***I CREATED THIS PAGE TO GET THE WORD OUT ABOUT THIS AREA. I AM IN NO WAY AN EXPERT ON CLIMBING HERE. IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION AT ALL REGARDING ROUTES, OR PICTURES TO GO WITH THIS PAGE PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTRIBUTE!!!***
What are "the Cliffs" and where are they?
The Cliffs, as they are commonly known, are located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, near the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula. They rise steeply and majestically out of the surrounding terrain. You can't miss the cliffs: they can be seen from miles around. They are a wonderful area to hike and, if you know the routes, you can do some toproped climbing. The top of the cliffs offers an unrivaled view in every direction: one can see Lake Superior on both sides of the Keweenaw.
How do I get there?
Houghton, MI is the "Gateway to the Keweenaw" because you must drive through it to get into the Keweenaw peninsula. Take US Highway 41 north out of Houghton, through the town of Calumet until you reach Ahmeek. (about 17 miles) on the north side of Ahmeek, US41 veers sharply to the right and Cliff Drive goes off to the left. Get onto Cliff Drive and continue several miles until you are basically at the foot of the cliffs, which parallel the road. Look for the 4x4 trails that lead back into the woods; many of them head up onto the top of the cliffs and allow great access to them. Cliff Drive is about 7 miles long, and the best cliffs can be found near the northern end of that.
Looking east and south from the top of Obsession.
Obsession and the Surrounding Area
The main climbing area in the cliffs is called "Obsession
." To reach obsession, drive down Cliff Drive until you are about a half mile from re-joining US41. On the lefthand (west) side there is a very prominent 4x4 trail. You can park there and then walk up the trial, or if your car is very tough you can give it a shot. Keep on the trail, and take every right turn you come to from there. Eventually you will find yourself at a really high point, and notice some footpaths that branch off. These paths snake up the rest of the hill to the top of the cliffs.
Anyone with information on the routes set up at Obsession PLEASE let me know! I have only been there a few times, and just wanted to get the word out. I could use all the help I can get. I will post more stuff as I get it.
An excellent resource on climbing in the Cliffs are the MTU Ridge Roamers
. This student organization usually runs at least one organized climb in the Cliffs each year, and members often head up there in smaller groups.
For now, enjoy the pictures!