If you’re planning a trip to Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, then one of the stops you’ll want to make will be to see the lake known as the Lake of the Clouds.
This is one of the famous images of the Porcupine Mountains.
There’s an overlook where you can get great scenic views of the Lake of the Clouds and the Porcupine Mountains.
It’s a pretty short trail from the parking lot that will take you to the overlook.
Hiking the Escarpment Trail from Lake of the Clouds overlook
The Escarpment Trail is one of the best hikes in the Porcupine Mountains. It’s an out-and-back hike, and one of the spots that you can start the trail is from the Lake of the Clouds overlook.
Here's some info on Michigan vacation prep! Top Michigan vacation spots:
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- Best of Porcupine Mountains State Park
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And getting there
Once you get to the entry point of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, make your first stop the visitor center. Here you can pick up a map of the park. When I went, there was a map inside the newspaper, so be sure to pick that up.
You can find Lake of the Clouds on google maps to get you there. You’ll want to download offline google maps before you leave home since data in the UP can be spotty. GPS usually works.
You’ll be driving past Lake Superior’s Union Bay to get the Lake of the Clouds parking lot. There’s a bathroom at the Lake of the Clouds trailhead.
Trail to Lake of the Clouds overlook
From the parking lot, you can find the start of the trail.
So there are 2 paths you can walk to get to different overlooks. These overlooks are near one another. Both walks are either paved trails or boardwalk trails.
Trail going STRAIGHT…
Or trail going RIGHT…
Which one to take?!
If you are here just to see the Lake of the Clouds (and you won’t be hiking), then it really doesn’t matter much. You can make it a loop to see both overlooks.
If you will only be going to one of the overlooks, the trail STRAIGHT is the slightly higher vantage point. To the RIGHT you will get better views of the cliff.
If you’ll be hiking the Escarpment Trail, then I would say take the trail to the RIGHT, not the trail that points straight in the direction of the Escarpment Trail. By going right, you can see the Lake of the Clouds from both overlooks (which will offer different viewpoints) without backtracking. The trail between the 2 overlooks isn’t that long, but it will save you a few steps!
So, pick a trail, and off you go to see the Lake of the Clouds! You will come to the overlook within 5 minutes or so.
And once you’ve finished up taking in the views from the overlook, you can head back to the parking lot… or get started on the Escarpment Trail!
And that’s a bit about what you can see at the Lake of the Clouds overlook!
More ideas for the U.P.
- Best quick stops in the Keweenaw Peninsula
- Things to do on the drive from Munising to Marquette
- Pictured Rocks trail with waterfalls and colorful beach
- Pictured Rocks dune climb
- The bubbling Big Spring
- Best waterfalls to see in the UP
- Lower Peninsula Mackinac Bridge view on your way up to the U.P.
Explore the Lower Peninsula too!
- Leelanau Peninsula (lighthouse visit)
- Sleeping Bear Dunes (U.S. national lakeshore visit)
- Muskegon State Park (lighthouse, beach, sand dunes!)
HAPPY SEEING THE LAKE OF THE CLOUDS IN THE PORCUPINE MOUNTAINS!