The ultimate loop to experience the high points of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Statistics

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Exposure

Exposure

The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.

Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.

Medium ExposureThe trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Description

From Sugarloaf Mountain Trailhead, follow the shoulder of Big Bay Road northwest for a few minutes.

An obsure trailhead to the left is the start of the loop.

From here, the route is pretty straightforward to the initial summit of Hogback Mountain at 1,220'. From here, take a few minutes to enjoy the view before descending off the back of the mountain towards Beagle Club Rd.

While on a map it appears suitable for vehicles, it is both gated and only used for winter snowmobile traffic.

There is no thru access for vehicles. From here, the trail climbs to a segment that locals refer to as Top of the World.

The loop continues directly across the top and down the other side of the rock face.

Even when dry, 3 points of contact will likely be necessary to descend the steep slope on the backside of this peak. After the descent, you are welcomed with some relaxing doubletrack that circles Harlow Lake and adjacent campsites.

After rounding the northernmost point of the lake, the loop takes a right and follows the eastern shore before traversing a challenging and exposed rock formation.

While there is no significant elevation change, this portion feels reminiscent of the high peaks in the Adirondack and White Mountains of the Northeast. After rejoining the road, the loop heads east towards Lake Superior where it briefly joins the Wetmore Landing Trail overlooking a secluded beach. The final, and most challenging, portion is the ascent to Sugarloaf Mountain.

While not the highest peak, its developed summit offers the most picturesque views of the lake.

A final descent leads straight to the parking lot where you began.