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Chapel Loop

Intermediate
 4.9 (37) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A loop trail with amazing vistas along the cliff edges of Pictured Rocks.


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Map Key

10.6

Miles

17.1

KM

97%

Runnable

806' 246 m

High

612' 186 m

Low

763' 232 m

Up

752' 229 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

18%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Lake · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife

Overview

This loop covers mixed terrain from wooded river edges, waterfalls, sandy beaches, and highlights picturesque views of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Runners will be have access to views of cliffs, coves, arches, and rockfalls from atop the sandstone bluffs these features are made of. Look for the multicolored faces of the cliffs resulting from streaking mineral deposits in the sandstone.

Need to Know

No water is available at the parking area. Plan for biting flies and mosquitoes, particularly at the two beach areas. Expect high winds and blowing sand at the overlooks.

For winter runners, the road to the trailhead is not plowed for 3.5 miles from the trailhead. Snowshoes or cross-country skis will be required. Expect to run it or inquire about a snowmobile shuttle in Munising. The eastern side of the loop is well traveled in the winter due to a popular ice climbing spot located about a mile from the Chapel Camp site. Beyond that, the trail may be under significant snow drift in the winter.

Description

This route beings by crossing the wooded Mosquito River basin on the way to Mosquito Beach. Visitors should keep an eye out for the Mosquito Falls Trail, which will lead past a scenic waterfall and eventually deposit runners at Mosquito Beach.

From Mosquito Beach to Chapel Beach, the majority of the route follows the North Country Trail along the cliff edges of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore overlooking Lake Superior. These sandstone cliffs are streaked with colors from mineral deposits. With the right lighting and moisture, the cliff edges show the vivid colors responsible for the name "Pictured Rocks." Numerous vistas can be found along the cliff edge overlooking the cliffs, the arches, and the rockfalls. From Chapel Beach, cross the creek to head up to Chapel Rock before following the creek back towards Chapel Falls and Chapel Lake (or continue along the lakeshore to Spray Falls about 1.6 mile farther (each way).

Once you're ready to head back to the trailhead, keep an eye out for the Chapel Rock Trail, which will lead back to the start of the loop.

Flora & Fauna

One bear was encountered during our outing, along with many small mammals and birds

History & Background

Pictured Rocks is the first National Lakeshore established. The rocks show many colors as the minerals streak across the face. The rocks are great from below too, book a kayak trip with a local outfitter for an up close view of the formations.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jeff Menaker

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 37 votes

#180

Overall
  4.9 from 37 votes
5 Star
86%
4 Star
14%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#2

in Michigan

#180

Overall
158 Views Last Month
19,186 Since Jul 20, 2016
Intermediate

3%
3%
82%
3%
9%
0%

Photos

Chapel Rock is equally if not more beautiful in the winter.
Mar 10, 2017 near Munising, MI
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Munising - Hike into this location and cleared the tree line to to see this glorious view.
Apr 7, 2020 near Munising, MI
Pictured Rocks
Jul 20, 2016 near Munising, MI
Mosquito Falls
Aug 19, 2019 near Munising, MI
Icy cliffs surround the lakeshore in February.
Mar 10, 2017 near Munising, MI
A partially frozen Chapel Creek creates a beautiful wintertime scene near the lakeshore.
Mar 10, 2017 near Munising, MI

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Check-Ins

Sep 2, 2020
Private User
Oct 6, 2018
Rachel Edwards
Muddy in places, but sometimes that’s nice for a quick break! Beautiful scenery. Not too crowded on a Saturday and folks were willing to yield to u… 10.6mi
Jul 19, 2018
Private User