|Chapel Rock, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore|
September 14, 2013From our campground, we drove 25 miles to Chapel Parking Lot where we planned to hike an 11 mile loop to Chapel Rock, Grand Portal Point, Mosquito Beach, and Mosquito Falls. We started around 7 am with the temperature hovering around 30 deg F and arrived to the parking lot around 8. After a quick swig of coffee at the trailhead and a fast hiking pace on the rising terrain, we were well warmed up.
The trail was wide and easily accommodated both of us. Though it was dry for the latter half of the summer, there were still areas that were wet and muddy. Besides the muddy spots on the trail, we also ran into areas that were washed out and eroded. Other than that, the trail was well maintained and had us hiking on some cool landscape such as steps formed by tree roots. The woods on either side of us went on for as far as our eyes could see and, the further we hiked, the closer to the Lake Superior shoreline we got.
Within half an hour, Chapel Falls came into view. After snapping a couple of pictures, we hiked around to the other side of the falls where the trail turned north, leading us to the shoreline. The trail that paralleled the east side of Chapel Lake and 45 minutes after Chapel Falls, we arrived at Chapel Rock.
Chapel Rock was unassuming, with the trail leading us to a small clearing on top of a cliff. Looking left, we saw a lone tree sitting on top of a sandstone pillar. This was Chapel Rock. Impressive and awe inspiring, Chapel Rock used to be connected to the mainland by a sandstone arch until it collapsed in the 40's. After pausing to take in the view, we continued hiking to Chapel Beach.
We were now hiking on the North Country Trail which snaked along the shores of Lake Superior. There were beach campsites on one side and log steps that led down to the beach on the other. Being 3 miles away from the parking lot and accessible only by hiking, these sites were secluded, quiet, and pristine. We then continued hiking towards Grand Portal Point.
To Chapel Falls
|At the trailhead, Chapel Parking Lot|
|Nice wide trails|
|Chapel Falls trail|
|Chapel Falls viewing platform|
|Blurry pic of M going down to the viewing platform|
|Chapel Falls source of water|
|Hiking to get to the 2nd viewing platform|
|Trail for Chapel Falls|
|Another view of Chapel Falls|
To Chapel Rock
|Trail from Chapel Falls to Chapel Rock|
|Chapel Rock Trail|
|Trail to Chapel Rock|
|Tall trees to Chapel Rock|
|Avoiding muddy trails|
|Undulating terrain on the hike to Chapel Rock|
|Tree root stairs|
|Chapel Rock up head through the clearing|
|Chapel Rock with Chapel Beach in background|
|Cliffside next to Chapel Rock|
|Chapel Rock's base, eroded sandstone|
To Chapel Beach
|Continued onto the trail left of Chapel Rock to get to Chapel Beach|
|Lake Superior shoreline|
|On the North Country Trail, crossing over Chapel Creek|
|Chapel Creek washing into Lake Superior|
|North Country Trail to Chapel Beach|
|View of Chapel Beach and sandstone cliffs of Pictured Rocks|
|Information about camping|
|Log steps down to Chapel Beach|
|M enjoying the view of Chapel Beach|
|Sandy North Country Trail|
|Sandy North Country Trail|