Aug 22-05

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2005: August: Aug 22-05
Bare Bluff view    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Dave Di Pietro
You are here...    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Dave Di Pietro

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 06:15 am:

They say you learn something new every day, right? Well, my 'something new' today is how you spell Bare Bluff, near Lac La Belle, in the Keweenaw. I always thought it was spelled 'Bear' and the naming had to do with the mammal, perhaps that there were a number of them in that hill country or maybe the bluff resembles a bear in the distance. Thanks to Dave Di Pietro the correct spelling has been clarified, along with an outstanding view from the top of the Bluff and a shot of the map showing the three mile hike and how to get up there. If you look real close, you can see Smith Fisheries and then a bit further north, the mouth of the Montreal River spilling into Lake Superior. For those of you with a high-speed Internet connection (such as's broadband wireless), you can click on over to Dave's full size photo to get an amazing closer look!

By Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 06:29 am:

The Pasty Cam first visited Bare Bluff on this week in 1998, with a shot by Amy Irish, one of our first guest Pasty Camists:

From the Archives
Over the years, the resolution of digital cameras has improved, bringing more detail. One of my favorite panoramas from this location is by Scott Laurie, which we featured back on October 10, 2003
NKR (Nkr) on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 06:38 am:

Good morning from Mishawaka IN. Magnificent view. I can feel the sun, smell the fresh air and hear the water. A great way to start the day. Thanks!

By Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 07:23 am:

Oh MY! What a way to start the day.

By ray miller (Raymsc) on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 07:51 am:


By Helen (Heleninhubbel) on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 08:36 am:

Wow!!!!! Great pictures. Is this trail hard to walk???? I get a little chicken with my new knees.....lots of rocks or up and down angles are a little scary for me. I would love to be able to see the view.....I love the nature feeling you get when you are in the woods!!!

God Bless you all..

By Pauline (Yooperinpa) on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 09:45 am:

You are correct. I learned something new. Did not know that this trail existed. Thanks for the pics and thanks for the spectacular view of the lake.

By Steve Haagen (Stevewi) on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 09:51 am:

How do you get to the parking area?

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 09:55 am:

WOW! Beautiful I wish I was there. Helen, I hear that knee replacement recovery is something else. Glad to hear that you are doing fine.

By Shelley Trowbridge (Shelleyt36) on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 09:58 am:

As usual, what awesome images! Thanks for sharing them Dave!

By jayne nestell (Jenna) on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 10:21 am:

WHere do you park to take this hike?

By Grant Soehnel (Soehnelg) on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 10:33 am:

To anyone who was asking about access and trail issues,

The parking to the bare bluffs trail is along the smith's fishery road. This road is marked and it's within a quarter mile inland from the Bete Gris beach. It is a rather rough gravel road, but I have been down it a couple times with my car as long as it's pretty dry. If you have a truck you'd have no trouble with it in the summer. A couple miles after turning down the road you will come down a very steep downhill section. This is hard to miss, you'll see a glimpse of the lake and the road will drop a couple hundred feet. After this you go over a small creek and then the road curves to the left and there is a small sharp uphill. Just past this is the parking. It's not a parking lot, it will just be a branch in the road to the right that you can take. Shortly after this branch will be an iron gate. You'll have to park by the time you get here and walk. I'd say the parking area is about 2.5-3 miles down the fishery road, but that's just my guess. It's within a half mile of that little creek you cross at the bottom of the long downhill. The first section of the hiking trail is an old road, but then the trail cuts off from the road. If you are worried about the condition of the trail or how hard the hiking is, here is my advise. Look at the map in the second picture. The trail comes in from the left where it says "Parking .75 miles." At that first junction you should take a left to go right up to the top of the cliffs. This is very easy hiking. It's steady uphill and then at the end there's a steeper uphill section, but it's not rocky at all. Most people should have no trouble with it. The second half of the trail (the part including where that second pic was taken from "you are here") is very very steep and rocky. The trail is marked with blue tags and it's sometimes hard to follow. If you just want to see the view go back the same way you came after getting to the cliffs. Taking the second half of the loop really isn't necessary. Hope this helps everyone, this is the best view in the Keweenaw and perhaps the UP in my opinion. It's not really that hard getting to it either if you know where you're going, so I hope I made it more clear. I highly reccommend going.

By Erica - Florida Keys (Erica) on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 11:38 am:

OH,what a beautiful scene. Just can't beat the UP for views that seem to go on forever.

By Steve Haagen (Stevewi) on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 11:38 am:

Thank you very much for the directions

By Cindy, St. Clair Shores, MI (Cindy) on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 12:12 pm:

What a beautiful scene. In a way, it reminds me of the view of AuSable Point from the logslide in Grand Marais except that it has a rocky bluff instead of a sandy one.

By maija (Maijami) on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 12:50 pm:

Thanks, Grant. Can't wait to walk that trail. Very helpful to know to take the left trail up.

By Margo (Margo) on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 12:53 pm:

If you have not yet checked out the picture that Scott Laurie took that was feature on October 10th, 2003, be sure to do so, it is breath taking. Thanks for the one also Charlie

By Mike Muller (Mmuller) on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 12:54 pm:

Grant Soehnel (Soehnelg), Is it possible to mountain bike from the trails 1st juncture to the cliffs? What skill level would be required?

By Grant Soehnel (Soehnelg) on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 07:51 pm:


I don't bike, but I can say you should have no trouble mountain biking up the first part of the trail. It's pretty narrow but not that uneven. The last portion might be too steep to take on the bike, and there could be a couple rocks or fallen trees. If you're pretty into mountain biking, though, my guess is that you could do most of that first part of the loop. Don't even think about taking the second part of the loop though.


By David J. Whitten (Djwhitten) on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 08:52 pm:

Does this trail hook up with the one that you can take to the mouth of the Montreal? Also, is there a trail from there to the tip of the Keweenaw?
Dave Whitten

By Grant Soehnel (Soehnelg) on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 10:31 pm:


This trail does not hook up with the one to the mouth of the Montreal. You have to take the smith's fishery road all the way till it ends at the fishery, and then the trail to the mouth continues on right along the shoreline. Also, I don't believe that there is a continuous trail from there to the tip of the keweenaw.


By David (Dave) on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 11:23 pm:

I must give credit to Scott Laurie as he gave me direction to Bare Bluff. I tried to find the trail in the summer of 2003, one try, but never was able to locate it. I emailed him and he was kind enough to supply excellent direction. Over the July 4 weekend of 2004 I was able to find the trail. I had driven past it but was able to find the trailhead walking the road. At the time I was there with my two sons, there was some brush in front of the trail and the larger white sign had been knocked over. I had righted the sign for my picture. Depending on the amount of logging and rainfall, the road may or may not be passable with a car. My vehicle has higher clearance but not four wheel drive and had no problem in getting to the trail.

Grant described the trail very well. It is a lot easier to go up or down the West side of the trail. The East side of the trail is a ravine with boulders; very steep, slippery, and the rocks are huge.

I do not know of a trail from Bare Bluff that goes to Smith Fisheries. I believe there is a road to Smith Fisheries. When you are on the logging road to Bare Bluff, there will be another road going to the left. I think this will go to Smith Fisheries but I have not taken it. The area was being logged last year and more roads have been made. It would be best to take a compass and travel east. I would like to get to Smith Fisheries and the mouth of the Montreal River some day, maybe next year.

These are Scott’s directions:
Hi David:
Ok, when you’re on the road to Smith Fisheries from Bete Grise you will travel down a very large hill, I mean very large, at the bottom is a small river, off to the right an iron gate on a road. Keep going approximately 1/2 mile or so, you will come to an opening on the right that is rather large, and runs up hill. Take this right, in this clearing (an old logging staging area) you will have the option to go left or right. Go right and follow this road and it will take you to the sign and the parking area where the trailhead to bare bluff is. Good luck if ya need any further assistance just ask.

Also the see (September 13, 2002) pasty email for more information about Bare Bluff.

By David J. Whitten (Djwhitten) on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 05:57 am:

Thanks guys. I've made the hike to the Montreal. In September I'll try to find this trail and amazing view.

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