Visited by passing English geologists in 1771-1772, the nearby Miners River was named by employees of Alexander Henry during one of his exploratory trips on Lake Superior. At that time, indicators or “leaders” were used to locate mineral deposits. Discolored water oozing from bedrock was one such leader found in the Miners Basin, although no minerals were ever extracted from this area.
Charles took took this pic last week. See lots more on his Flickr!
Authorized by Congress in 1966 as the nation’s first national lakeshore, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore today encompassed over 73,000 acres of multicolored sandstone cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, inland lakes, wildlife and the forest of the Lake Superior shoreline. Stretching from Munising to Grand Marais, the park is a four season destination attracting everyone from hikers to campers, hunters, and casual visitors. The park is managed by the National Park Service and welcomes over four hundred thousand visitors each year.
Spray Falls plunges about 70 feet over the Pictured Rocks cliffs directly into Lake Superior. This remote waterfall is best viewed from the water as there is limited viewing access from the North Country Scenic Trail (from the Chapel trailhead it’s a 9.6 mile round trip hike; from the Little Beaver trailhead, it’s just under 8 miles round trip.) The 1856 shipwreck “Superior” lies at the base of the falls in 20 feet of water.
The excellent GoWaterfalling website has an entry for Spray Falls that says in part:
Spray Falls is the remotest, and perhaps the most impressive of the several waterfalls in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The 70′ waterfall plunges over the cliffs at Pictured Rocks and lands directly in Lake Superior.
The falls is right on the edge of the cliffs, and the creek has not cut back into the cliffs at all, so it is impossible to view the falls from the front unless you are on the water. The cliffs are sheer for miles in both directions, so there is no way to get near the base of the falls without a watercraft. Lake Superior is too cold for swimming. :)
The Lakeshore Trail passes right over the top of the falls, and you can get right to the brink of the falls. Be careful because the cliffs are undercut and unsafe in many places. About 1/4 mile east of the falls there is a safe lookout point from which you can get a nice, but distant, side view of the falls. There is a sign marking the lookout.
The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore shared this photo yesterday saying:
Is this sand pink? Yes it Is! The pink sand on the beach can be found on the northeast corner of Sand Point at the very end of Sand Point Rd. The pink sand is actually garnet that has eroded from one of the sandstone layers of the Pictured Rock cliffs. The garnet then washed up at Sand Point and makes a unique pink sand beach.