Mount Arvon – A Must See
Part of the Huron Mountains, Mount Arvon is Michigan’s highest point. Rising 1,979 feet above sea level and fairly accessible by many vehicles, the summit of Mount Arvon is definitely worth checking out.
A Brief Summary of Mount Arvon
You drive through L’Anse, take a trip down Skanee Road, then turn onto what shortly becomes a gravel road. Eleven curvy miles later you reach the top of Mount Arvon.
There’s a sign noting that you are in fact at the top of Michigan’s Highest Point. There’s also a picnic table, a fire pit and a mail box.
Oh, and there’s a pretty awesome view.
There didn’t used to be a view. But now a few trees have been cleared and on a clear day you’ve got a beautiful view of Lake Superior and the Huron Islands.
And about that mailbox…
The mailbox contains a book for you to sign your name, where you’re from and when you visited. It’s pretty cool to flip back a few pages and see all the different people from all over the place that have been here. There’s even a group of people called the High Pointers Club that are all about reaching the highest point in each state. If you see something like “HP 22” next to someone’s name, now you know why. (For the record, this was HP #1 for me!)
Mount Arvon: Not Really a Mountain
Apparently geologists get to decide what is a mountain and what is not a mountain. And from what I’ve heard, geologists say that a mountain is anything over 2,000 feet above sea level. Of course, this leaves poor Mount Arvon a measly 21 feet short of true “mountain” status.
Well Mount Arvon, you’re still a mountain to me.
The road to Mount Arvon is a windy gravel road that’s often used for logging and, from what I can tell, is often very rough in spots. If you chose to visit, I’d recommend taking a high ground clearance vehicle. I wouldn’t say you need four wheel drive (as long as the road is dry) but there are a few ruts and rocks here and there that could very likely cause a standard passenger car to bottom out or blow a tire.
Also, the road gets fairly narrow toward the top to the point where if you meet another car and have to pull off the road a bit, you may want something a little more beefy than a Camry.
The road is very well marked, though. Either a sign or a small blue arrow marks each place where the road splits to keep you on track. (Be sure to follow the blue signs!)
My Experience at Mount Arvon
I visited Mount Arvon on my way back from camping at Big Eric’s Bridge State Campground and exploring the mouth of the Huron River. I honestly expected it to take a little longer than it did and was surprised at how little time this side excursion added to my trip back home.
The eleven mile drive from Skanee Road to the summit took about a half an hour because I took it easy and stopped to check out a cool little roadside waterfall. I met two cars on my way up, but once I reached the top I had the place to myself.
There’s a good size parking area at the top and then there’s that clearing I mentioned above that gives you a great view of the lake and a couple islands. With the grill and the picnic table right there, I sort of wished I’d carved out more time for this stop. It would have been cool to fire up the grill and have a cookout at Michigan’s highest point. Next time!
At any rate, the drive down was uneventful. I made it back to Skanee Road in about twenty minutes and then continued onto L’Anse to grab a coffee at Java by the Bay.
Bottom Line: At 1,979.238 feet above sea level, Mount Arvon is Michigan’s Highest Point. A gravel road leads all the way to the top, making this attraction an accessible “must see” in the U.P.
From the intersection of US 41 and Broad Street in L’Anse, drive north into L’Anse on Broad Street for .7 miles until you reach Main Street. Turn right (East) on Main Street, which becomes Skanee Road, and continue 16.1 miles to “Roland Lake Road” (I’ve seen directions that say “Church Road,” but when I was there the sign said “Roland Lake Road.”)
At any rate, turn right there (by the large Zion Lutheran Church) and drive 2.9 miles to where the road comes to a T. Turn right at the T onto “Ravine River Road” and follow the blue signs (mostly just small blue arrows) to the top of Mount Arvon.
Map of Mount Arvon: To view Mount Arvon’s location on my map of the Upper Peninsula, click here.