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Grand Portal Point is one of the landmarks of the famous Pictured Rocks cliffs in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

 

Hike to Grand Portal Point to see Pictured Rocks Cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Hike to Grand Portal Point to see Pictured Rocks Cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Hike to Grand Portal Point to see Pictured Rocks Cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Hike to Grand Portal Point to see Pictured Rocks Cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Hike to Grand Portal Point to see Pictured Rocks Cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Hike to Grand Portal Point to see Pictured Rocks Cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Hike to Grand Portal Point to see Pictured Rocks Cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Hike to Grand Portal Point to see Pictured Rocks Cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Hike to Grand Portal Point to see Pictured Rocks Cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Hike to Grand Portal Point to see Pictured Rocks Cliffs. UP Upper Peninsula Michigan travel blog

 

 

The way to see Grand Portal Point by foot

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

It’s also possible to see it by foot, and you will get a different viewpoint of it compared to seeing it when you’re on a cruise!

Seeing Grand Portal Point by foot will require a little bit of effort. There’s a hiking trail to get there.

It’s around 4.3 miles one way from the nearest parking lot to Grand Portal Point. (That is the direction that passes by Chapel Beach first.)

To get to Grand Portal Point, you’ll be doing what’s commonly called the Chapel Loop Trail. Doing this hike as a loop will be 9-10+ miles.

And there’s much more to see than just Grand Portal Point! Chapel Loop Trail is THE hike to do if you want to see the Pictured Rocks cliffs by foot. So you’ll be able to see many more unique rock formations with this hike. And, part of the loop includes waterfalls too. Consider it one of the best hikes in Pictured Rocks! (More photos below!)

 

 

Backpacking the North Country Trail

Grand Portal Point Hike - backpacking the north country trail. Hiking Pictured Rocks. UP Michigan travel blog

 

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 National Lakeshore for around 40 miles.

The NCT also goes past Grand Portal Point, and there are backcountry campsites near the Pictured Rocks cliffs.

 

Grand Portal Point Hike from backcountry campground campsite. Hiking Pictured Rocks. UP Michigan travel blog

 

On one side, there’s the Chapel Beach backcountry campground that’s around 1.3 miles from Grand Portal Point. On the other side, there’s the Mosquito River backcountry campground that’s around 2.7 miles from Grand Portal Point.

 

 

🌳

 

 

 

Now…

PHOTOS of what you’ll see on your hike to Grand Portal Point!

The sun’s lighting onto the lake isn’t the best in these pictures. I was at Grand Portal Point at around 6pm in the middle of July. At this time, the sunset was past 9:30pm.

 

So to get to Grand Portal Point, you start from the Chapel Mosquito area parking. For google maps, you can make the Chapel Basin parking lot your destination. The general area of Grand Portal Point 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.

 

Getting to Grand Portal Point hike trailhead. 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.

 

Getting to Grand Portal Point hike trailhead parking lot. Pictured Rocks. UP Michigan travel blog

 

So when you’re doing this hike as a loop, you can go in either direction.

Basically, you can go from the trailhead to Chapel Beach to Mosquito Beach back to the trailhead.

Or you can go in the other direction, from the trailhead to Mosquito Beach to Chapel Beach back to the trailhead.

The Pictured Rocks cliffs are between the 2 beaches. 

I went to Chapel Beach first, so that will reflect the order of what’s seen below. This is in the counter clockwise direction, and it means following the Chapel Falls Trail first.

So doing it in this direction, 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! You’ll then pass by Chapel Rock (the rock with a tree growing on it) and Chapel Beach (a sandy beach where you can see small waterfalls flowing into Lake Superior). From the trailhead to Chapel Beach is a little over 3 miles, maybe closer to 3.5 miles walking to the other end of the beach.

 

Hike to Grand Portal Point. Start hiking trail. Hiking Pictured Rocks. UP Michigan travel blog

Hike to Grand Portal Point. See Chapel Falls along the way. Hiking Pictured Rocks. UP Michigan travel blog

Hike to Grand Portal Point. See Chapel Rock along the way. Hiking Pictured Rocks. UP Michigan travel blog

Hike to Grand Portal Point. See Lake Superior shoreline along the way. Hiking Pictured Rocks. UP Michigan travel blog

Hike to Grand Portal Point. See Chapel Beach along the way. Hiking Pictured Rocks. UP Michigan travel blog

Hike to Grand Portal Point. See Chapel Beach along the way. Hiking Pictured Rocks. UP Michigan travel blog

 

You can walk along the beach some for a bit of a beach walk, and then you can continue on with the hiking trail.

So once you leave Chapel Beach, you’ll follow the hiking trail that will generally go along the Lake Superior shoreline. There will be a number of spots where you can veer off and take a short trail to overlooks to see the Pictured Rocks cliffs!

From Chapel Beach to Grand Portal Point might be around 1.3 miles, but you might want to make a few stops along the way! So it could take a bit longer than you might expect!

 

Grand Portal Point Hike - Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Grand Portal Point Hike - Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Grand Portal Point Hike - Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Grand Portal Point Hike - Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Grand Portal Point Hike - Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

 

And then you’ll see a sign for Grand Portal Point! (The only landmark that I saw marked along the cliff trail.)

 

Trail to Grand Portal Point - Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Trail to Grand Portal Point - Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Trail to Grand Portal Point - Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

 

It’s somewhat of a wide area so there are a few different small little paths that you can take to get to the overlook.

 

Trail to Grand Portal Point. Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Trail to Grand Portal Point. Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Trail to Grand Portal Point. Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Trail to Grand Portal Point. Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Trail to Grand Portal Point. Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Trail to Grand Portal Point. Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

 

Enjoy the views at Grand Portal Point!!

 

Grand Portal Point. Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Grand Portal Point. Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Grand Portal Point. Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Grand Portal Point. Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Grand Portal Point. Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Grand Portal Point. Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Grand Portal Point. Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Grand Portal Point. Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Grand Portal Point. Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Grand Portal Point. Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Grand Portal Point. Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Grand Portal Point. Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

Grand Portal Point. Hiking Pictured Rocks cliffs. UP Michigan travel blog

 

And then you can continue hiking to see more Pictured Rocks cliffs!

 

And that’s a bit of what you’ll see with a hike to Grand Portal Point!

 

See more of the best hiking in Pictured Rocks!

 

If you’re interested in Grand Portal Point, you may also be interested in these Pictured Rocks activities:

 

See more of Pictured Rocks:

 

See more of the UP:

 

HAPPY HIKING TO GRAND PORTAL POINT!

 

Hike to Grand Portal Point to see Pictured Rocks Cliffs. UP Upper Peninsula Michigan travel blog

 

 

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