Cliff Drive, Michigan (MI)

Location

Cliff Drive, Michigan
2701 Sunset Bay Beach Rd Ahmeek, Michigan
United States
47° 17' 55.7232" N, 88° 23' 47.4036" W
US

If you are persistent, blessed, or just plain lucky, you may get the chance to see the Aurora Borealis while you are climbing at Cliff Drive on the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan. The rock deposits on this peninsula were formed by erupting volcanoes many years ago. For hundreds of years, the basalt piled up thicker and thicker; groundwater percolated in, too, filling the bubbles and cracks with minerals, creating the Keweenaw’s vast deposits of pure copper. Eventually, the basalt layers sank, forming a basin surrounded by tilted, uplifted rock. These high spots today are visible as the Keweenaw Mountain Range, the spine that runs the length of the peninsula and across Isle Royale. Consequently, the basalt found throughout the Keweenaw is believed to be among the oldest—perhaps the oldest—exposed volcanic rock on earth. This same basalt is the rock that you will traverse if you climb at Cliff Drive.

Climbing Routes

J.C.- 5.5-5.10a Spectacular fall colors will add some ambiance to climbing at Cliff Drive.

  • Mirror on the Fall- 5.10a A wonderful vertical face climb. Amazing views await. (Traditional)
  • Miss Perception- 5.6 An easy face climb that is great for a warm up or beginners. If you do not appreciate lichen, then stay away from this route. (Traditional)
  • Mosseleum- 5.6 Take out your balancing shoes for this climb. (Traditional) Old Tyme Face Climb- 5.9 Lots of friction and extra balance will help you to conquer this route. (Traditional)
  • Playback- 5.6 A layback to the top makes for a quick and easy warm up. (Traditional) This Aint No Disco- 5.8 Smooth and steep, you will need long moves to stay alive on this climb. (Traditional)
  • Tobacco Road- 5.8 Stay to the right for an easier route, stay left for a challenge. (Traditional)
  • What a Production- 5.7 A great two pitch traverse through a nice chimney crack. (Traditional)
  • Arrogance and Ignorance- 5.8 A fun eight foot belay to the ledge where you start this climb will keep your heart pumping. (Traditional)
  • Attack of the Killer Bees- 5.8 A cool climb with a tricky but really fun and solid roof. (Traditional)
  • Blueberry Jam- 5.8 Fun but dirty, this is a great route to lap a couple of times. (Traditional)
  • Brown Eyed Women- 5.6 Staying left and using the thin crack will help you beat this easy climb. (Traditional)
  • Chiptease- 5.6 This is a nice and easy crack. (Traditional)
  • Dancing on a Thread- 5.7 Great holds in this amazing crack and lots of footwork. (Traditional)
  • Easy Corner- 5.4 Great learning opportunities lie on this corner route. (Traditional)
  • Impetus- 5.9 Face climb over the bulges but stay out of the cracks. (Traditional)
  • Initiation- 5.6 Think you have got it made on a 5.6 face climb? Think again. (Traditional)
  • J.C. Superstar- 5.7 A great, high, dramatic climb. (Traditional)
  • Knife Edge- 5.5 This sharp right arête is a fun learning route. (Traditional)

Tower Area- 5.6-5.9 This large buttress holds two fun and challenging traditional routes.

  • Battle of the Bulge- 5.6 Climb through the double overhangs and stay left for a rocky top out.
  • Project- 5.9 A short, tough, strenuous overhanging tower.

Obsession- 5.5-5.11a Obsession is the prominent nose protruding from above the trees and is the most obvious crag in the area.

  • Catholic Girls- 5.5 This dished face offers a great learning climb for children and beginners. (Traditional)
  • Faceless Wander- 5.7 This route looks pretty easy but the small holds are quite tricky. (Traditional)
  • Geo- 5.8 This thin crack provides a long, reachy climb. (Traditional)
  • Graduation- 5.11a Stay Left! Tough holds will slow you down on this climb. (Traditional)
  • Logical- 5.6 A big arête, a nice warm up. (Traditional)
  • Naked Lady- 5.10a This fun face climb between to cracks is quite impressive. (Traditional)
  • Rear Entry- 5.9 A good side face route with lots of twists and turns. (Traditional)

Camping
Sunset Bay RV Resort & Campground
2701 Sunset Bay Beach Rd
Ahmeek, Michigan
Phone- 906-337-2494
http://www.sunset-bay.com

Hotels
Michigan House
300 Sixth Street
Calumet, Michigan 49913
Phone- 906-337-1910
http://www.michiganhousecafe.com

Directions
Drive past Calumet and into Ahmeek until you can turn left for Cliff Drive. Make sure to park as best you can off the road and not be a traffic hazard.