Hunts' Guide to The Upper Peninsula

Lake of the Clouds Overlook

Lake of the Clouds JMP
Photography by James Marvin Phelps
Big hitters: 41 top U.P. attractions

Lake of the Clouds Overlook, at the end of M-107, is one of the state's most famous views — and a great place for fall color. It looks down from a dramatic rocky ridge onto the Big Carp River Valley. From here the old-growth forests below seem like a distant green carpet. Scenic overlooks are near a parking lot, and they are now wheelchair-accessible. Expect a crowd of visitors here in summer and in fall color season. Come early to avoid crowds. (Stargazing from here is a popular park naturalist program; check at the visitor center for schedule.)

You can appreciate the vista more by approaching it on foot via the scenic, popular ESCARPMENT TRAIL along the high ridge. It reveals interesting rock formations as you walk along the dramatic escarpment. You can start at either the Government Peak trailhead four miles east of the Lake of the Clouds main overlook or at the Escarpment trailhead, two miles east on the south side of M-107.

A shorter trail connecting a number of high scenic viewpoints is the OVERLOOK TRAIL, a 3 l/2-mile loop. It also starts at the Government Peak trailhead off M-107, five miles west of the main park entrance. Both trails would be wonderful fall color destinations.

 If you're driving along M-107 to or from Lake of the Clouds, take the time to stop at MEAD MINE along M-107. Here you can enter about 100 feet of an old copper mine shaft. It's on the road's south side, just opposite the pleasant picnic area and historical marker on a hill overlooking Lake Superior. There's a good sunset view of Lake Superior from here.
Lake of the Clouds overlook is at the end of M-107, about 7 miles west of the park's Silver City entrance. Wheelchair-accessible.
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Return to Porcupine Mountains State Park

Park Visitor Center and nature center. Reccommended first stop at the Porkies in season for tips from helpful staff, audio-visual and pamphlet background on natural and human history, detailed hiking and topo maps, guided nature hikes ... more

Escarpment Trail. The U.P.'s most spectacular hiking trail has stunning views of Lake of the Clouds, the Upper Carp River, and the vast interior of the Porkies ... more

Hikes in the Porkies. From an hour to days-long, select hikes in the Porkies ... more

Lake of the Clouds Overlook. One of Michigan's most famous views looks down from a dramatic Porcupine Mountain ridge onto a peaceful lake and Big Carp Valley ... more

Lost Creek Yurt. Very cool adventure if you're up to it: a 6+ mile trek through deep winter snow in a remote, dense forest to a delightful yurt warmed by a wood stove. ... more

Shining Cloud Falls. One of the legendary U.P. hikes for hardy soles up to a rugged 10+ mile outing ... more

Union Bay. The most popular and easily reached Lake Superior beach in the Porkies, it's accessible by car and even has a concession stand by the large modern campground. ... more

Summit Peak Observation Tower. It feels like you're floating above an undulating sea of green here at the park's highest spot ... more

Presque Isle River Waterfalls & Picnic Area. Many consider the three waterfalls here among the most U.P.'s most beautiful ... more

Overlooked and Greenstone Falls. Two fine waterfalls, reached by fairly short hikes through old-growth hemlocks and past a gorge, are well worth the walk ... more

Explorers Falls. For those up to a long hike into the Porkies, the reward is experiencing the finest waterfall on the park's Carp River. ... more

Hike to Trap Falls. A 3 to 4 hour hike though hemlocks, hardwoods and big pines to a remote and picturesque waterfall ... more

Along the North Country Trail. Not the Porkies' most scenic trail, but its most remote. Connects to Black River waterfalls, Trap Hills, and Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness Area beyond the state park. ... more

Long trek deep into the Porkies. A recommended 3- to 4-day backpacking hike deep into the Porkies, through old-growth forest, past waterfalls, along the Little Carp River. ... more

Abinodja Falls, Ogimawke Falls & Ogima Falls. Just south of the state park, a marvelous series of waterfalls for those willing to take the trouble to find them ... more

Our new interactive map to U.P. motels that offer exceptionally low rates. See also our useful detailed maps to U.P. TOWNS. These custom-made maps locate landmarks and attractions.
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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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