Michigan: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Along a 15 mile stretch of the Lake Superior shoreline, near Munising, you can see a remarkable sandstone formation: The Pictured Rocks. Take the sunset cruise on a day with few clouds. Don't sit. Stand outside at the back of the boat. If you do sit, you are going to want to be on the right side of the boat going out. Then you will see what I saw: simply one of the most beautiful things on earth.

Bridalveil Falls. The cliffs stand 50 to 200 feet high.

 The various streaks of colors on the cliff face are created by groundwater leaching out of the rock. Examples of some of the more common: red = iron, black/white = manganese, yellow/brown = limonite, pink/green = copper

 Looking back toward Munising.

Manganese = white

Shallow caves caused by water erosion.

If you look closely at the water in this cave you can see "rain" drops hitting the lake surface. This is ground water that constantly leaches out of the sandstone. It is always raining here.

Indian Head Rock. Can you see it?

The Grand Portal. The arch used to be more open but its slowly collapsing.

 The Grand Portal

 The other side of The Grand Portal.

The Pirate's Head. Can you see it?

Chapel Rock. The pine tree on top extended its root system across to the "main land" in search of water.


Taken a day later from Munising. The sun just briefly touching the Pictured Rocks cliffs.