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Mackinac Bridge Lights at Night

Answering Your “How” Questions About the Upper Peninsula

Each day we check the web stats of Yooper Steez and what people have been Googling to bring traffic to the site. I thought I could make good use of this information by answering all of the “how” questions that have landed people on Yooper Steez. All of the questions below are verbatim searches people used to land on Yooper Steez.

You ask the questions, we’ll do the research.

General Upper Peninsula Questions

Q: How to draw the upper peninsula of michigan
A: I am probably a terrible resource when it comes to drawing lessons. My co-workers were laughing at the giraffe I had to draw at work because they could tell which end was the head and which end was the tail. The best advice I can give is find a quality outline of the Upper Peninsula (if you’d like, you can purchase a Yooper Steez shirt and trace that to practice, they’re quite accurate). Trace it a few times, look at it, study it, and I have faith that you’ll master drawing the Upper Peninsula. Even I can draw it fairly accurately these days.

Q: How many square miles is the lower penninsula of michigan
A: 40,352 square miles of land area
16,452 in the Upper Peninsula (29% of Michigan’s land)

Q: How many square miles of water is in michigan
A: Michigan has the highest % of water of any state at 41.27%
Michigan has the 2nd most water of any state, only second to Alaska

Q: How many ppl go to northern mi university
A: As of 2008-2009 there were 8,438 undergraduates and 685 postgraduate students. (9,123 total)

Q: How far is detroit from the upper peninsula
A: Driving from Detroit it is approximately 295 miles of driving. A straight line would be about 258 miles.

Q: How many people live in the upper peninsula of michigan
A: 317,258 people, according to the 2000 Census

Q: How many inland lakes are there in michigan’s upper peninsula
A: Approximately 4,300. The largest is Lake Gogebic.

Q: How far is north pole from marquette, mi
A: Approximately 3,002 miles. What’s cool is that the 45 degree parallel runs right through Michigan, which is half-way between the equator and the North Pole.

Q: How did michigan acquire the upper peninsula
A: The western 3/4 of the Upper Peninsula came as a result of the Toledo War in 1836. As a result of the war, Ohio was given the Toledo Strip and in turn Michigan received the Upper Peninsula. At the time it was perceived that Ohio was the clear winner of the war. It wasn’t realized until many years later that the Upper Peninsula was one of the richest sources of minerals in the United States.

Lake Superior

Q: How big is lake superior in miles
A: Shore length of 2,725 miles

Q: How many rivers feed lake superior
A: over 200 rivers

Q: How many feet high is lake superior than the other great lakes
A: Lake Superior surface elevation: 600 ft
– Lake Michigan surface elevation: 577 ft
– Lake Huron surface elevation: 577 ft
– Lake Erie surface elevation: 571 ft
– Lake Ontario surface elevation: 246 ft

Q: How big is the surface of lake superior
A: read below

Q: How does lake superior compare to the great salt lake in size
A: Lake Superior surface area is 31,820 square miles and 2,900 cu mi in volume
Great Salt Lake surface area is ~1,700 square miles and ~2.7 cu mi in volume

Q: How many miles of lake superior shoreline does michigan have compared to canada
A: 917 miles of Lake Superior shoreline in the Upper Peninsula (read more)

Mackinac Bridge

Q: What two towns connect the mackinac bridge?
A: St. Ignace is on the north side in the Upper Peninsula and Mackinaw City is on the south side in the Lower Peninsula.

Q: How we can get best picture of mackinac bridge
A: To truly get the best photos of the Mackinac Bridge you should go to the very top (in my opinion), but this takes some connections. Some other suggestions are the Labor Day bridge walk, taking a boat beneath the bridge, from a park in St. Ignace, or an aerial view from a helicopter.

Q: How to get to the top mackinac bridge
A: It’s not an easy task. 1) You could be on Mike Rowe’s camera crew. 2) You could do it illegally, this is not recommended. 3) Be a worker on the Mackinac Bridge to help keep it in tiptop shape. 4) Each year the Bridge Authority gives away a designated number of certificates for tours of the Mackinac Bridge to go to the very top. Here’s the story of how I made it to the top of the Mackinac Bridge.

Q: How long is mackinac bridge

Total Length of Bridge (5 Miles) 26,372 Ft. 8,038 Meters
Total Length of Steel Superstructure 19,243 Ft. 5,865 Meters
Length of Suspension Bridge (including Anchorages) 8,614 Ft. 2,626 Meters
Total Length of North Approach 7,129 Ft. 2,173 Meters
Length of Main Span (between Main Towers) 3,800 Ft. 1,158 Meters

Facts & Figures

Q: How tall is mackinac bridge

Height of Main Towers above Water 552 Ft 168.25 Meters
Maximum Depth to Rock at Midspan Unknown Unknown
Maximum Depth of Water at Midspan 295 Ft. 90 Meters
Maximum Depth of Tower Piers below Water 210 Ft. 64 Meters
Height of Roadway above Water at Midspan 199 Ft. 61 Meters
Underclearance at Midspan for Ships 155 Ft. 47 Meters
Maximum Depth of Water at Piers 142 Ft. 43 Meters
Maximum Depth of Piers Sunk through Overburden 105 Ft. 32 Meters

Facts & Figures

Q: How to climb to the top of mackinac bridge
A: There are two ways to get to the top of the Mackinac Bridge. 1) Climb the large green cables that stretch from the base to the top. You’ll need a harness. 2) At the road-level of each tower you can enter a little cubbyhole where an elevator will bring you to the second cross beam. From there you climb a steel latter straight up to the top. Once again, there are several photos here.

Q: How far does the mackinac bridge move out when windy
A: The Mackinac Bridge bows as far as 20 feet on windy days. One misconception is that it actually sways, which is not the case, rather it will bow in one direction. In addition, the towers move as much as 18 feet in either direction, which isn’t from wind, but from the weight of traffic on the bridge.

Q: How many people cross mackinaw bridge a year
A: In 2005 there were 4,236,491 crossings (average 11,608 per day)

Q: How many people have been to the top of the mackinac bridge?
A: My guess is that the answer of this is probably unknown. Every year several workers of the bridge go to the top to make repairs, change light bulbs etc. Several others are given the chance, such as people from the governor’s office. The last I heard is that the Bridge Authority gives out 100 certificates each year for people to go to the top, though I am not sure of the accuracy on this.

Q: How long did it take to build the mackinac bridge
A: Construction on the bridge began on May 7, 1954 and was opened (on schedule) on November 1, 1957. The 50th anniversary was celebrated in 2007.

Q: How far can you see from the top of the mackinaw bridge
A: The distance to the horizon for a 5’7″ person is 2.89 miles. If this person was standing on the road level of the Mackinac Bridge (200 feet above the water) the horizon increases to 17.6 miles away. If a person is standing on the very top of the Mackinac Bridge (522 feet) the horizon is now about 28 miles away.

Q: How far is it from the mackinaw bridge to marquette
A: Driving from Marquette (via US-41 and US-2) it is approximately 175 miles of driving. A straight line would be about 137 miles.

Q: How far is it to mt. pleasant from the mackinac bridge
A: Driving from Mt. Pleasant it is approximately 161 miles of driving. A straight line would be about 149 miles.

Q: How far away from the mackinaw bridge is lake superior state
A: Driving from Lake Superior State University it is approximately 50 miles of driving. A straight line would be about 46 miles.

Let me know if you have questions of your own. Post a comment. You ask the question, I’ll do the research.

22 Wonderful Comments

  1. If global warming makes the oceans rise say 20 ft – will it affect the UP? Will the Great Lakes overflow their banks as well? (looking to move north and want to be on high ground LOL)

  2. Marquette reminds me a lot of Ann Arbor, how does it compare in population and demographics?

  3. Are most people in the UP of Finnish heritage?

  4. Yooper Steez
    Aug 6, 2009


    According to Wikipedia about 16% of the U.P. population is of Finnish heritage.

    This awesome map shows the the regions of the Upper Peninsula with their ancestry:

    In addition, according to City Data the county of Houghton has a Finnish populaiton of 35%

  5. Yooper Steez
    Aug 6, 2009


    Good question. Both cool towns. For starters check out this link: http://www.moving.com/real-estate/compare-cities/results.asp?Zip1=49855&Zip2=48103&sbmtZIP=Get+Report

    It’s a great comparison tool, but unfortunately you can only use one zip code, and Ann Arbor has a few.

    MQT: 19,661
    AA: 114,024
    Metro Population
    MQT: 64,634
    AA: 341,847

    MQT: 1,723.9/sq mi
    AA: 4,221.1/sq mi

    Clearly Ann Arbor has a lot more people. And the locations are so much different, being close to Detroit vs. being close to well… nature alone :)

    But I think there are a lot of similarities in culture, particularly among the younger populations, partially because they’re both college towns.

    It seems that both cities thrive on good locally owned businesses. It’s not urban sprawl. People prefer Joe Pa’s restaurant instead of Applebees. (Yay!).

    You’ll find a lot more diversity in Ann Arbor of course. Marquette is 95% white while Ann Arbor is 75% white.

    Median household income
    MQT: $30,000
    AA: $46,000

    …however, living expenses are also considerably higher in Ann Arbor.

    The poverty percentages are nearly equal. Marquette County’s unemployment rate is about 11.7% while Washtenaw County is about 10.6%.

  6. Yooper Steez
    Aug 6, 2009


    As for your other question… The Great Lakes water level will actually drop rather than rise. There is some great info here… http://www.climatehotmap.org/impacts/greatlakes.html

    They will also warm up. Part of this is naturally, despite global warming. But believe me, I’m not the person to ask. I did terrible in my science classes.

    But I can tell you this… we are incredibly fortunate in the Great Lakes Region, Michigan, and especially the Upper Peninsula. We have more access to fresh water than anyone in the world.

  7. That took some work! I learned a few things and look forward to part two.

  8. question for your Yooper experts – We’re relocating to Newberry, MI for my husband’s job. If we lived between Newberry and Sault Ste. Marie, MI, can I plan to drive on the major roads in the winter and be able to get to work? How bad are the roads in winter? Thanks! (and I’m a troll from below the bridge, so I AM used to snow, just not quite so much).

  9. I lived in the U.P over in Marquette while attending NMU and one winter there was 21-22 feet of snow. That is because of the Lake effect off Lake Superior and that was back in the 80’s.

    They get a lot of snow in the U.P., but they have monster snowblowing trucks and other equipment and did an awesome job on the roads.

    Make sure you have a good winter kit in your car, including a good set of jumper cables (not the cheap skinny ones) a collapsible shovel, warm blankets, 3-pound coffee can and candles, camp matches, flashlight, M&M’s, granola bars, etc. A good set of snow tires will help as well.

    I too, was a loper (troll) and regularly drove from Bay City, MI to Marquette. I loved the U.P.

  10. Hello! Just discovered your website and have been enjoying it all evening. My husband and I live in Northeast Ohio and love the UP: the friendliness of the people and the natural beauty are amazing. Plus, we kinda like inclement weather (we both grew up in “lake effect” areas). We are seriously thinking of relocating there at some point within the next few years. So here’s the question: we are both artistic types. Any towns you might recommend for their arts communities? I appreciate any advice you might have…

  11. Michael Cornish
    Sep 25, 2009

    The Marquette/Ishpeming area has quite an extensive arts community. Lots of local artist venues and events. Plus of course you’re right on Superior, so that’s a huge artistic benefit right there!

  12. Hi Cara –

    There are is an amazing bunch of artists living in the UP. I would suggest checking out either Marquette or Calumet. Calumet is a tiny town but has a great art scene – it’s about 20 mins from Houghton/Hancock so you’re somewhat close to the larger amenities (like big chain stores, etc.). Calumet has a few great art galleries and the community arts center in Hancock is equally fantastic.

    My experience is in Marquette. They seem to have it all: Marquette Symphony Orchestra, History Museum, Arts and Culture Center, DeVos Art Museum at NMU, Oasis Gallery, Maritime Museum, etc. etc. And if you’re ambitious enough, I think the place is ripe for some more galleries/studio spaces. Overall it’s a wonderful place for an artist – good community, things to do, but with a slower pace of a small town (hopefully = more studio time).

    Good luck!

  13. I have been to a really good art fair in Marquette, Michigan. So there must be a good artist community there.

  14. I agree that Calumet has a vibrant artist community. Ed Grey’s gallery on 5th street is especially worth the trip! And I believe that Copper Harbor has at least one large artist fair each year – maybe more – and it is only about 30 minutes north of Calumet. My folks retired a few years ago and moved to Calumet. I love the small town atmosphere and friendly people. They own the Miner’s Daughter antique shop on 5th street.

  15. I wish people would get the whole “Mackinac” and “Mackinaw” right. It’s Mackinaw City but the bridge and the island are “Mackinac”

  16. Yooper Steez
    Nov 19, 2009


    Great comment! However, I confess that it took me a long long time to get it straight myself. I hope there aren’t any mistakes on my part on the site, but please forgive me if there are.

    I understand how it can be confusing to people, but you are absolutely right!

  17. A general rule for the spelling of (Mackinac/Mackinaw): if it touches the U.P, it’s spelled with a ‘c’: Mackinac Bridge, Mackinac Straits, Mackinac Island, Mackinac County, etc. If it’s in the L.P, it’s spelled with a ‘w’: Mackinaw City, Mackinaw State Forest, Mackinaw Township. The only exception to this rule, I think, is Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City. As soon as I post this, someone will find more exceptions… :-)

  18. Yeah im from Menominee, and now i attend NMU, i love it up here

  19. Paul Anderson
    May 30, 2015

    What is the total number of post offices in the upper pension of michigan

  20. Sue gillespie
    Nov 27, 2015

    Does the bridge have special lights that are used at Christmas?

  21. Kelly Fisher
    Aug 23, 2016

    How many miles into the upper peninsula can you see the lights of the Mackinac Bridge from the coastline on a clear night?

    Aug 15, 2017

    is there a way to get to the other side of michigan from menominee michigan?

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