Pictured Rocks was my first backpacking trip, and ever since then, I've been love.
During college, my friends and I likely visited this place 7 or 8 times. It was usually the camping trip we looked forward too. Even though we've been there during black fly season, in cold and rain, carrying gear that was far too heavy because we didn't know any better.
There's just something about this place that draws you back - the two hundred foot tall white cliffs rising above an angry Lake Superior. The smell of Michigan woodlands and leaves crunching underfoot. The sandy beaches soft enough to hike barefoot and sleep out under the stars.
So many fond memories with friends around the campfire, which is what made it extra special to come back here so many years later and show it to my son. We came during the peak fall season, which I'd never seen. The trees up and down the coast were on fire with oranges and reds and yellows. We'd walk through corridors of color, every single leaf on the undergrowth and birches above a blinding yellow.
Chapel Rock is one of the crown jewels of an incredible park. It's a solitary tree on a spike of rock. Sometime recently, the rock connecting it's base to land crumbled away, leaving the tree all on its own, and an arm of roots lashing it to the mainland.
It'll be heartbreaking when this incredible spot washes away or the tree dies, which is why I'm so thankful I've gotten to see it so many times.
Add the incredible magic of this place to your home decor. With this Michigan landscape print, you can enjoy this incredible spot at Chapel Rock every single day.
This photo was taken on a backpacking trip with my son in October of 2023. The goal was to hike the entire 40+ miles of the Lake Superior coast with him. I shot it the afternoon of the 2nd day. It was chilly and windy, but the colorful leaves still clung to the trees.