Hogback Mountain Summit - 1,220'

Hikes in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

There's just something about Michigan's Upper Peninsula which calls to me.  Wild...rugged...with vast tracts of empty, seemingly unending forest sprinkled with pristine lakes and muskeg...the U.P. epitomizes everything I love in the outdoors.  It even has a few decently rocky hills to satiate the mountain-lover in me.  It was my good fortune to call myself a Yooper for about six years, and it's six years I will forever remember fondly.  I had some great adventures here, as I hope these albums will share...


Adventure Log:  180.5 miles


Most of the galleries below have two numbers in parenthesis alongside their name. The first is the TOTAL MILEAGE of the route, the second is what I’m calling the “Petzoldt Rating” of DIFFICULTY. Developed by Paul Petzoldt, founder of NOLS, this rating system is the best I’ve found for standardizing the difficulty of hikes. It works as follows: One ‘energy unit’ is given for very mile travelled on flat terrain. You then add one more ‘energy unit’ for every 500-feet of elevation gain. For example, a one mile hike with 1,000-feet of gain would give you a rating of 3.00. Consequently a two mile hike with only 500-feet of gain would also give you a rating of 3.00. Please note, however, these ratings do not take into account weather, rough terrain, fitness level, etc. I’ve divided levels of difficulty into five levels, based on the following Petzoldt difficulty ranges:

0.00-2.49=EASY;

2.50-4.99=MODERATE;

5.00-7.49=CHALLENGING;

7.50-9.99=HARD;

10.00-12.49=VERY HARD;

12.50 & up=EXTREME

Upper Peninsula Hikes Ranked by Difficulty


Isle Royale National Park  (51.50)

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park  (36.00)

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore - Lakeshore Trail  (27.20)

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore - Grand Sable Loop  (13.30)


Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore - Chapel Loop  (11.90)


Trap Hills - Cascade Falls & Norwich Bluff  (8.00)


McCormick Tract Wilderness  (6.60)

Osborne Preserve-Sugar Island  (5.90)

Horseshoe Bay Wilderness  (5.10)


Monocle Lake-Mission Hill Trail  (4.82)

Marblehead-Drummond Island  (4.80)

Hogback Mountain  (4.40)

Point Patterson  (4.12)

Big Knob-Crow Lake Pathway  (3.90)

Middle Neebish Lighthouse  (3.20)

Mission Hill-Spectacle Lake  (3.00)

Little Mountain  (2.50)


Cut River Pathway  (2.00)

Tahquamenon Falls State Park - Lower Falls  (1.78)

Round Island Point Nature Preserve  (1.70)

Tahquamenon Falls State Park - Upper Falls  (1.18)