Michigan's Highpoint at Last!

Page Type
Trip Report
Location:
Michigan, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Nov 11, 2007
Activities:
Hiking
Season:
Fall
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Michigan's Highpoint at Last!
Created On: Sep 15, 2008
Last Edited On: Mar 12, 2009
Table of Contents

Prelude...

In January of 2007, three friends and myself attempted to snowshoe to Michigan's highpoint in mid-winter. None of us had ever been there, and had only a crude map . Unfortunately, due to the incredible maze of logging roads, and a large amount of snow on the ground, we were largely unsuccessful, merely wandering in circles on snowshoes for nearly an entire Saturday, never getting closer than a couple miles from the top. Nonetheless, it was a fun and worthy adventure.
Mount Arvon Winter AttemptKarl's Lumina did not hold up as well as we hope on the snowmobile trails...

Mount Arvon Winter AttemptAimless wandering through the woods.
Mount Arvon Winter AttemptSoaking in the view (and our defeat by the mountain)

Success!

However, in November of that same year, my wife and I were able to find and get to the top of Michigan.

It was November 11, a Sunday, and we were bored. We needed to get outside, but we couldn't go too far, because Rachael had to work at 5:30. Hmm...since we lived in Houghton, MI we had plenty of options within a short distance for hikes, but there was one particular hike we had put off for some time now: Mt. Arvon. It was a bit of a long shot, about an hour travel time each way, but we decided that it was now or never.

So we made the drive on that leafless day in beautiful sunshine, along the Keweenaw Bay of Lake Superior and past the towns of Baraga and L'Anse to the vast wilderness called the Huron Mountains. It had just started to get cold in Houghton for good that winter, and we had had our first flurries of the year on Saturday. [Houghton gets around 300" of snow yearly, believe it or not!]

Mt. ArvonUnfortunately, there is a lot of logging in the vicinity of Arvon.
We started snaking back into the maze of logging roads surrounding Arvon, carefully following the instructions we had pieced together from several sources.
Mt. ArvonThe roads in the area can perplex even the most experienced navigator.
Surprisingly, it is often said that Arvon might be the hardest US state highpoint to find, because of this maze of roads around it, though the route is getting better and more clearly marked by the year. Even though it had snowed a bit in Houghton the day before, it had not stuck, but to our surprise, we came across a fair amount of snow once we started to reach the higher ground in the vicinity of Arvon.
Mt. ArvonThe roads started to get wet and sloppy from the fresh snow.


After forty minutes or so of careful driving through roughly 8 miles of logging roads, all the while gaining elevation and getting closer, our Lumina decided it had had enough. The road had finally become too messy to go further, and we simply needed to trust we were close enough.
Mt. ArvonThe Lumina made a valiant effort.


Now it was a race against the clock. We had set a deadline of 4:00 for starting our trip back, and even that was cutting it close. It was now about 3:00 and we decided to continue on foot for no more than a half hour, so we could get back to Houghton in time for Rachael's shift.

So on we trekked through the snow, up the hill towards what we hoped was the top. After only a short while, we came across what almost looked like a parking area, and...alas! through the woods we thought we spied the summit marker. A short sprint through the woods confirmed our hopes, as we came upon that beautiful little blue sign in the woods.
Mt. ArvonVictory!


Lucky for us, we had parked only about a half mile from the top. The 'summit' was merely the highest point in the woods; about what we expected.
Mt. ArvonThe 'summit' of Mt. Arvon.

However, it was still a highpoint. And it was an adventure. The combination of these things made it a trip to remember. After posing for some hero(?) shots and signing the register, we were getting short on time.

Mt. ArvonSummit shot
Mt. ArvonSigning the register.


It was time to leave this place. No worries though, we had our fun. One couldn't ask for a better summit day: beautiful sunshine, cool air, a foot of fresh clean snow, and my wife and best friend with me to share the experience. What a day!

And thus it came to be that we found the top of Michigan. We probably only spent a mere 15-20 minutes there, but it was a blast.

Mt. ArvonThe way out...
We hurried back to the Lumina, drove back out through the mud and slop, and made our way back to Houghton just in the nick of time for Rachael to get to work. What a day. What a perfect Sunday. One couldn't ask for more than that :D





Comments

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Viewing: 1-10 of 10
DrJonnie

DrJonnie - Sep 17, 2008 7:31 am - Voted 10/10

WOW !!

having visited Michigan many times in the employ of the once mighty Ford empire, I always thought that Michigan was flat !
thanks for the destruction of my illusions
cheers Johnnie

stinkycheezman33

stinkycheezman33 - Sep 17, 2008 2:27 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: WOW !!

haha, under the bridge, it mostly is flat [unfortunately]
but the UP is God's country when it comes to the midwest.
thanks for taking to time to look...

WranglerX

WranglerX - Aug 27, 2009 4:38 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: WOW !!

if you want flat go to Ohio!!!!
We, in Michigan, have plenty of rolling hills, sleeping bear dunes & the Great Lakes to be pround of!!!!!

stinkycheezman33

stinkycheezman33 - Aug 28, 2009 3:59 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: WOW !!

haha, didn't mean to touch a nerve with any michiganders...
LP has NOTHING on UP though, sorry to say :)

WranglerX

WranglerX - Sep 1, 2009 3:25 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: WOW !!

Oh absolutely I agree!!
No nerves were touched...just making a friendly remark

stinkycheezman33

stinkycheezman33 - Sep 1, 2009 3:50 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: WOW !!

:)

cp0915

cp0915 - Aug 27, 2009 4:45 pm - Voted 10/10

Nice TR

I enjoyed your photos. I headed to the U.P. one winter and wanted to bag Arvon, but sadly, ended up on Hogback Mountain (outside of Marquette) instead. Still, a nice time. Beautiful up there in winter.

stinkycheezman33

stinkycheezman33 - Aug 28, 2009 4:00 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Nice TR

thanks for your comments :)
hogback isn't a bad alternative...the views are a thousand times better!

WranglerX

WranglerX - Oct 13, 2009 5:39 pm - Hasn't voted

U.P.

Just got back from an Arvon Summit run, it was pretty fun!
Hogback was beauitful, as well as Lake of the Clouds!!!!!

stinkycheezman33

stinkycheezman33 - Oct 14, 2009 8:21 am - Hasn't voted

Re: U.P.

great time to visit! the colors up here in houghton are pretty much at peak right now... i myself was out adventuring this past weekend as well. beautiful country!

Viewing: 1-10 of 10