Mt. Arvon is certainly not the most imposing peak on this website, in fact it may contend for the lowest peak included on the list. It is, however, Michigan's highest point and not far from where I live so I thought I'd do it the honor of including it here.
It is located in the Huron Mountain Range
in the north-central Upper Peninsula, or U.P, as it is known by locals. The mountain rises over 1300 feet from the shores of Lake Superior 10 miles or so to the north.
Strangely enough Mt. Arvon has only been recognized as the state's highpoint since 1982. Previously the highest point was nearby Mt. Curwood at 1978 ft. When the USGS did a survey that year, however, it found Mt. Arvon to be 1979.238 feet, taller by a mere 11 inches! It is still disputed which is taller and some maps still incorrectly label Curwood as the highest.
Not long ago Mt. Arvon had the reputation of being one of the most diffucult state highpoints to reach. Not due to a technical climb but due to remoteness and the maze of logging roads in the area. In the past few years however many improvements have been made. The road is now well-graded and numerous blue signs along the way help keep you on the right track on your way up. The road still is steep and rocky in a few sections, mainly within the last 2 miles, but can be driven with care by most vehicles (I wouldn't recommend taking your new Caddie or BMW up it, however!!). Even so, I recommend stopping by the Baraga County Tourist Information building to inquire on road conditions before setting out. Address and phone number info is below.
How To Get There
The following is an excerpt from the Indian Country Sports - Mt. Arvon page. It provides a detailed description on how to reach Mt. Arvon from US-41 in L'anse. The directions from L'anse to Roland Lake Road are the most important as the trail road is well-marked from the lake to the summit...
-From the intersection of US Hwy 41 and Broad Street immediately South of L'Anse, proceed North into L'Anse on Broad Street for 0.7 miles to Main Street.
-Turn right (E) on Main Street which will become Skanee Road, and continue 16.1 miles to Roland Lake Road on the right, where the Zion Lutheran Church is on the SE corner.
-Turn right (S) on Roland Lake Road and proceed 2.9 miles to Ravine River Road at Roland Lake.
There are many less well-developed roads in the Ravine River Road area. Please follow the blue signs that mark the way to the top. Unless indicated below, stay on the obvious "main track" as you proceed along Ravine River Road. The route on Ravine River Road is as follows: (at this point reset the odometer).
-At 0.7 miles, fork, go straight
-1.8 miles, pass through gravel pit
-2.0 miles, leave gravel pit at a fork, go straight
-3.0 miles, fork, bear left
-3.4 miles, fork, bear right
-4.0 miles, 4.5 miles and 4.7 miles, forks go straight
-6.1 miles. T-intersection, main road goes left, turn right (S)
-6.3 miles fork, go left
-6.4 miles, steep incline at the point, fork, go right
-6.8 miles, fork, go right
-7.2 miles go to right. At this point there is a parking lot and there is an approximately 1/2 mile walk to the summit.
These directions were printed before improvements had been made on the road. If you find that any of these directions differ from signage along the way, please follow the signs!
From the parking area a wide fairly level trail winds 1/2 mile to the summit. Only a few years ago this trail was a road (in the loosest sense of the term) that, with a 4-wheel drive, you could drive a vehicle to the summit on. There are a few moderately steep sections but nothing serious. You'll know the summit when you get there - a large blue marker and two blue benches mark the summit. Don't forget to sign the log book inside the small, steel mailbox attached to the summit marker!
Visit the Indian Country Sports website below. There is also a map of the route at this site.
I call this section White Tape instead of Red Tape because there is no red tape. The summit and access road are free to anyone who decides to visit them. Most of the surrounding land is paper company land and undeveloped.
White Tape refers to the restrictions mother nature places during the region's longest season - winter. The U.P. is famous for its snowfall. Between late October and April up to and above 300 inches of snow can fall on the Huron Mountains
. By early March the snow can set 6 or more feet deep in places. Roads can remain snow-covered well into May. Once the snow finally melts then comes mud season. It usually takes until early June for the ground to thaw and absorb that 300 inches of melted snow.
After that though you have a good 3 or 4 months unrestricted access before the snow flies again!!!
Obviously, very few people visit the summit in winter. It is a long 8 mile snowshoe or cross country ski trip to the summit (one way!). Another option is bringing or renting a snowmobile. The U.P. is some of the best snowmobiling country anywhere and numerous trails criss-cross the area. You can pik up a trail map at almost any area gas station.
Camping & Miscellaneous
I noticed numerous campfire rings near the road on my way to the summit but am unsure as to specific rules regarding camping in the area. If you have any info regarding this please contact me so I can include it here. The surrounding area does have numerous state and national forest campgrounds. Please call or visit the Baraga County Tourist Info Center below for more info...
Baraga County Tourist Information
755 E. Broad Street
L'Anse, Michigan 49946
or visit thier website below!
- Shameless self promotion...come visit my website for more pics of Mt. Arvon and other places that I have wandered off to in recent years...