When you find yourself in Baraga County in the heart of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a trip up Mount Arvon is always a good thing to add to your bucket list! Mt. Arvon is Michigan’s highest point standing at 1,979.238 feet above sea level. It is located in the rugged backwoods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in beautiful Baraga County, approx. 27 driving miles from L‘Anse, Michigan.
I grew up just across the bay from L’Anse in Baraga and never made the trip up Mount Arvon for the 1st time until 2019! And that was in the dead of winter on snowshoes… I’ll get into more of that later! Since then, I have made the trip up the Mountain at least once every year and can now say that I have visited in every season!
Getting there is part of the fun of this adventure! For may years I wanted to make this trip, but was also very hesitant because I knew that it was not an easy place to get to. Several years ago, my dad and son made the trip to the top – hiking quite a bit, using GPS and maps from others that had made the hike.
However, Since then the hiking trail has been improved and you can drive to the well marked trail head and then hike about 1.5 miles to the top! I will say that I do recommend a vehicle with higher clearance as there are some areas that smaller or lower clearance vehicles maybe have issues getting through (especially when you get past the parking area for the hiking trail!)
To get there (From L’Anse)
I will share basic directions to get there and I suggest you stop at the Tourism Office and pick up a map and directions to the top! They will be able to provide the best detailed information on getting there!
From the blinking light in down town L’Anse, head east on Main St. Once you get out of town, this will become the Skanee Road. Continue about 16 miles to Roland Lake Road on the right, where the Zion Lutheran Church is on the corner. Turn right on Roland Lake Road and proceed about 3 miles to Ravine River Road you will see Roland Lake. Make that right turn onto Ravine River Drive. From here it is about 7 miles to the parking area at the top! As you continue down Ravine River Rd, after a few miles, you will drive through was used to be the local gravel pit. On the far side of the gravel pit, follow the road and be sure to stay straight. After a short drive you will come across a one lane plank bridge. You will know you are going in the right direction!
Follow the blue signs as you go! There are several unmarked roads, logging roads etc along the way so be sure to stay with the signs! If you are ever in doubt, follow the obvious main track. There are some steep climbs and sharp turns. The road is generally pretty good to travel on, unless there has been a lot of recent rain… then it can get a little sloppy!
At this point there is a parking lot and a short walk to the summit. A USGS benchmark and mailbox containing a register will be found on the summit.
Like I said, I’ve made this trip several times now! The 1st time was in March of 2019, on snowshoes! It was a long day of hiking and snowshoeing because in the winter, the road beyond the gravel pit is mainly used my snowmobiles! It is NOT a plowed road. We ended up parking at the gravel pit and started our venture from there! Since we were following the snowmobile trail, the snow was pretty well packed and it actually made using snowshoes more difficult, so we opted to take them off and carry them!
Once we finally made it to the trail head, we put our snowshoes back on and kept moving forward. I will say that this trip, we never actually made it to the actual summit as we missed a few of the trail markers and ended up a bit off. We figured that we ended up finding our own summit, a short distance (we think) from where we really wanted to be. So we stopped, had some mid hike treats and followed our own trail back down.
Since then, I have driven to the trail head several times and made the 1.5(ish) mile hike up. The trail is truly a trail in the woods. Do not expect anything paved, covered with gravel or even well marked dirt. There are a few signs letting you know when you reached the trail head and there is a small area to park. Grab your bug spray before you head out (trust me on this one!) and head down the small trail. keep your eyes open to the left to find the sign for the actual start of the trail. Much of the year, the trail is covered in leaves but you can usually see where it goes. Just keep your eyes out for the blue trail markers on the trees!
There are several places that you may have to stop and figure out which way the trail goes. Don’t worry tho… the trail is well marked with blue trail markers on the trees. I often find myself hiking to a blue marker and then looking on ahead to figure out what direction to travel to get to the next blue marker! There are a few places on the trail that are a bit steeper and not always as easy to traverse. But if you take your time, and watch your step, you should be fine.
The trail will cross the road a few times, so just be sure to watch for any on coming cars before you head across! There are usually not a lot of cars coming through but during the summer months as more people discover this gem, you never know when the next vehicle, 4-wheeler or side by side with come through! About 1/8 of a mile from the top, the trail comes out onto the road. Take a right turn onto the road and follow it up to the parking area/summit!
After signing the log book found in the Register Mailbox, take a short walk down the trail to the cleared overlook area where you can see Huron Bay, Pointe Abbaye and so much of the natural beauty of the area!
Over the next few weeks (or maybe month) I will continue to share some of the other places I love to visit in the UP, as well as other adventures I’ve had over the last year! If you know of anywhere in WI or MI that I need to visit, please let me know! I am always looking for new places to venture!