Upper Peninsula Hiking: Sugarloaf Mountain

New to the Upper Peninsula hiking scene? Looking for the best hike to see the beauty of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula? Look no further. Marquette’s Sugarloaf Mountain is the perfect hike for any and everyone looking to get the most out of their day in the UP. The leaves are turning and the now is the ideal time to take advantage of the Michigan’s fall foliage.

Sugarloaf Mountain is located in Michigan’s Marquette. Marquette is one of the major cities in the Upper Peninsula and has a tremendous variety of outdoor activities to choose from. With the amount of hikes Marquette offers, Sugarloaf will check all the boxes for your day on the mountain.

Sugarloaf is probably the most discussed and hiked trails in Marquette. The hike is short, scenic and close to town. The access to the trailhead is adjacent to the parking lot and the elevation gain to reach an unbelievable summit, is a piece of cake.

Getting to Sugarloaf

One of the best parts about getting here is the short drive from town. Roughly a 15 minute drive from downtown, Sugarloaf is one of the least strenuous hikes to venture too. The easiest and most direct route is head north towards Presque Isle and make a left onto Big Bay Rd. Once you have hit Big Bay road you will follow that for a few miles and find the parking lot on the right side of the main road.

Trailhead and Route Options

Sugarloafs trailhead cant be missed as it starts immediately to the backright corner as you enter the parking lot. When you begin the hike there are two routes to choose from. Easy and Difficult. I’ve only done the difficult route and that “difficult route” doesn’t provide any real difficulty.

sugarloaf hiking

Beginning Section


The beginning section of Sugarloaf is the most challenging part of the hike. Don’t let the gradual climb in elevation in steepness and elevation scare you because its only brief and not all that challenging. The scenery here here is quite memorable with a nice canopy of trees and a brief running stream of water. Aside from the summit, this is the most scenic part of the trail.


Coming from the difficult route, the second part of the hike is when you hit the trail fork. You will see a trail split (including signage) after a bit of a flat section. When you see this, go LEFT and follow the stairs up the mountain. You will continue on thes stairs and then a few other sections of stairs until you have arrived at the summit.

sugarloaf hiking


YES! Finally, the summit. For those hiking this trail who are in good physical shape should expect this trail too take about 20 minutes to the summit. Maybe even less if you’re moving at a good clip. The summit has two different lookout platforms that provide you with some unbelievable views of Marquette and Lake Superior.

Sugarloaf Recap

  • Hike Time: 20 minutes up and about 10 down
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Scenery: INCREDIBLE from summit
  • Access: VERY accessible
  • Parking: Plenty but can get crowded on weekends
  • Crowds: BUSY on weekends

If you have any other Upper Peninsula hiking recommendations I would love to hear about them. I have many more trails to write about but even more to experience. If you are looking for some more info about Marquette, please take a gander through my chasing fall colors in Marquette piece.

Published by Eric

Follow the instagram. @errythang_19

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