So as the name indicates, Chapel Falls Trail will lead you to one of the many waterfalls in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore!
To get to the waterfalls, it’s about 1.5 miles from the nearest parking lot. This would make it a 3 mile round trip hike if you only wanted to make it a waterfall hike.
But you will probably want to go further than that 1.5 miles, because the Chapel Falls waterfalls aren’t the only thing that this trail will take you to!
If you keep following the trail past the waterfalls, the trail will also lead you to Lake Superior where you will find a few more noteworthy things to see!
You can see…
A tree growing on a rock
Chapel Beach Falls…
Small “waterfalls” flowing into the lake at the beach
And if you don’t mind hiking even more…
You can hike further along past the beach and make it into hiking the Chapel Loop Trail so you can see THE famous Pictured Rocks Cliffs by foot!
Backpacking the North Country Trail
The North Country Trail is a national scenic trail that extends for 4,600 miles across many states from the midwest to the east coast. It also goes through Pictured Rocks for around 40 miles, and there are backcountry campsites along the way.
There is a backcountry campground basically right at Chapel Beach. You can get Lake Superior views from the campground!
This also makes it a campground near the Pictured Rocks cliffs!
A permit is required, and you can make backcountry campsite reservations at the national park camping reservation website.
Here's some info on Michigan vacation prep!
- Get a waterproof phone case if you'll be heading out on the water!
- Get water shoes if you'll be heading to any beaches with a rocky shoreline in search of colorful rocks! (aka agate stones or yooperlites)
- Personal swim buoy float is perfect for swimming in the Great Lakes
- The perfect type of shirt for swimming in Michigan
Save the Upper Peninsula Michigan video playlist to watch on youtube later!
Top Michigan vacation spots:
- Best of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
- Best of Tahquamenon Falls State Park
- Best of Porcupine Mountains State Park
- Lake Superior road trip
- Michigan waterfalls road trip
- Lake Superior lighthouse road trip
- Best of Lake Superior camping in Michigan
- Best of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
PHOTOS of Chapel Falls Trail
So Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore has the town of Munising on one side to the west and Grand Marais on the other side to the east.
Chapel Falls is closer to the Munising side.
The Chapel Falls trailhead is in the Chapel Mosquito area. Your destination for google maps can be the Chapel Basin parking lot. It could be best if you have offline google maps downloaded before your UP trip, as data is spotty in the Upper Peninsula. GPS generally works.
The signs you will follow once you are in the park will be for the “Chapel Mosquito area.”
To get to the trailhead, you’ll turn off the main road and drive down the dirt road for around 30 minutes.
Once you turn down this road, there is really only one way to go. The end of the road will be the parking lot.
This parking lot can get FULL! And the road leading up to the parking lot can get FULL of parked cars.
Many park further away from the parking lot and walk an extra 10-15 minutes just to get to the trailhead.
You can take your chances and drive to the parking lot to see if there are any available spots. If there are no spots available, you can either wait around to see if someone will finish up the trail soon, and/or assess if you want to drive back to one of the spots on the side of the road that you saw.
There is a toilet at the parking lot.
There is no drinking water at the trailhead. TIP: always have a few gallon jugs of water in the back of your car so you will always have a water source to fill up your water bottle on hot summer days! You can find water by the gallon in grocery stores. Be sure to take water (and snacks) with you on the Chapel Falls Trail.
So once you get to the parking lot, you’ll see the trailhead.
And any time you see a boot brush at a trailhead… use it! Because why not!
Then, you’ll start the trail! The trail is pretty straight forward so you won’t have any trouble with getting lost.
After walking for maybe 20-30 minutes, you’ll see the stairs to the first overlook to see the waterfalls!
And then you can keep walking.
You’ll then pass by the river (creek) where you can get up close and personal with the water if you want to.
And then you’ll continue walking to come across another overlook. This will be a more distant view of the waterfalls.
If you’re just here for these waterfalls, then at this point you can turn around and make your way back to the parking lot.
Otherwise, you can keep going towards Lake Superior!
And you have made it to the Lake Superior shoreline!
You may see people in the water, but in general, Lake Superior water temperature tends to be COLD. Possibly in the 50s. Lower 60s if you’re lucky!
Hiking to Chapel Beach and back will be around a 7 mile hike.
Once you’re done taking in Lake Superior, you can either take the trail back the way you came. Or continue onwards towards Grand Portal Point to see the famous Pictured Rocks cliffs to complete the Chapel Loop Trail for a 9-10+ mile hike in total.
And that’s a bit of how you can spend a part of your day in the Chapel area!
See more waterfalls: Here is the list of waterfalls in Pictured Rocks!
See more of Pictured Rocks:
See more of the UP:
- Stops to make on the drive from Munising to Marquette
- Stops to make on a circle the UP road trip
- Beautiful views in Marquette (Sugarloaf Mountain)
- Beautiful views in the Keweenaw Peninsula (Devil’s Washtub)
- The bubbling big spring
Love waterfalls?! See the list of best waterfalls in Hawaii too!
HAPPY HIKING CHAPEL FALLS TRAIL TO SEE WATERFALLS AND A LAKE SUPERIOR BEACH!
Watch the videos to see Michigan in action!
Find more amazing things to do in the UP: Watch my Upper Peninsula videos on youtubeIf you see an activity you like, look in the description below the youtube video for the individual blog post about that specific activity!
Turn your Michigan road trip into a national park road trip out west?! Take a look to get ideas for your road trip across America!
- Road trip to North Dakota national park
- Road trip to South Dakota (with 2 SD national parks)
- Road trip to Wyoming (with 2 WY national parks)
- Road trip to Idaho (with 1 ID national monument to see lava fields and caves!)
- See more: Chicago to Yellowstone road trip
There are affiliate links on this page. Among other partners, as an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission from this.