This was my experience climbing to Michigan's highest point. Its a testimony to just how remote the peak is, and what became of a classic mistake.....
One winter evening I drove across the state for a weekend reunion with some high school friends and to share an adventurous hike to Michigan's highest point. I met my old classmates at their apartment. One thing lead to another and before I could help it, the whole night had gone by without any sleep. I knew I was tired but I was still determined to climb Mount Arvon with my two friends.
We left that morning around 11:30. Once we reached Baraga county we stopped to ask for directions at a gas station but the clerk had no idea what Mt. Arvon even was! Not a good sign but we picked up a map from the tourist information center that lead us right to the logging road which would take us to the summit. We took my poor car as far we it could go, (almost got it stuck in the snow), and parked it in the gravel pit. We strapped on our authentic, bulky, weaver style snowshoes and embarked.
We originally made the hike out to be about two miles so we packed light, one bottle of water and sandwich per person. After the first two miles or so a snowmobiler happened by and we asked him how far he thought we were from the summit. He told us we had probably three miles or so till the parking lot, at which point we would have another half mile to the top. We pressed on following the somewhat obscure blue arrows painted on the trees. What we initially thought to be a 2 mile hike turned out to be an 8 mile hike in snowshoes all while thinking "it has to be just around this bend, it has to be just around this bend."
By the time we reached the summit we were miserably exhausted, hungary and cold and the sun was setting. We had neither the energy or the equipment to make our way the eight long miles back down, (as all I had was a crank led flash light). An incoming snow shower reduced visibility, it would have been near impossible to have found the right path back to our car. We had dug ourselves into a whole.
We were forced to call dispatch, who also didnt know where Mount Arvon was. They called the county Sheriffs Department, and the Sheriffs Department sent Search and Rescue. We were so relieved when Search and Rescue arrived on their snowmobiles! Thank God for those guys.
So if you decide to climb Mt. Arvon in the winter make sure you know what your getting yourself into and dont be afraid to stuff your pack!