Hi there!

 

So Chapel Rock is one of the many great geological formations in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

See a tree growing on a rock! 

You can get pretty close to it.

 

Hike to Chapel Rock overlook: Best things to do in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. UP Upper Peninsula Michigan travel blog

Hike to Chapel Rock overlook: Best things to do in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. UP Upper Peninsula Michigan travel blog

Hike to Chapel Rock overlook: Best things to do in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. UP Upper Peninsula Michigan travel blog

Hike to Chapel Rock overlook: Best things to do in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. UP Upper Peninsula Michigan travel blog

Hike to Chapel Rock overlook: Best things to do in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. UP Upper Peninsula Michigan travel blog



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You’re requested not to get too close though.

 

No climbing at Chapel Rock overlook. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

 

 

The geology of Chapel Rock

According to the National Park Service:

Chapel Rock is a remnant of Cambrian age sandstone that was carved by Lake Nipissing high water some 3800 years ago.

There once was an archway connecting the rock to the mainland.

The arch collapsed in the 1940s.

The lone white pine on Chapel Rock is estimated to be about 250 years old.

And according to a sign in Hiawatha National Forest, Lake Superior is said to be the “ancestral remains” of Lake Nipissing.

 

The way to see the Chapel Rock by foot

Chapel Rock is one of the highlights on Pictured Rocks boat tours, so it’s possible to see Chapel Rock by boat.

It’s also possible to see it by foot, and you will be able to get a bit closer to it compared to seeing it when you’re on a cruise.

Seeing Chapel Rock by foot will require a little bit of effort. There’s a hiking trail to get there.

It’s around 3 miles one way from the nearest parking lot.

 

Driving to Chapel Rock. Parking lot near Chapel Rock. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

 

So the hike to Chapel Rock will be around 6-7 miles round trip. 

But!

The hike doesn’t have to be JUST about Chapel Rock!

 

Beach near Chapel Rock. Waterfalls near Chapel Rock. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

 

You will be taking the Chapel Falls Trail to get to Chapel Rock. This means you can see waterfalls along the way!

 

Chapel Falls near Chapel Rock overlook. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

 

Chapel Rock is also on Lake Superior which means you get stunning Lake Superior views!

 

Lake Superior near Chapel Rock overlook. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog



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Lake Superior near Chapel Rock overlook. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

Lake Superior near Chapel Rock overlook. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

Lake Superior near Chapel Rock overlook. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

Lake Superior near Chapel Rock overlook. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

 

And, right near Chapel Rock is Chapel Beach too.

 

Chapel Beach near Chapel Rock overlook. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog



 


Chapel Beach near Chapel Rock overlook. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

 

And if you don’t mind hiking even further, this is also the direction you go to see THE famous Pictured Rocks cliffs by foot!

 

Pictured Rocks cliffs near Chapel Rock overlook. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

 

And if you want to spend an overnight in the area, there’s also the Chapel Beach backcountry campground that comes with Lake Superior views that’s also in the area. Reservations required.

 

Chapel Beach backcountry campground campsite near Chapel Rock overlook. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

 

And so, you can consider a hike to Chapel Rock one of the best hikes in Pictured Rocks!

 

 

Cost of hiking to Chapel Rock

According to the National Park Service:

To access Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, you must possess and display:

Pictured Rocks 7-Day or Annual Entrance Pass

OR

America the Beautiful Pass (Annual, Military, Fourth Grade, Senior, or Volunteer).

If you already have an America the Beautiful Pass, you do not need to buy a separate Pictured Rocks Entrance Pass!

 

The Pictured Rocks entry fee will cover all hikes in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and that includes the hike to Chapel Rock.

The cost to visit Pictured Rocks in 2023 is $20 per car. This will get you a 7-day Pictured Rocks national park pass. (There is no one-day Pictured Rocks pass.)

Confirm current Pictured Rocks fees.

You can buy a Pictured Rocks national park pass at a Pictured Rocks visitor center when you arrive, or you can buy it online at recreation.gov before you go.

If you will also be visiting other national parks that have entry fees, then you may want to look into getting an annual national park pass aka the America the Beautiful pass!

This annual national park pass will also be accepted at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Other popular national parks “near” Michigan include Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky and Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina, but these parks do not have a national park entry fee.

If you have several more weeks to spare in the summer or fall, you can make use of the America the Beautiful national park pass by driving out to Yellowstone National Park!

You can go to national parks in Wyoming and national parks in South Dakota, and you could even add on a national park in North Dakota and/or a national park site in Idaho! See how I did the drive from Chicago to Yellowstone.

If you are a senior, there is also an annual national park pass for seniors that will be worth it even if you only visit Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore! It’s $20! See current fees under America the Beautiful passes.

 

A little bit more below on what it’s like to hike to Chapel Rock!

 

 

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Now…

More PHOTOS of Chapel Rock!

Chapel Rock hike: Best things to do in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Pictured Rocks day hikes hiking trails. UP Upper Peninsula Michigan travel blog

 

The color of Lake Superior was amazing to see when I went! It was a clear day, and I was at Chapel Rock around 4pm in the middle of July.

The Chapel Rock trailhead is in the Chapel Mosquito area. So to get to Chapel Rock, for google maps, you can make the Chapel Basin parking lot your destination. Chapel Rock is also on google maps.

Once you’re in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore park, you’ll look for signs to the Chapel Mosquito area.

 

Driving directions to Chapel Rock. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

 

This is a popular trail and the parking lot might be full when you go. If you see cars parked on the road before you even get to the parking lot, you can take your chances and drive all the way to the parking lot to see if anyone’s left recently, or if anyone will be leaving shortly. Otherwise, you might have to park a bit further from the parking lot and then walk a little extra just to get to the parking lot and trailhead.

 

Chapel Rock parking lot. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

 

So you’ll take the same trail to Chapel Falls. You’ll start the trail, pass by some waterfall overlooks, and then you’ll keep walking on the trail which will take you to Lake Superior and Chapel Rock!

 

Trail to Chapel Rock overlook. Hiking Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

Trail to Chapel Rock with waterfalls. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

Trail to Chapel Rock overlook. Hiking Pictured Rocks hike, UP Michigan travel blog

 

And then you’ll start to see Lake Superior…

 

Chapel Rock hike to Lake Superior. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

 

And then Chapel Rock! First you’ll see it from one overlook, and then you can walk a little bit down to see it from another angle!

 

Hike to Chapel Rock overlook. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

Hike to Chapel Rock overlook. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

Hike to Chapel Rock overlook. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

Hike to Chapel Rock overlook. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

Hike to Chapel Rock overlook. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

Hike to Chapel Rock overlook. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

Hike to Chapel Rock overlook. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

Hike to Chapel Rock overlook. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

Hike to Chapel Rock overlook. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

Hike to Chapel Rock overlook. Pictured Rocks, UP Michigan travel blog

 

 

And that’s a bit of what you’ll see with a hike to Chapel Rock!

 

See more of the best hiking in Pictured Rocks!

 

If you’re interested in Chapel Rock, you may also be interested in these Pictured Rocks activities:

 

See more of Pictured Rocks:

 

HAPPY HIKING TO CHAPEL ROCK!

 

Chapel Rock hike: Best things to do in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Pictured Rocks day hikes hiking trails. UP Upper Peninsula Michigan travel blog

 

 

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