Hiking Hogback Mountain: A Challenge Worth Taking

If you’re looking for a hike that will test your stamina, reward you with stunning views, and make you feel like you’ve conquered a mini-mountain, then Hogback Mountain in Marquette, Michigan is the perfect destination for you.

Hogback Mountain is one of the southernmost peaks in the remote Huron Mountain Range, and rises 600 feet above the surrounding terrain. It’s not a long hike, only 3.1 miles round trip, but it’s not an easy one either. The trail starts off relatively flat and easy, but the last half mile is a steep incline with a scramble at the top. You’ll need good shoes, water, bug spray, and a sense of adventure to tackle this challenge.

But trust me, it’s worth it. The summit of Hogback Mountain offers a 360-degree view of the vast, rugged forests of northern Marquette County and the endless blue expanse of Lake Superior. On a clear day, you can even see the mountains of the Keweenaw Peninsula to the northwest. It’s a breathtaking sight that will make you forget all the sweat and effort you put into getting there.

This is a view from the summit of Hogback Mountain, showing the vast forests and Marquette in the distance.

The trail to Hogback Mountain is not very well marked, so you’ll need to pay attention to the white and blue blazes along the way. The trailhead is located at the Wetmore Pond parking area on County Road 550, a few miles north of Marquette. From there, follow the trail on the northwest end of the parking lot, and stay right at every fork until you reach the base of the mountain. Then, follow the white blazes up the hill, and be prepared for some scrambling over large boulders near the top.

This is a part of the trail to Hogback Mountain, showing the blue blazes that mark the way.

Hogback Mountain is a popular hike, so you’ll likely encounter other hikers along the way. Be respectful of their pace and space, and enjoy the camaraderie of sharing this amazing experience. Dogs are welcome on the trail, but they must be on a leash.

This is the final stretch of the hike, where you have to scramble over large boulders to reach the peak.

Hiking Hogback Mountain is not for the faint of heart, but it’s one of the most rewarding hikes in Michigan. If you’re looking for a challenge that will push your limits and give you a spectacular view, then don’t miss this opportunity. You’ll be glad you did.

What to Expect When Hiking Hogback Mountain

Hiking Hogback Mountain is not a walk in the park. It’s a strenuous hike that requires physical fitness, mental toughness, and proper preparation. Here are some things to expect when hiking Hogback Mountain:

  • The hike will take about 2 to 3 hours round trip, depending on your pace and how long you stay at the summit.
  • The trail is mostly dirt and gravel, with some wooden boardwalks and bridges over swampy areas.
  • The trail is marked with white and blue blazes on trees and rocks, but they can be hard to spot sometimes. You may need to backtrack or use a map or app to find your way.
  • The trail is mostly flat and easy for the first 1.2 miles, but then it becomes steep and rocky for the last 0.9 miles.
  • The last half mile is the hardest part of the hike, where you have to climb over large boulders and rocks, using your hands and feet. You may need a spotter or a hiking partner to help you on this section.
  • The summit is rocky and exposed, with no shade or shelter. You may need to bring a jacket or a hat to protect yourself from the sun or the wind.
  • The summit offers a 360-degree view of the surrounding area, including Lake Superior, the Huron Mountains, and the city of Marquette. You may want to bring a camera or binoculars to enjoy the view.
  • The hike is popular and busy, especially on weekends and holidays. You may encounter other hikers, dogs, and wildlife on the trail. Be respectful and courteous to others, and follow the leave no trace principles.

What to Bring When Hiking Hogback Mountain

Hiking Hogback Mountain is not a casual hike. It’s a challenging hike that requires proper gear and supplies. Here are some things to bring when hiking Hogback Mountain:

  • A backpack or a fanny pack to carry your essentials.
  • A water bottle or a hydration pack to stay hydrated. There is no water source on the trail or at the summit.
  • A snack or a lunch to replenish your energy. There is no food or vending machine on the trail or at the summit.
  • A map or an app to navigate the trail. The trail is not well marked and you may get lost or confused.
  • A first aid kit to treat any injuries or emergencies. The trail is rough and rocky, and you may get cuts, bruises, or sprains.
  • A whistle or a cell phone to call for help if needed. The trail is remote and isolated, and you may not have cell service or signal.
  • A flashlight or a headlamp to see in the dark if you hike in the evening or at night. The trail is not lit and you may need extra light to find your way.
  • A jacket or a hat to protect yourself from the weather. The summit is windy and cold, and you may need extra layers to stay warm.
  • A sunscreen or a sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun. The summit is sunny and bright, and you may need extra protection to avoid sunburns.
  • A camera or binoculars to capture the view. The summit offers a stunning view of the area, and you may want to take pictures or zoom in on the details.

Tips for Hiking Hogback Mountain

Hiking Hogback Mountain is not a hike for beginners. It’s a hike for experienced hikers who are looking for a challenge and an adventure. Here are some tips for hiking Hogback Mountain:

  • Check the weather before you go. The weather can change quickly and drastically on the mountain, and you may encounter rain, snow, fog, or thunderstorms. Avoid hiking in bad weather conditions, as they can make the trail slippery, dangerous, or inaccessible.
  • Plan your hike ahead of time. The hike will take about 2 to 3 hours round trip, so make sure you have enough time to complete it before dark. Start your hike early in the morning or in the afternoon, and avoid hiking in the middle of the day when it’s hot and crowded.
  • Hike with a partner or a group. The hike is challenging and risky, and you may need someone to help you or motivate you along the way. Hiking with others also makes the hike more fun and enjoyable.
  • Pace yourself and take breaks. The hike is strenuous and exhausting, and you may need to rest and catch your breath often. Don’t push yourself too hard or too fast, as you may get tired, dehydrated, or injured. Listen to your body and stop when you need to.
  • Stay on the trail and follow the blazes. The trail is not well marked and there are many side trails that can lead you astray. Don’t wander off the trail or take shortcuts, as you may get lost, damage the environment, or encounter hazards.
  • Enjoy the hike and the view. The hike is rewarding and satisfying, and the view is spectacular and inspiring. Don’t forget to appreciate the beauty of nature and the accomplishment of reaching the summit.

Hiking Hogback Mountain is one of the best hikes in Michigan. It’s a challenge worth taking for anyone who loves hiking, nature, and adventure.

Leave a Reply