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Grand Marais MI can be considered a gateway town of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Grand Marais is the smaller gateway town which is near the Pictured Rocks sand dunes. (The other slightly bigger, but still small, gateway town is Munising near the Pictured Rocks cliffs.)

 

Drive from Grand Marais to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore park: Things to do near Grand Marais MI. Pictured rocks gateway town. up michigan travel blog

Drive from Grand Marais to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore park: Things to do near Grand Marais MI. Pictured rocks gateway town. up michigan travel blog

 

From the town of Grand Marais to the Pictured Rocks entrance is less than a 5 minute drive.

 

Drive from Grand Marais to Pictured Rocks: Things to do near Grand Marais MI. Pictured rocks gateway town. up michigan travel blog

Drive from Grand Marais to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore park: Things to do near Grand Marais MI. Pictured rocks gateway town. up michigan travel blog

 

So, if you’re driving to Pictured Rocks from the eastern UP, you can choose to pass through Grand Marais if you want to take the slow scenic route to get to Pictured Rocks.

You can make Grand Marais a quick stop on your way to Pictured Rocks, or you can stay for 1-2 hours.

You can stop by Bayshore Park for a picnic or to get food from the Grand Marais food truck.

Or, most notably as it relates to Pictured Rocks, there is a Grand Marais lighthouse pier that you can walk out onto. (One of many Lake Superior lighthouses you may want to stop by!)

The lighthouse pier will give you your first glimpse of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore from afar! You can see the Grand Sable Dunes that are part of Pictured Rocks from the Grand Marais lighthouse pier.

 

Things to do in Grand Marais MI near pictured rocks. up michigan travel blog

Things to do in Grand Marais MI near pictured rocks. up michigan travel blog

Things to do in Grand Marais MI near pictured rocks. up michigan travel blog

Things to do in Grand Marais MI near pictured rocks. where to see pictured rocks sand dunes from grand marais lighthouse pier. up michigan travel blog

Things to do in Grand Marais MI near pictured rocks. where to see pictured rocks sand dunes from grand marais lighthouse pier. up michigan travel blog

Things to do in Grand Marais MI near pictured rocks. where to see pictured rocks sand dunes from grand marais lighthouse pier. up michigan travel blog

 

There’s also a beach here that you may find fun to look for the colorful rocks that Lake Superior is known for. Also near the pier is a picnic table if you want to make a stop here for a picnic lunch with lake views!

 

Things to do in Grand Marais MI near pictured rocks. up michigan travel blog

 

A little bit more below about things to do near Grand Marais in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore!

 

 

 

 

 

Grand Marais MI to Pictured Rocks: Stopping by Grand Marais on your drive to Pictured Rocks

If you are coming from any of these points of interest in the eastern part of the Upper Peninsula, you may consider entering Pictured Rocks from Grand Marais instead of Munising:

Depending on the individual destination within Pictured Rocks that you plug into google maps, it may take you through Grand Marais, or it may have you bypass Grand Marais and enter through Munising.

To enter from the Grand Marais side, you may consider plugging into google maps Sable Falls or Log Slide Overlook, and you should definitely be directed to drive through Grand Marais. Both of these spots are located on the Grand Marais side of Pictured Rocks and are worthy stops within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. (See more worthy stops in Pictured Rocks!)

If you are looking for a further slow scenic route, then you may also consider driving along the Grand Marais Truck Trail to get to Grand Marais!

Note that there is also a Grand Marais MN so be sure you type in Grand Marais MI!

 

 

Things to do in Pictured Rocks near Grand Marais

Drive from Grand Marais to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore park directions. things to do in pictured rocks near grand marais. up michigan travel blog

Drive from Grand Marais to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore park directions. things to do in pictured rocks near grand marais. up michigan travel blog

Drive from Grand Marais to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore park directions. things to do in pictured rocks near grand marais. up michigan travel blog

 

Now here is a quick list of what to do on the Grand Marais Side of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore:

 

1. Sable Falls

Drive time from Grand Marais to Sable Falls: 5 minutes

Pictured Rocks, Grand Marais MI. Things to do near Grand Marais MI in pictured rocks: sable falls. up michigan travel blog

 

It’s about a half mile round trip hike on the Sable Falls Trail to get to the waterfalls viewpoint from the parking area. (There are 2 viewpoints.)

 

 

2. Sable Beach

Pictured Rocks, Grand Marais MI. Things to do near Grand Marais MI in pictured rocks: sable beach. up michigan travel blog

 

You can keep hiking past the waterfalls along the Sable Falls Trail to Lake Superior which will take you to Sable Beach, one of the many Pictured Rocks beaches. Here you will find a bunch of colorful rocks that Lake Superior is known for.

 

Pictured Rocks, Grand Marais MI. Things to do near Grand Marais MI in pictured rocks: sable beach. up michigan travel blog

 

Although, as a national lakeshore park, you don’t want to take anything that you find within the park, as the natural resources are protected by the National Park Service. It’s about a one mile hike round trip from the parking area.

Sable Falls Trail: See more about this Pictured Rocks activity near Grand Marais.

 

 

3. Grand Sable Dunes Loop Trail

Drive time from Grand Marais to Grand Sable Dunes Loop trailhead: 5 minutes

Pictured Rocks, Grand Marais MI. Things to do near Grand Marais MI in pictured rocks: grand sable dunes loop trail. up michigan travel blog

 

The Grand Sable Dunes Loop trailhead is the same as the Sable Falls trailhead. So you can do Sable Falls, Sable Beach, and the Grand Sable Dunes Loop together. This is listed as about a half mile trail.

 

 

4. Grand Sable Visitor Center

Drive time from Grand Marais to Grand Sable Visitor Center: 5 minutes

Stop by a Pictured Rocks visitor center to get more info about the national lakeshore park!

 

 

5. Log Slide Overlook

Drive time from Grand Marais to Log Slide: 15 minutes

Pictured Rocks, Grand Marais MI. Things to do near Grand Marais MI in pictured rocks: log slide sand dunes. up michigan travel blog

 

There’s a short sand path from the parking area that will be a few minutes walk to get to the Log Slide Overlook. You will be standing on top of tall sand dunes and you will have grand views of Lake Superior! If you want to make it into a hike, there are options for that, listed below coming up next.

 

Log Slide Overlook: See more about this Pictured Rocks activity near Grand Marais.

 

 

6. Hurricane River

Drive time from Grand Marais to Hurricane River: 20 minutes

Pictured Rocks, Grand Marais MI. Things to do near Grand Marais MI in pictured rocks: hurricane river. up michigan travel blog

 

There is the Hurricane River campground right near Hurricane River, one of the regular campgrounds in Pictured Rocks. If you’re making it a Lake Superior camping trip and coming from the east, then this might be a camping spot you want to stay at!

Camping or not, there’s Lake Superior shoreline access at Hurricane River, and you can see the river flowing into the lake. There’s a beach here too, and it’s also a spot you can look for colorful rocks.

Hurricane River campground: See more about this Pictured Rocks activity near Grand Marais.

 

 

7. Au Sable Lighthouse

Drive time from Grand Marais to Au Sable Lighthouse trailhead: 20 minutes

Pictured Rocks, Grand Marais MI. Things to do near Grand Marais MI in pictured rocks: au sable point lighthouse. up michigan travel blog

 

There are many ways to get to Au Sable Lighthouse. All of the ways do require hiking though.

It is possible to hike from the Log Slide overlook to Au Sable Lighthouse. This might be around 4.5 miles round trip.

The most common way to hike to the Au Sable Lighthouse is to take the Au Sable Lighthouse Trail from Hurricane River. You can consider Hurricane River to be the main Au Sable Lighthouse trailhead. This is about a 3 mile round trip hike.

If you’re looking for a longer hike, then you can make it a hike from Hurricane River (aka Au Sable Lighthouse trailhead) to the Log Slide Overlook and back. You’ll pass by the Au Sable Lighthouse along the way. This would make it around a 7.5 mile round trip hike. (map) If you don’t mind the distance, then I do recommend this! Plenty of Lake Superior views along the way!

 

 

And that’s a bit about what to do in Pictured Rocks near Grand Marais!

See more of what to do in Pictured Rocks, including the famous cliffs that Pictured Rocks is known for!

 

More of the top things to do around the UP:

 

HAPPY DRIVING TO PICTURED ROCKS FROM GRAND MARAIS!

 

Drive from Grand Marais to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore park: Things to do near Grand Marais MI. Pictured rocks gateway town. up michigan travel blog

 

 

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