2013 Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Thru-Hike

Unfortunately, this trip could not be reserved for Labor Day weekend as all of the group sites were booked up, so we're going to do the trip a week later, the week AFTER Labor Day Weeekend. My apologies if this causes a scheduling problem for people who had counted on this trip being Labor Day Weekend.

Please read before RSVPing!

This is an Intermediate Level Trip. Please take a look at your experience level below your name - you must have a rating of Intermediate or Advanced to join this trip. If you have backpacking experience prior to joining the group and would like to update your experience level, please contact Ken Stuber BEFORE RSVPing for the trip, to be sure all those that are qualified have a shot at joining. Because this trip fills fast, and to be as fair as we can, anyone with a Beginner Status that signs up will be immediately removed and have their fee refunded until you’ve spoken with Ken. Thank you for your understanding.

This is a 42-mile thru-hike over the entire Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore stretching from Grand Marais to Munising, Upper Michigan. The trail is also a section of the North Country National Scenic Trail. The trip takes place over the weekend AFTER Labor Day weekend, spanning 4-5 days from September 5 – September 9.

Price for the trip is $50/person and includes the following:

Camp sites and firewood Thursday evening in Grand Marais.
Shuttle bus service Friday morning from Munising Falls Interpretive Center to Grand Sable Visitor’s Center.
Backcountry camping and permits through the weekend.
Reservation fees, Meetup base trip price and taxes.

Note that you may meet up with the group on Friday morning for the shuttle, you do not have to stay Thursday night, but you will already be paying for it, so ...

Thursday, Sept 5th – Meet in Munising in the evening, 0 miles

Friday, Sept 6th – Shuttle to start and hike 7.1 miles, camp at Au Sable East Group Site

Saturday, Sept 7 – 10.9 miles, camp at Trappers Lake Group Site

Sunday, Sept 8 – 12.4 miles, camp at Mosquito Group Site

Monday, Sept 9 – 12 miles, end back in Munising


Detailed Itinerary

(Please note all times listed are based on the Eastern Time Zone – be sure to set your watches when you arrive so we are all on the same schedule!)

Thursday, September 5th

:: Rendezvous ::

Meet at the Munising Tourist Park Campground whenever you can get there Thursday afternoon/evening. I (Ken) will be there by approximately 2PM. We will be in sites T1, T2 and T3 in the “Tent Area” on the bottom left of the map shown in the link below. The cost for these sites are included in the trip fee, as is firewood for Thursday evening.

https://munisingtouristpark.com/reservations/

Friday, September 6th
:: Grand Sable Visitor Center to Au Sable East Group Campsite ::
7.1 miles
We will get up early, pack up camp and drive all the vehicles over to the Munising Falls Interpretive Center, where a shuttle bus will promptly pick us up at 9AM (Remember that this is Eastern Time -- so 8AM Central – if you are arriving that morning, please be aware that the shuttle cannot wait for latecomers!)
The shuttle will haul all of us and our gear to the other end of the trail at the Grand Sable Visitor Center. We will get a group photo and hit the trail, hiking 7.1 miles to the Au Sable Group Campsite.
*Since this is a short day, if you haven’t toured the Au Sable Lighthouse, bring along $3 cash in case they are running tours. We may get to camp with enough time for this little side-trip.

Saturday, September 7th
:: Au Sable East Group Campsite to Trappers Lake Group Campsite ::
10.9 miles
Again, up early and hitting the trail to hike west to the Trappers Lake Group Campsite. There is a small side trail to get to this site, so once we pass the Sevenmile Campsites, be sure to pay attention to Trail Junctions as to not miss the turnoff for Trappers Lake.

Sunday, September 8th
:: Trappers Lake Group Campsite to Mosquito Group Campsite ::
12.4 miles
Up early and hitting the trail to hike west to the Mosquito Group Campsite.

Monday, September 9th
:: Mosquito Group Campsite to Munising Falls Interpretive Center ::
12 miles
Up early to hit the trail towards the Munising Falls Interpretive Center, where our vehicles will be parked. Once we hit the trail Monday morning, we are kind of on our own, as people may be leaving at different times.

**Note: It is suggested that you stay at a local campsite Monday night and leave for home early Tuesday morning if your schedule permits, as this is a really cool portion of the trail, and we have a high-mileage day. The average hiker hikes about 2 mph, so that would mean 6 hours of hiking from Mosquito Campsite back to the vehicles. If you include breaks at the popular stops like Miner’s Castle, of course it could take much longer.

Once we hit the vehicles, we will gather as a group somewhere for a bite to eat before folks head home or to a local campground for the evening. This will be later than previous years, so be aware of that.


Random things to note:

There is a list above that shows what your trip fee covers. Please note that you are responsible for transportation fees and gas for the trip there and back, and you will need to supply your own gear, shelter, personal items, water purification, food, food prep, etc. as we do with most of our trips. We are hiking as a group, but please be prepared to be self-sufficient.
All campsites are close to water, but it will need to be treated, so be sure to pack your water treatment/filtration of choice.
All sites except for Mosquito allow campfires, so be sure to pack your campstove for cooking.
Be prepared to follow Leave No Trace principles, packing everything out that you pack in, especially paying attention to personal toilet use. There are NO PIT TOILETS at the campsites, so bring your trowel and dispose of all waste properly. We’ve seen “fields” of icky TP from previous campers, and we certainly don’t want to add to their bad habits!
If you are only joining for a portion of the trip, the trip fee will be the same to avoid complication, and you will be responsible for transportation to and from the trail and/or your vehicle.

Links:

National Park Service website for Pictured Rocks: http://www.nps.gov/piro/index.htm
Simple map: http://www.nps.gov/piro/planyourvisit/upload/BackcountryMap.pdf
More detailed map: http://www.nps.gov/common/commonspot/customcf/apps/maps/showmap.cfm?alphacode=piro&parkname=Pictured%20Rocks
Trail mileage chart: http://www.nps.gov/piro/planyourvisit/upload/BackcountryMileageChart.pdf

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  • Cheryl

    I'd love to do this trip next fall!

    August 26, 2013

  • Kevin

    Would love to make this trip again, but I have a race that day. Have a great time :-)

    August 6, 2013

  • Cyrus

    Ken, I would love to come along on this trip. I have to be back to work on Monday but think 3 days is more than enough time to cover the 42 miles. If I were to camp with you guys the first night and then pick up the pace after that, would I have to get a permit to cover Saturday night? Is that difficult?

    August 5, 2013

  • Jason P.

    Better late than never. :-) Thanks for posting Ken. See you soon!

    July 30, 2013

  • Brian P.

    Too late for me -- hopewe do this one again...

    July 30, 2013

    • Sean

      Me too.

      July 30, 2013

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