See a tree growing on a rock!
You can get pretty close to it.
You’re requested not to get too close though.
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.
So the hike to Chapel Rock will be around 6-7 miles round trip.
The hike doesn’t have to be JUST about Chapel Rock!
You will be taking the Chapel Falls Trail to get to Chapel Rock. This means you can see waterfalls along the way!
Chapel Rock is also on Lake Superior which means you get stunning Lake Superior views!
And, right near Chapel Rock is Chapel Beach too.
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!
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.
And so, you can consider a hike to Chapel Rock one of the best hikes in Pictured Rocks!
A little bit more below on what it’s like to hike to Chapel Rock!
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
More PHOTOS of Chapel Rock!
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.
Once you’re in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore park, you’ll look for signs to the Chapel Mosquito area.
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.
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!
And then you’ll start to see Lake Superior…
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!
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:
- Chapel Falls
- Grand Portal Point
- Munising Falls
- Sable Falls
- Miners Falls
- Twelvemile Beach campground
- Grand Sable Dunes overlook
- Little Beaver Lake campground
See more of Pictured Rocks:
- Lake Superior beaches in Pictured Rocks
- Waterfalls in Pictured Rocks
- More things to do in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
See more of the UP:
- Alger Falls
- Wagner Falls
- 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
HAPPY HIKING TO CHAPEL ROCK!
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
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