Spray Falls Overlook

Spray Falls is located in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.  This is a spectacular waterfall that cascades directly into Lake Superior.

Trail Details

Round-trip: 12km
Difficulty: Medium
Location: Munising, MI
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Directions to Trailhead

Spray Falls in my view, are one of the most unique waterfalls I’ve seen around Lake Superior because of the 21-metre sheer drop these falls make directly into Lake Superior from the high sandstone cliffs of the Pictured Rocks.

In the winter these falls freeze creating beautiful curtains of ice, which are a popular ice climbing destination. If you are interested in seeing the ice version of the falls I highly recommend checking out the Michigan Ice Fest that is held in this area each year. I’ve attended a few times over the years and the festival never disappoints!

The trail to see the falls on foot is a 6 km hike starting from the Little Beaver Lake trailhead to the Spray Falls Overlook. This hike is included in the Waterfalls of Michigan guidebook if you are a guidebook nerd like I am. Be aware that there are no fences along the cliffs so be sure not to get close to the edge and keep children and pets close.

The terrain of this hike starts relatively flat but then changes to hills as you climb to the height of the cliffs that rising above Lake Superior.

From Munising Michigan 49862, USA

  1. Head northwest toward E Munising Ave for 220 ft
  2. Exit the traffic circle onto E Munising Ave for 2.6 mi
  3. Continue onto Adams Trail for 16.3 mi
  4. Turn left onto Little Beaver Lake Rd for 0.1 mi
  5. Turn left to stay on Little Beaver Lake Rd for 2.8 mi
  6. Park at the Beaver Lake Campground parking area

Spray Falls Overlook Hike Details

After parking near the Beaver Lake Campground. Start at the Beaver Basin Trailhead found within the parking lot and hike toward the shoreline. About 2km into the hike you come to a view of Little Beaver Lake.

Just after Little Beaver Lake, you enter the Beaver Basin Wilderness. This wilderness area was created in 2009 and protects 11,740 acres from future development. It also includes 21km of Lake Superior shoreline from Spray Falls to Sevenmile Creek.

About 1km from Little Beaver Lake you reach the junction with the Lakeshore Trail. Then in about another 2km, you reach the unique Pictured Rocks Coves Area.

The Coves hike-in campground is also nearby if you want to turn this hike into an easy overnight outing.

After the Coves Area, you start climbing up on the cliffs. Just over 6km from the start you reach the Spray Falls Overlook where you can see the Spray Falls as well as the amazing Pictured Rocks shoreline.

If you’ve already seen the falls on foot, it is well worth it to also see the falls by water. The Pictured Rocks Boat Cruise offers a regular tour that turns around short just the falls which does provide great views, but they do also offer an extended Spray Falls Cruise in the late afternoon where you might also get a chance to learn more about the 1856 shipwreck “Superior” that lies at the base of the falls in 20 feet of water.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is well worth the visit with offer 160 km of hiking trails leading to waterfalls, beaches, forest wilderness, cultural sites, and breathtaking cliff-top views of Lake Superior. Whether you have only a few minutes, hours, or days to see a portion of the lakeshore, one of these hikes may be for you.  Some nearby hikes include Miners Falls, Sable Falls, Grand Portal Point, Log Slide Overlook, Grand Sable Dunes, and Chapel Falls Loop.

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