Last month, I was debating back and forth on what to get Connor for his birthday and finally decided that I wanted to take him on one last summer adventure before I head off to grad school this fall. After a little bit of planning and gathering some recommendations from a few people, I surprised him with a trip to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore for his 24th birthday! 🙂
This had been a trip that we always talked about taking together and I knew it would be the most perfect trip to wrap up our summer together with a couple days of camping, kayaking, and hiking. So last Thursday, on his actual birthday, I surprised him with the news and told him to start packing because we were leaving the next morning for a three day weekend in the U.P. By the way, I was very proud of myself for keeping this secret and pulling this one off because Connor is NOT an easy person to surprise haha! To say he was a little flustered while packing would a huge understatement (this could have been because I don’t think he believed I would ever go camping with him HA!), but little did he know I already had the truck packed full of camping gear and kayaks and the arrangements were all set for us to leave the next morning at 5:00 a.m. for our six hour drive to the very top of the U.P.
After setting up our campsite the next day, we headed out to hike and explore Miners Falls!
Birthday Boy: Check!
Backpack Cooler (aka Dad Pack Cooler): Check!
This was our view from the deck that overlooked the falls — beautiful of course, but just not quite close enough. So we decided to take the scenic route and climb our way down to get a little bit closer view and it definitely did not disappoint!
*insert heart-eyed emoji here*
On our second day, we packed up and set out for a nine mile hike that would lead us to the Pictured Rocks lakeshore and back.
First stop on the trail: Chapel Falls!
After about four miles, we finally made it to the most incredible view at Chapel Rock!
Next stop: A short hike over to Chapel Beach
A picnic lunch on the beach with a view 🙂
And then back to the trail to continue the rest of our nine mile hike…
After our hike through the Chapel trail we were absolutely dead tired, but still had so more to pack into our Saturday. We headed to Miners Castle next!
Our next stop was where we were originally planning to launch our kayaks, but unfortunately there were warnings out for dangerous water conditions, (even though the pictures make it look like the waters were absolutely perfect and calm lol) so we just looked at this as a sign that we definitely have to come back again next summer 🙂
So instead, we laid out on Miners Beach and had the most relaxing end to our afternoon!
After a couple nights of campfire dinners & s’mores, we packed up our campsite on Sunday to start heading home, but of course made a stop at the Upper Falls of Tahquamenon Falls on the way for the perfect ending to perfect getaway weekend!
I would 10/10 recommend this weekend trip to anybody that is even slightly considering it! Connor and I both said that the only complaint we had about this trip is that we didn’t have more time. There were so many other things we would have loved to do within the Pictured Rocks area (Kayaking, Sand Point, Munising Falls, Hiking Grand Island, etc.) but we simply just ran out of time in our three day weekend. I guess that means we’ll see you again next summer, Pictured Rocks 🙂