, the only help we'll have is each other. We'll talk about contingencies at the pre-meeting.

Prerequisites - this should not be your first real backpacking trip!

It's also important to:
1) Figure out how much weight you are able to carry on a long hike.
2) Scrounge together all the gear you need and keep it all under your weight limit, including food for 5+ days and water.
3) Complete several long practice hikes or backpacking trips with the same footwear and fully-loaded pack you will use for this trip.
4) Practice camping overnight to test your sleeping system. This isn't a good time to discover your air pad has a slow leak!

Saturday, August 24th – meet near Plymouth, convoy up and car camp

Sunday – strike camp, drop all gear at Munising Falls trailhead, shuttle most of the cars to Grand Marais
Return to Munising Falls, 6.4 mile hike to Cliffs G (no water)

Monday – 5.6 mile hike to Mosquito River G (no fires)

Tuesday – 7.2 mile hike to Coves G

Wednesday – 8.8 mile hike to Sevenmile Creek G

Thursday – 7.3 mile hike to Au Sable Point East G

Friday – 7.1 mile hike to Grand Sable Visitor Center
collect rest of cars from Munising
optional - check into a motel, celebrate with beer and pizza.

Saturday the 31st, check out, maybe explore Grand Marais and St. Ignace on the way home.

For first Saturday night:
Island Lake Campground $16 http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hiawatha/recarea/?recid=13285

Hovey Lake Campground -- No Fee  http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hiawatha/recarea/?recid=13318

REI has a checklist of what you need:
http://www.rei.com/pdf/expertadvice/Checklists/backpacking.pdf

Also: http://www.meetup.com/MI-adventurers/pages/Backpacking_Essentials/

Any questions are welcome. We’ll have a meeting a week or two before this trip to work out final details, probably combined with a practice hike. One thing to figure out the logistics of getting cars to the right place before we start hiking (or we could use the shuttle service). There is a place near the midpoint where we could leave a car, in case someone needs to go on a beer run or something :-)

Gas for your car may be your biggest expense so it's important to arrange carpooling and take as few vehicles as possible. We'll figure this out a few days before the event. I'll suggest a place near Plymouth where we can leave extra cars.

More info: http://www.nps.gov/piro/planyourvisit/upload/BackcountryPlanner2013.pdf

Join or login to comment.

  • Audrey

    I am finally uploading my pictures from the hike. It was a fun trip with a great group of people. Looking forward to the next backpacking adventure. :)

    September 17, 2013

    • Rod

      Great pictures Aubrey! I'm looking forward to the next backpacking adventure too.

      1 · September 17, 2013

    • Rod

      Audrey (sorry about misspelling).

      September 18, 2013

  • Lee K

    Audrey, your photos are absolutely stunning! Gotta love the ones of our Zen poses on top the rock! Note: Audrey's photos start on Page 8 of the photos, on the last page.

    1 · September 17, 2013

  • Rod

    This was the best backpack trip I ever took. Great sites to see (day 3 was the best) and great people to see them with. The number of days and the distances each day were near perfect (great planning Dylan). The bugs (mosquitoes) and weather (rained 4 of 5 nights) could have been better but they only increased the sense of accomplishment I felt for completing this trip.

    1 · September 3, 2013

  • Lee K

    I can't imagine a better time or better folks... and we never did see a bear!

    2 · September 2, 2013

  • Lee K

    Hello. If you missed the pre-meeting and would still like to take the trip, please know the following:
    1) One carpool is leaving on Saturday morning at 9:30 am. ONE SPACE AVAILABLE.
    2) The car pools are re-arranging for the ride home. Some in the group are returning home on Friday around 4 - 5 p.m. ish. They have room to take a few home.
    3) The other vehicle is returning after the Bridge Walk on Labor Day Monday... between noon and 2 pm. 4) We have plenty of water filters and stoves. Bring your own canister of fuel.
    5) Saturday night before we start the hike we are camping here: http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hiawatha/recarea/?recid=13318

    August 20, 2013

  • Lee K

    August 20, 2013

  • Lee K

    See everyone at the pre-meeting Tuesday! (see separately-listed event)

    August 19, 2013

  • Carolyn

    Would anyone be interested in buying my 'seat' for this trip? I signed up but was called into work the week you guys will be gone--I am so bummed out. It would just be the $30 fee.

    August 16, 2013

    • Lee K

      So sorry you can't make it!

      August 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry..Im running in a mud run on the 25th.

    August 18, 2013

  • Carolyn

    I just got called in to work the week of the trip and now I will not be able to attend.

    August 13, 2013

  • Mark M.

    How do we get approved for this? I have backpacking experience, I was on the Jordan River trip a few weeks ago with Dylan actually. I have the equipment needed already and have done longer treks before. I signed up a few weeks back, but haven't heard anything about how to get final approval.

    August 6, 2013

    • Mark M.

      Ha. Looks like there are open slots but people from the waitlist don't get moved in to them automatically. I changed my RSVP to 'no' then re-signed up and an now attending.

      Looking forward to the trip!

      August 9, 2013

    • Lee K

      Dylan is handling this end of it... looks like you're all set.

      August 10, 2013

  • Lee K

    Hello folks! We should have a pre-trip meeting. I can not make everyone happy, but if you have a preferred day and place, let me know. Would Tuesday, Aug. 20 around 7 pm work for you? Please let me know. I was thinking we could meet in Royal Oak, as we have people coming from way north, so that might be central.

    August 7, 2013

    • Josh W.

      If we can bump it to 8:30 pm on tuesday or after 6 pm on monday or wednesday I'm good.

      August 9, 2013

    • Carolyn

      Hi Lee, so how long do you think the meeting will run? 8:30pm is a bit late for me as I get up veeery early in the morning. Just my 2 cents! :0)

      August 9, 2013

  • Carolyn

    Sounds like a great idea. Tuesday the 20th works for me at 7pm. Just need to know where.

    August 8, 2013

  • Rod

    Dylan - - I'm not a beginner though I haven't backpacked in 5 years. Will the Backpacking Simulation I participated in (full 13 miles) and the upcoming Manistee Trail trip suffice as satisfying pre-requisites? Naturally, I have all required gear and am and will be properly conditioned to complete the trip. Thanks - - Rod

    April 18, 2013

    • Lee K

      Rod, it is slightly amusing to read these comments in retrospect! Uhhhh, I think after Manistee you qualify for ANYTHING, including Mt. Everest! :)

      August 7, 2013

    • Rod

      Lee - - Thanks. Even though the 1st day was longer than anything I planned or practiced for, it worked out. We all did great! I really did enjoy the weekend and the people. Looking forward to Pictured Rocks!!

      August 7, 2013

  • John B.

    I have purchased a pack and have been hiking 5-10 miles twice a week for a couple months. Still have to practice overnight camping.

    June 18, 2013

    • Lee K

      I've tried out equipment in the backyard, thank God I did, bc I found a few things needed doing. Try for a rainy night for leaks. Are you coming hiking this weekend?

      August 7, 2013

  • Carolyn

    I'm in! Yeah!

    August 6, 2013

  • Carolyn

    Would you like the Wait-Listed folks to pay the $30 on the Backpacking Pre-Pay event site or should we wait until we have the go-ahead to RSVP this event? Thanks for your time!

    August 6, 2013

  • Carolyn

    Thanks, David...much appreciated.

    August 5, 2013

  • Carolyn

    I'd LOVE to go on this trip! According to the description it looks like 20 is the limit, which hasn't been met yet. Per instruction, I tried to go on the wait list but it doesn't look available. Any suggestions would be great! I can pay up now but don't seem to be able to sign up for the pay event either. Please help!! :0)

    August 2, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      We are currently working on some logistics and such with the event and the site(s). It looks like you are pretty experienced, so it shouldn't be a problem. We'll get you in here, just give us some time.

      August 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    If there is still space for me, I'm in. Where do I send my $$ to? Or I can bring cash. I've been backpacking for a few years, got the gear, and am good to go.

    June 7, 2013

  • Rod

    Dylan - - I'm in also. Do we mail a check to you? (If so, where?) Or do we pay via Amazon as we did with the Manistee trip? Thanks - - Rod

    June 7, 2013

    • Dylan C.

      Glad you can make it! I'll setup a way to pay online shortly.

      June 7, 2013

  • Rod

    Dylan - I still want to do this trip. I expect to be in the UP (Marquette) August 23rd and could be at either the car campground on the 24th or at Munising Falls before everyone else on the 25th. Do you expect this is a problem? Also, I would need to ride back with someone afterwards. Naturally, I would pay may share for the ride. Let me know if this is OK. Thanks! - - Rod

    June 4, 2013

    • Rod

      Dylan - - Changed plans. My wife isn't going to Marquette so she won't be taking the vehicle down state - I won't need a ride back after the hike. Still expect to be at the car campground on the 24th or at Munising Falls before everyone else on the 25th. Let me know this is OK (or what I need to change) and I'll RSVP. Thanks - - Rod

      June 5, 2013

  • Josh W.

    This sounds awesome, but it falls during one of my black out dates for work. If you happen to move it for some reason I'll reevaluate.

    May 1, 2013

    • Dylan C.

      I just moved the Jordan River trip, but this one can't move. It wasn't easy to reserve the group campsites.

      May 1, 2013

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