Hunts' Guide to The Upper Peninsula

Bare Bluff

Bare Bluff
The climb isn't easy, but the reward on a sunny day is fantastic—the vivid blue of Superior surrounding the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

The journey to Bare Bluff is a dual challenge. First is the 2.5-mile ride on an extremely bumpy road where at times, if you don't slow to a crawl, you'll risk hurting your vehicle. Then there's the 2-mile hike to the sheer bluff, which gets steeper the closer you get to the top. But the trek's worth it. After a long while of trudging through a delightful forest, suddenly the vista opens up, made possible by giant rock outcroppings. The bare bluff is just that, and a false step can send you hurtling straight down a couple hundred feet.

The Keweenaw offers many splendid vistas, but this one is special because of the terrific view to the north where you can take in the entire final 8-mile shoreline of the peninsula.

Bare Bluff path
The path through the woods to Bare Bluff.

If you're up to it, you can continue north on the trail down, making a 3-mile loop to get back to where you started up. (—2007)
From Lac la Belle, take Bete Grise Road east to Smith Fisheries Road, just before you reach the bay. (For some reason the road has a no trespassing sign, which you can ignore.) Keep on Smith Fisheries Rd. for 2.5 miles until you get to a spot to the right with parking for 3-4 cars. This is the entry that begins with the Michigan Nature Association's signs to the bluff. After a .7-mile walk down the old road, a blue sign to the left signals the beginning of the hiking trail. Soon another sign with a map of the 3-mile loop emerges. As you head up, be sure to follow the blue stenciled arrows. At one point fairly near the bluffs, the trail dips for a short way and the trail makes an unmarked lefthand turn which is easy to miss. Be careful when you reach the sheer bluff. This isn't a safe place for children nor an enjoyable outing for someone who isn't up to climbing what amounts to steps to the top of a 30-story building.

Return to Lac la Belle

Bete Grise Bay and Beach. A sandy beach on Lake Superior with a 10-mile view up the Keweenaw shoreline ... more

Mouth & Falls of Montreal River. A delightful 2-mile walk along the Superior shoreline to the 2 waterfalls at & near the Montreal River. ... more

Mount Bohemia Ski Area. Abundant snow and steep slopes has made this a magnet to extreme skiers from far & wide ... more

Bare Bluff. One of Michigan's premier vistas awaits the hiker prepared to make the ascent ... more

Mendota Light and Canal. A view from a sandy grove of pines of an historic canal and across it of the old Mendota Lighthouse ... more

Mount Houghton. Looming above all else along Lake Superior, Mt. Houghton has a majestic presence where viewed from the Bete Grise Bay beach ... more

Scenic South Shore drive. This quiet, gently scenic shoreline road along flat terrain makes it nice for casual bicyclists ... more

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Michigan's Upper Peninsula - Hunts' Guide to the U.P.

Michigan's Upper Peninsula - Hunts' Guide to the U.P.
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