Hogback Mountain rises just to the north of Marquette, Michigan. It is one of the southernmost peaks in the remote Huron Mountain Range
. Hogback offers one of the most difficult (in my opinion) hikes in Michigan. The peak rises 600 feet above the surrounding terrain but hikers will ascend much of that in the last 1/2 to 3/4 mile. This peak is unique in that its summit is mostly devoid of vegitation. Its as close to an alpine environment as you can get in Michigan. Even though Hogback is located only 10 minutes from a town of 20,000 you will rarely find a crowd at the summit. Most people wandering north out of Marquette stop at nearby Sugarloaf Mountain which offers boardwalks and steps to the summit. Odds are you'll have to talk to a local to give you directions to Hogback as you won't find it in any brochure. In fact, many locals won't even know how to get there. Thats the best part of Hogback Mountain, its solitude. From the rocky summit only a few buildings are distingushable to the south while to the north is a sea of forests and hills unbroken by even a single road.
There are two trails that will get you to the summit of Hogback Mountain. They are both accessed from County Road 550 which runs north out of Marquette. Niether trail is named so I will refer to them as the South Trail and North Trail.
-The trailhead for the South Trail is located at the Wetmore Pond Parking Area, located about 5 miles north of Marquette, about 1/2 mile past Sugarloaf Mountain.
-The North Trail is a little harder to find. It starts from a small unmarked parking area, an old gravel pit, opposite the access road to Wetmore Landing. By way of either trail its a 2mile hike to the summit.
No red tape whatsoever, the peak is free to climb to whomever knows how to get there. The only difficulty you may find is that, in winter, the Wetmore Pond Parking Area is unplowed so you'll have to park along the side of County Road 550.
When To Climb
The mountain is accessible any time of the year. Bug season starts not long after the snow is gone (mid-April to mid-May) and lasts as late as the beginning of August. Once the snow flies again (November) snowshoes suited for steeper terrain are a must. Summer tends to see more hikers at the summit but in the 8 years I've been hiking this peak I've never shared the summit with more than half a dozen people.
Hogback Mountain is located in the Little Presque Isle Tract which is maintained by the DNR. Camping is prohibited in this area. There are a number of rustic cabins available to rent through the DNR at nearby Harlow Lake. A webpage by the DNR in the links section gives more info.
- Shameless self promotion...come visit my website for more pics of Hogback Mountain and other places that I have wandered off to in recent years...