5 Days, 4 Nights|
Guides, kayaks and kayak equipment, all meals and camping equipment.|
Transportation to Munsing, MI. Clothing and other apparel.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore offers some of the most spectacular coastline on the southern shore of Lake Superior. Spend five days exploring the cliffs, coves, and forests of this remote and wonderful area. Superior’s clear blue waters offer the Midwest’s finest paddling, a perfect environment for intermediate or experienced paddlers. At night you’ll enjoy hearty meals under the stars and relax around the campfire.
Day 1: We will meet in Munising around 3 p.m. where we'll meet and get acquainted with one another. We will then get on the water and refresh ourselves on some kayaking fundamentals. We will have dinner and spend the night at Munsing.
Day 2-4: On the second day, we will put in at Munsing after a good breakfast. Days 2, 3, and 4 will consist of eight to ten miles of paddling with stop-offs for lunch and a few hikes along the shore. We will travel Northeast until we reach our final destination on day 4; Grand Sable Dunes.
Day 5: After spending the night at Grand Sable Dunes, we will wake up to our last day. We'll enjoy our last great breakfast, and shuttle back to Munsing where we'll say our goodbyes and depart for home.
**This itinerary is subject to change.
Clothes should be packed in suitable dry bags or stuff sacks lined with heavy duty garbage bags.
Note that kayak hatches are rarely more than 1 ft. wide. Several smaller dry bags are much easier to fit in kayaks than large ones.
This is all you will need -- anything else is unnecessary baggage and will only be extra weight to carry.
You may find that you can borrow some of these items if you don’t own them already
- Wetsuit (farmer john style) (can be rented from Northwest Passage)
- 2 t-shirts (at least one non-cotton)
- 1 towel (small PackTowel® work great!)
- 1 shirt, long sleeved synthetic (non-cotton)
- 2 pairs of shorts (at least one non-cotton)
- Sun/rain hat
- 1 pair fast drying synthetic long pants - no blue jeans
- 1 light to medium fleece jacket
- 2 pairs shoes/sandals - Tevas, booties, water shoes, light sneakers etc. all work very well - one pair to get wet.
- 2 pair socks (non-cotton)
- 1 pr. synthetic long underwear (medium weight)
- Bathing suit
- Bandanas (optional) (can be used for head covering, washing up, etc)
- Rain gear (jacket and pants) (Paddling jacket works well as top)
- Clean change of clothing for the trip home (should be left in car)
- Toiletry kit (toilet paper, toothbrush, biodegradable soap and shampoo, face cream, nail clippers, personal medication etc.)
- Sunscreen and bug repellent
- Sleeping bag (compact, 3-season) and pad
- Small flashlight, batteries & extra bulb- headlamps are preferred
- Water bottle
- Sunglasses Chums/Croakies to keep glasses on your head are imperative (floating ones are preferable)
- Energy bars/snack food (limited quantities- we will feed you plenty!)
- Pocket knife
- Large plastic cup with handle (e.g. commuter coffee mug) or small lexan Nalgene (for hot drinks)
- Fleece hat and gloves (depending on weather)
- Paddling gloves (can be any type of open fingered glove e.g. biking gloves, sailing gloves etc.)
- Camera, waterproof container
- Reading matter and maps (waterproof case)
- Paddling jacket
- Sewing kit
- Ziploc® storage bags
- Crazy Creek® or similar generic chair (highly recommended for camp use, gives great back support)
- Entertainment (harmonica, cards, games)
- Fishing rod (collapsible, with container and license) and tackle
What is special about this trip?
The Pictured Rocks are a classic sea kayaking destination in the Great Lakes – the lure of Grand Island, the red sandstone cliffs and rock formations, and the cascading waterfalls add up to a trip full of photographic moments and memories! Our groups are always a lot of fun, and our guides are always experienced and enthusiastic.
How do I get there?
Most folks choose to drive themselves or carpool to Munising in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
How and where will you meet me?
We will meet at the city dock in Munising. Upon registration we will send you detailed directions and a map.
How long will it take me to get there?
The drive from Chicagoland to Munising takes about 9 hours.
Where should I stay overnight around there?
If you plan to arrive early or stay late, be sure to give the office a call for a recommendation on a great place to stay. Here are some links to local campsites near our meeting location Munising and Woodland Park.
What money should I take?
On the first night of the trip we go out to eat at a restaurant in Munising. This cost is not built into the trip, so be sure to bring some money for this night’s dinner.
Do they take plastic there? Are there cash stations?"
Most shops and restaurants in Munising accept major credit cards, and finding an ATM is never a problem.
What's the weather like?
You need to pay attention to two kinds of weather on Lake Superior: While on land we’ll experience the summer common to the upper Midwest, with daytime highs in the mid 80’s and lows in the upper 50’s. Pack a few light layers and some rain gear. The water in Lake Superior is around 50°F in mid-summer, and the waters can range from calm to challenging.
What are the accommodations like?
Our first night is spent at a mainland campground with showers and running water. The following nights offer some beautiful camp sites, generally with outhouses and water taps. We use lightweight two-person tents, and we’ll provide all the group camping and cooking gear (you provide your sleeping bag and pad).
What do I need to bring?
We will send you a detailed gear list upon registration. If you don’t own and can’t borrow a wetsuit, consider renting one from us. lake Superior’s midsummer water temperature hovers around 50 degrees.
Can I drink the water?
There are pumps for drinking water near our campsites. Bring a water bottle that you can refill at our stops. You won’t be able to drink directly from Lake Superior but we’ll bring iodine or a filter to purify the lake water if it becomes necessary.
What's the food like?
We plan for hearty meals! Recent menus have included fettucine and asparagus, fajitas, spaghetti and garlic bread for dinner, pancakes and potatoes for breakfast, and sandwiches and tuna salad for lunch; we also pack plenty of snacks! Please let us know about any special dietary needs and we’ll plan to accommodate you.
What time zone will I be in?
The Upper Peninsula is in the US Eastern Time Zone.
How can people reach me in an emergency? Can I call home?
You’ll be able to phone home from Munising on the first night, but once we head off to the camp sites you won’t see any more phones. Give friends and family The Northwest Passage office number, as our office will be able to get in touch with the group in an emergency. You may find some cell phone service along the way but don’t depend upon it.
How much time do we spend traveling each day? How many miles? Do I have free time?
The amount of kayaking varies from day to day. We’ll generally paddle for an hour and a half to two hours to get to our first night’s camp, set up camp and have lunch, then head out for a recreational paddle to check out some of the spectacular cliffs or wooded shores of the mainland. Each morning we’ll break camp, pack the boats, and head to the next night’s camp. Our paddling will be broken into one-to-two hour stretches, with breaks to explore some of the other highlights and have lunch or snacks. We plan to be off the water by mid-afternoon, set up camp, and then enjoy hiking, some short paddles in unloaded boats, or relaxing in camp!
What kind of equipment do you use?
We use rotomolded plastic kayaks, expedition equipped with bow and stern hatches and rudders. We’ll bring mostly single kayaks on this trip, though we often bring our double kayak along so people can switch around and try different paddling options. Our camping equipment includes Kelty and Eureka two-person tents.
How many people are on this trip? How many guides? Who are the guides / what are their qualifications?
Our group size for this trip ranges from 5-12. The Northwest Passage sends one guide for every five participants. Our guides are drawn from our staff of kayaking instructors, all hold certifications from the ACA or BCU (the governing bodies of sea kayaking in North America), and in Wilderness First Aid.
How can I prepare physically for the trip? How much prior experience is needed?
You don’t need to be a highly experienced paddler to enjoy this trip, but some experience is necessary. Taking our Fundamentals I and II classes would prepare you for the conditions that Lake Superior churns up. Your kayaking will improve throughout the trip, but a little practice beforehand will make the entire trip much more enjoyable.
The caves were phenomenal. I had wanted to kayak in this locale for years. We were blessed with a very calm Lake Superior and could see the rocks so clearly. Awesome to see the geology of the place. - July 2015 Lois, Illinois
Excellent. Brian was super in terms of paddling knowledge and rescue skills. He demonstrated his knowledge and shared it ...so I learned to improve my paddling and alleviated some discomfort. I felt safe at all times. He worked to talk with each of us and made us feel included. Engaging and interesting. Sophie is a hard working ray of sunshine. Accommodating, helpful. Finding solutions. It was fun to see her demo rescue skills. She raises the spirits of a group with her positivity. - July 2015 Joan, Illinois