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  • Munising Ice Climbing

    Rules & RegulationsEthicsPhone NumbersWarning

    Brent Bradley climbing up into a Ice Cave on Grand IslandMunising is nestled on the southern shore of Lake Superior, surrounded by the Hiawatha National Forest. The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore’s sand stone bluffs have attracted ice climbers since the 1970’s. The Pictured Rocks 73,000-acre park hugs Lake Superior’s shore for over 40 miles. The sandstone bluffs seep water that form spectacular blue curtains of ice and pillars that grow from 200 foot overhanging cliffs.

    Climbers are attracted to the abundant blue curtains of ice in Alger County, and the waterfalls that form magnificent pillars of ice. Picture yourself climbing a 150 foot pillar of ice, standing thirty feet from the overhanging walls and the waves of Lake Superior crashing below. With many feet of snow around and the strong north wind on your back, you will likely agree that Munising has the “Best Ice Climbing in the Mid West.”

    Grand Island, off the Munising bay, also provides a myriad of climbs ranging in height from 20-90 feet on the East channel cliffs. The North East shore has climbs of up to 230 feet. When going to Grand Island check with locals before venturing out on to the ice.

    Ice Climbing in Munising usually begins in November and can last into April, with February and March being the most enjoyable.

    Munising is the host of Michigan Ice Fest. This festival began in the 1980's with a few friends. These friends promised to meet the first weekend in February of every year to climb some of Lake Superior’s Ice. The Ice Fest is now become a major ice climbing event and draws attendees from all over the country.

    Rules and Regulations

    • Munising Falls is closed to climbing due to hazardous rock fall
    • Do not park along Sand Point Road; there is a designated parking lot at the end of the road.
    • Winter camping is available in the Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore, with a permit.
    • Over night camping in parking lots is not permitted.


    • Please respect the Park Service or governing agency and do not leave any rap slings unless absolutely necessary.
    • Respect the environment, the sandstone bluffs are very fragile and are not conductive to mixed routes. Please do not climb or damage any of the sandstone.

    Phone Numbers:

    Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore 906-387-2607
    National Forest Service Info Center 906-387-3700
    Michigan State Police - Munising Post # 91 906-387-4550
    Munising Memorial Hospital 906-387-4110
    Sydney’s Restaurant 906-387-4067
    Down Wind Sports 906-226-7112


    Ice Climbing is a dangerous activity. All climbers assume full responsibility for their climbing actions. You should not depend on any information obtained from this page for your personal safety. Ultimately your safety depends on your experience, good judgment and your climbing ability. If there are any doubts as to the ability of your party to safety set up, or attempt to climb a route, do not attempt it.

    Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved. All photos property of Northwoods Retreat and cannot be used without written permission.