Wednesday 2 July 2014

Pictured Rocks: Part Two

Continuing from Part 1, we continue on to hiking the features of the park. There is no fee to entering the park unless you're camping. Originally, I wanted to visit all the notable places in two days but eventually we realized that this was impossible. The weather was also on-and-off rainy. The only place that we were really able to see up close was Chapel Rock/Beach and Miners Castle. We had no time for the others :( 
Nonetheless, the places we did go to were pretty spectacular. 

Bring protection for insects!! Mosquitoes were rampant and vicious especially in the hiking trails. It is PEAK SEASON for stable flies (these swarm and freaking bite--they're also not affected by repellent). We did not know this fact until we experienced it for ourselves. If you're going early-mid summer, wear long sleeves, long pants, long socks and a hat with a mosquito net unless you want to be eaten alive, which happened to us. My legs have red welts everywhere. You have been warned.   
The road leading to the Chapel Rock trailhead. The forest here was really thick and lush.  
It's probably one of the most untouched trails I've been to. The trail loop we took was quite long. It was a whopping 10 km (6.1 mile) loop passing through Chapel Falls, Chapel Rock, and Chapel Beach. 
This is Chapel Falls, which can be found about 2.4 km (1.5 miles) into the Chapel Rock trail.  
My dad's clothes match the surroundings.  
Here is the mouth of Chapel Falls.  
A cool view from above the tipping point.  
It was a beautiful walk but it was marred by the amount of mosquitoes. The whole time I was just trying to keep them away from me.  
At some points, I didn't see anyone else in sight except us.  
Finally--after what felt like an eternity in the mosquito-infested forest--we made it to Chapel Rock. What's incredible about this rock is that there's a single tree that lives on it. There's not enough soil for it to grow up there, so what does it do to survive?
It extends its roots from the rock onto the mainland. Incredible.  
A small footbridge that spans above Chapel River that leads to the beach.  
It felt so nice to dip my feet into the lake.  
White sandy beaches in North America. That's right, it exists!  
Man in the mirror.  
There were really nice beach rocks. You're not allowed to collect them, however.  
Caribbean of the North. The water is actually really cold though. My feet would get tingly and numb after a few minutes in some areas.  
The Chapel River's water is slightly brown-tinted. I'm guessing it's because of the minerals in the rocks. You can actually see where the river water meets the water of Lake Superior creating some really cool colours.  
My mom posing as the Chapel River drains into Lake Superior.  
Look at them striations. Truly unique.  
One of my favourite shots from the trip. 
Skipping rocks.  
I could probably stay here forever.  
Ah I just want to jump in.  
Here you can see where the river empties. On the left, the rocky formation is Chapel Rock.  
Walking across to the other side of the beach.  
Floating log off the sandbar.  
He was trying to slide down. It didn't work, lol.  
Not really the most appropriate footwear.  
The cruise boat passes by in the background.  
Washing up/cooling down after the long hike.  
!!! Snake !!! It was actually moving up the stick as my little brother took this picture.  
Bye Chapel Beach, I'll never forget you! It was worth walking 10 km to see you! Afterwards we were pretty exhausted though. Even my mom said, "this is the first and the last time." Nobody wanted to hike anywhere after this experience. 
Initially, I thought this was a carnivorous plant but it is actually the pink lady slipper, a member of the orchid family. 
We rested for an hour or so before heading back out to see the sunset. This is the road leading to Miners Castle.  
The most iconic picture of this park. Everybody takes this shot when they come here and I can see why! 
 Turquoise waters of Lake Superior. 
Everybody gets in on the photo action.  
The path heading to Miners Castle is awesome during golden hour. However, the mosquitoes attack us once more.  
I think I got more mosquito bites taking photos in this area than anywhere else on the park.  
Le model.  
What we came for! 
As the sunset progressed, the sun hid behind the clouds and gave us a spectacular scene.  
The two people beside my brother were also avid photographers. They were shocked to hear that we drove 11 hours just to be here for 4 days. They also gave us some tips on which waterfalls to go see. Really nice folks! After this, we called it a night. 
Brook trout in Hurricane River.  
Here, the Hurricane River empties into Lake Superior. We ATTEMPTED to go to the Au Sable Lighthouse, which was a 1.5 mile walk from the trailhead. However, we soon realized that we were vastly underdressed as we were swarmed by stable flies on the trail. We met an elderly couple who were fully decked out in mosquito nets with flies swarming around their clothing. They said it was beautiful but the woman saw our shorts and said that we were going to "pay the price" if we continued. We turned around and didn't look back. 
And that's it! Pictured Rocks, you were great but we were just not prepared for the insects. 

I highly recommend this place only when it is not peak stable fly I think this would be a great place to go during autumn. If you do make the long drive up here, give yourself at least 5 days to explore the whole area. Our schedules are tight so we couldn't stay for long but if you've got the time, it is truly worth it. 

I hope you enjoyed the posts. Until next time. 



  1. Hey nice posts! I didn't know how vicious the mosquitos over there... BTW, What happened to your sister with the curly hair? Did she not make it to the trip? :)

    1. Thank you Anon! Yes, the mosquitoes were quite bad. Maybe later in the summer it will die down a little. About the "sister with the curly hair," she's actually my big bro's girlfriend :) she's almost like a sister though! She was out of the country.