Climbing Munising’s Amazing Ice Formations

Ice Climbing on Grand Island

Grand Island VI, photo by

Waterfalls of the Great Lakes Region and Beyond is an incredible website – packed with pictures of waterfalls – including a ton of Michigan falls (full list on the home page). You may know about the beauty of Michigan’s tumbling cascades, but have you seen them when winter freezes them in their course? The picture above is from the cliffs on the east side of Grand Isle opposite Sand Point is just one of many on their Munising Ice Formations page which explains:

Munising, Michigan is located at the western end of the sandstone cliffs that dominate the Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore. Every winter, water seeping over and through the sandstone freezes forming ice columns, curtains and other formations. Ice climbers flock to the area to tackle the ice, but even if you do not climb the ice formations are a fascinating sight…

Grand Island sits in Munising Bay. In summer there is a ferry service that takes you to the island, but in winter the bay usually freezes over and you can walk, ski or snowmobile out to the island.

Numerous ice formations form on the sandstone cliffs shores of the island. The most accessible ice is on the east side of the island opposite Sand Point, but there is ice all around the island. All the pictures below are of the cliffs opposite Sand Point and were taken in February 2003.

They advise to check with the locals on the ice conditions before crossing – and I advise you to click over and look at more of the pictures – there’s a bunch of great views! If you don’t have a snowmobile, it looks like Grand Island Sled Rentals can help you out (some more great pictures of the ice too!).

You should probably check out the Waterfall Mosaic too!

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