Fall color from the top of Michigan

October 11, 2008

Fall color from summit peak

Fall color from summit peak, photo by mtsn.

Well, Summit Peak in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park isn’t the highest point in Michigan. However, as the very detailed article on the Porcupine Mountains at climbing, mountaineering, hiking site SummitPost explains:

The Porcupine Mountains rise from the shore of Lake Superior in the far western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. They are not remarkably high by some standards but for this part of the midwest they represent some of the most rugged terrain around. The “Porkies,” as they are known by locals, are actually a series of three ridges that lie parallel to the shoreline. The mountains are preserved within the borders of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.

The first ridge rises 1000 feet directly from Lake Superior to a maximum elevation of around 1600 feet. The lake-side of the escarpment rises steeply but gradually while the south side is a 300-500 foot cliff overlooking the Big Carp River valley and the famous Lake of the Clouds.

The second ridge is a bit higher, reaching an elevation of 1850 feet at Government Peak. Again, the north slope of this ridge is gradual but steep. The south side however does not drop off like its neighboring ridge to the north. the two Mirror Lake sit in this high valley at about 1500 feet in elevation.

The third, and southernmost, ridge is the highest. The height of land is known as Summit Peak and it is the 3rd highest point in Michigan at 1958 feet. Climb the 50 foot observation tower at the summit, however, and you will be standing higher than even Michigan highpoint Mt. Arvon. Summit Peak does command an impressive view but does not rise from its surroundings as drastically as the ridges to the north because the terrain here averages around 1500 feet in elevation.

Read on for lots more information about hiking in the Porkies, links and photos. For some reason their map didn’t work for me, so here’s Summit Peak on the Absolute Michigan Map!

Speaking of photos, the one above was taken on Tuesday (Oct 7) and is wallpapery fresh for all your computer background needs. Kiyo has plenty more in her Porcupine Mountains State Park set (slideshow). She also operates a Japanese language site with Michigan tourism information.

More fall wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures

One Response to “Fall color from the top of Michigan”

  1. Lea Says:

    This is absolutely beautiful. Michigan will always be my home, but I’ll never give up snowboarding in the cascade mountains. :)


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