YOOPERLITE Rocks: Best Guide | What & Where to Find Michigan's Glow Rocks!

YOOPERLITE: Ultimate Guide to What & Where to find Michigan's Glow Rocks! | Locations | Map | Where to Find These Florescent Glow in the Dark Stones in Michigan's Upper Peninsula Tonight + Tools, Tips, Map

By: Sherry Trautman | Travel-Mi.com | Updated: November 4, 2023

Have you ever wondered what Yooperlite rocks are and where you can find them?  Where to find Yooperlite stones on a beach MAP?  Why are they called that, and what the heck is a Yooper anyways?  The mysteries of Michigan await just a few words away.

Yooperlite Rocks Are Unique to Michigan!

Like the Petoskey Stone, Charlevoix Stones and Lake Superior Agates, Yooperlite Stones are rare and unique to Michigan. But, the Michigan glowing stone is one of the most unique and a relatively new discovery along the shores Michigan beaches of the Upper Peninsula and Lake Superior.  This luminescent light is produced when the stone is exposed to UV light such as a blacklight, this in turn causes the rock to fluoresce. 

In photoluminescence, a substance's glow is triggered by light which cause it to fluoresce.  The reaction causes the Stone in the case of the Yooperlite to glow Orange and Yellow as the atoms in the rock get excited and change states. 

If you plan on Rock hunting for Yooperlites in the Michigan UP please keep reading and learning.  The Rocks can be very challenging to find for several reasons that we explain below. We also have the Best map of where to find them.

What are Yooperlite Rocks?

What is the "Yooper" Part of Yooperlite?

A Yooper is a person who lives in the "UP" (Upper Peninsula of Michigan), and most accepted as born there. This is the part geographically North of the Mackinac Bridge and connected to Wisconsin.  The residents have their own Yooper accent, similar to the characters in the Classic 1996 movie "Fargo".  The "UP" is often referred to as Little Finland due to the strong Finland and Swedish heritages. 

Chris is a Yooper, born in Houghton, Michigan, but was kicked out years ago!  It's complicated...lol

What is The "Lite" Part of Yooperlite?

This one is a lot simpler! The "Lite" in "YooperLite" is just like it sounds.  It's a lite or light depending on the use.  It implies, in Chris's mind at least, that a "Yooper" would use the Rock as a Lite when in the dark. Which you would have to know the song "Grandma was run over by a Reindeer" and been to "Da Yoopers Tourist Trap" in Ishpeming Michigan to understand the reference. Make sure and check it out if you don't get it. 

In actuality the part of the rock when illuminated with a 365nm Black light will glow, giving the Yooperlite rock its lite effect and ultimately its name.  The mineral which glows is Sodalite.  The "Lite" in Sodalite makes a lot more sense.

So yes, sodalite and Yooperlite are essentially the same rock.

Yooperlite Rocks - Glow in the Dark Rocks in MichiganYooperlite Rocks - Glow in the Dark Rocks in Michigan. Photo by Susan Delisle

How To Find Yooperlite Stones

Does the Whole Yooperlite Stone Glow?

Typically No, the rock or stone is usually mostly made of syenite rock. The stone in plain daylight will look very similar to granite but without the quartz.  It will have a gray appearance and have specks of glowing areas when exposed to UV blacklights. 

Aren't florescent, glow in the dark Yooperlite Rocks just amazing?

 Who doesn't want to go rock hunting and find natural stones that glow in dark along the beaches of Lake Superior?  It's a rock hunter and rock enthusiast's dream! 

Check out our Yooperlite Map below!


The Yooperlite rock is also sometimes called Keweenaw Emberlites, glow rocks, Embers or Sodalites. Whatever you want to call them, they are incredible!

Why Do Yooperlite Rocks Glow With Blacklight?

Rocks such as our Yooper Stones can appear to glow under black light (UV light) due to the presence of minerals or compounds that absorb UV light and then emit it as visible light in various colors. This phenomenon is called fluorescence.

What makes Yooperlite Sodalite UV reactive?

This is determined by the specific minerals or compounds in the rock. Different substances can produce different colors when they fluoresce under blacklight, making it a fascinating aspect of rock and mineral exploration.

Only a certain wave length Blacklight will fluoresce with the Yooperlite rocks, specifically a wave length of 365 nm is best. 

If you are in Houghton, Michigan (Yooper Rock central) we highly recommend you visit Michigan Technological Universities A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum to see all sorts of Geological collections, as well as Yooperlite Rocks, and the world's largest copper boulder, no kidding, way better than a ball of string!

What are Yooperlite Rocks? (Sometimes Spelled Yooperlight Rocks)

Yooperlite is a name for rocks that consist of a mostly syenite-rich fluorescent sodalite.  Sodalite is mineral that fluoresces an orange or yellow color under ultraviolet light.

Sodalite glows "Orange" or "Yellow" when exposed to ultraviolet light.

Do these Yooperlight stones really glow in the dark?  These rocks are grey in nature when you see them on the beach but glow when under a UV light. Fantastic challenge for rock hunting in Michigan!

They are sometimes called Keweenaw Emberlites, glow rocks, agates, Embers or Sodalites!

Oh my gosh you guys, check out our video on our Yooperlite rocks! See them glow! See where these were found below!

Are Yooperlites Only Found in Michigan?

Yeh Ehh! So yes!  Michigan has its very own Yooperlite Rock!

But in the rest of the world they are called Sodalite, and can be found in rocks in other parts of the world. Yooperlite is Trademarked which makes the term more rooted in Michigan. 

Who Is Credited with Discovery of These Glowing Rocks (Also Known As Yooperlite Rocks)? Erik Rintamaki!

In 2018, Erik Rintamaki was credited with the first verified finding of sodalite-rich syenite rocks in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. He found these glowing stones in the sand on a Lake Superior beach near Brimley, MI. These rocks glow under an ultraviolet light. He was curious if he could use a UV light to hunt for rocks along the beaches of Lake Superior and the as they say is history.

Erik was super witty and named them Yooperlites! We are so glad he made this monumental discovery!

Are Yooperlite Rocks Radioactive?

No, they are not anymore radioactive then other stones and minerals.  They do not contain any Tritium which is the radioactive material found in luminescent signs.

Are Yooperlite Rocks Real?

Yes, Yooperlite Rocks are real and the name is Trademarked by Erik Rintamaki.  A real Yooper! 

Historically, they have been around since 2018 in the eyes of the law.  But in reality they have been around since time began.

Where To Find Yooper Rocks

Are These Glow Stones That Glow In The Dark Easy to Find?

Maybe, if you have experience finding them, or have a tour guide that can help.  Make sure and check out our MAP for locations! 

Our Upper Peninsula resident (Chris' Mom!) Susan, says, "It's best to go late at night and be sure to use a black light."

It takes some patience but it can be done!  She and her friend Denise have found a few of these unique rocks in the Keweenaw area after sunset. Once you find your first Yooperlite, they will be easier to spot! 

Map Where to Find Michigan's Mysterious Glowing Yooperlite Rocks Along Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula Beaches

Where to Find Yooperlite Rocks Shown In Our Video:

Where you can find the Yooperlite rocks in our video:

  • Whitefish Point Bird Observatory at Whitefish Point, Michigan
  • West Wild Cat Road
  • Whitefish Point State Dock
  • Whitefish Bay
  • Brimley Beach
  • 4 Mile Beach
  • Vermilion Point, Whitefish Township, MI
  • Crisp Point, Road 412 Paradise, MI 
  • Near MuskaCalumet Waterworks Parkllonge Lake State Park, on the Lake Superior Side of Road 407
  • Lake Superior State Forest Campground
  • Grand Marais
  • Calumet Waterworks Park
  • Eagle River, Keweenaw Peninsula
  • Mohawk Beach
  • Agate Beach Copper Harbor

All of these Yooperlite locations are listed on the interactive Yooperlite map in Michigan's UP. 

Where to find Michigan's Mysterious Glowing Rocks MAP

Yooperlite Michigan Rock Hunting Map

Click the Icons on the MAP to view Yooperlite Rock Hunting Locations with Addresses!

Also, please be sure to only park in public lots and do not enter private property.  Please keep your voices down if you are near private home during later hours. 

  • Click on the plus and minus in the left corner to zoom in or out of the map.
  • Click on the icons for more info, addresses and photos of the stops.
  • Click on the map to drag and move it to view surrounding areas.
  • In the Header, click on the rectangle in the upper left of the map to see a menu of all of our stops. Click on anything that looks interesting to see where it is on the map. To hide the menu, click the rectangle in the header.
  • In the Header, click on the "square" icon in the upper right side to expand the map for better viewing.

Tips For Rock Hunting Yooper Rocks in the Upper Peninsula

Stay overnight at a hotel nearby to the Hunting areas. 

  • We suggest Grand Marais and Paradise for Eastern Upper Peninsula Yooperlite hunting.
  • Get a guided tour with Erik Rintamaki
  • We suggest Copper Harbor or Calumet and Keweenaw for hotels as Rock hunting bases.
  • Print off our map with the directions in the Map we provided, trust us you will appreciate this!  Most areas are without cell coverage. 
  • View the MAP in the Satellite view to see walkways to the beach and parking in advance.  
  • Some areas you will have to walk a ways to the beach so arrive prepared.
  • Bring a regular flashlight with extra batteries.
  • Bring water and maybe some snacks.

Make a road tour out of it!

  1. Visit Tahquamenon Falls in the day, check out the Tahquamenon Brewery at the Upper Falls
  2. Visit Pictured Rocks
  3. Make sure and drive Road H58, it's more scenic than Tunnel of Trees!
  4. See Sable Dunes, Sable Falls and Log Slide overlook, we swear its better than Sleeping Bear Dunes!
  5. Check out all the Water Falls near Munising 
  6. Learn about the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and see artifacts at Whitefish Point Light House 

In the Keweenaw check out:

  1. Brockway Mountain
  2. Copper Harbor
  3. Look for Agates on Agate Beach in Copper Harbor
  4. Visit the Mineral Museum at Michigan Tech in Houghton Michigan

Where Can I Find Yooperlite Rocks? Check out our quick reference Photo Gallery!

These glowing stones can be found on the shores of Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  The Michigan beaches of Lake Superior near the Grand Marais area, as well as Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula and Whitefish Point are great for searching for Yooperlite Rocks.

What Yooperlite Rocks Look Like With and Without a Black Light

How to tell if a rock is a Yooperlite Rock, also what they look like in daylight. 

Are Yooperlite Rocks Rare?

Indeed, the key to finding Yooperlite stones lies in their location, primarily along the shores of Lake Superior beaches. This geographical constraint narrows down the areas where you are most likely to discover these unique rocks. 

Rare in the sense of value, no, not really a precious gem, so the only value would be the market of Rockhounds who like the glow rocks that we call Yooperlites. 

Per pound you could buy a pound of Yooperlites for $60-100.

Does a Yooperlite glow in sunlight?

Technically yes, but it will be washed out by the sun unless you can add some shade and can become difficult to see unless your light is directly aimed at it.  

Is Yooperlite natural? Are Yooperlite rocks real?

Yes, absolutely!  These unique collectable rocks are not painted, doctored up or modified from their natural state. And the are definitely real and can be found along Michigan's beaches and the shores of Lakes Superior.

Gorgeous Yooperlite Jewelry: Treasures For Gifts and Yourself!

We love buying local! Superior Fire Lights, located in Sault Ste. Marie, makes gorgeous Yooperlite jewelry, gems and specimens from the glowing stones they have found!  These Fluorescent Sodalite necklaces are durable, super unique and very fun to wear!

You have got to see their amazing selection of Yooperlite Jewelry!  They are incredible and made in Michigan!

Honest Hands Ring Company on Etsy offers incredible Yooperlite Rings and Petoskey Stone rings that you need to see. 

Everything Yooper has a great selection of these glowing dragon eggs that you just have to see!  So many cool things! If you want a few spectacular Sodalite Fluorescent Yooperlite Glow Rocks, check their current prices!

Tools/Equipment for Yooperlite Hunting  

(Long Wave) Convoy C8 + 365nm UV LED Flashlight with Patented Glass Filter

Best Yooper Approved 365nm UV Blacklight!

Check Current Price$$ 

Convoy C8 + 365nm UV LED Flashlight 

(Approximately $90 on Amazon)

Absolute Best UV light for Yooperlite Rockhounds! May fluoresce objects up to 80' away with focused light!  This long wave UV Black light UV flashlight has a patented glass filter making it ideal for Yooperlite Rock hunting.

  • Waterproof standard IP-65 protects the unit from accidental water immersion
  • Charger included (No Batteries)
  • Don't forget the Special Lithium Ion 18650 batteries

Some posts on this site contain affiliate links through Amazon.  If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn a small commission.  Read our disclosure policy.

These are great Emergency Light Sticks that be used to:

  • Mark your trail/entry point so you can find the spot where you entered the beach from your parked vehicle.
  • Put a couple glow sticks at the waterline too so you can see it from the beach even if you are a mile away.

This black light UV flashlight, 365nm, has a black filter lens and is excellent for finding glowing rocks and minerals. It comes recommended by rock hunters.  1 AA battery. Perfect light for finding Yooperlite rocks. 

Check Current Price Now!

Tips to Find Yooperlites + Know Before You Go

We recommend an overnight stay in a nearby town on our map.  Unfortunately this can be harder than you think.  Cell coverage at most of the beaches is non-existent. Factor in the long summer daylight and you could be rock hunting past 11pm., then your drive back to your hotel.  We cant stress enough to plan ahead and leave a time and location with friends or family for check-ins.  Bring plenty of food and water!

You may also get lucky and be able to see the Northern Lights, Check out our Northern Lights Page!

We highly suggest arriving at your intended search beach before dark, so you have time to become familiar with the area. Walk the path in daylight to make sure there aren't any obstacles or washouts that might cause you to fall. 

  • Always check the local weather before you go rock hunting. You definitely don't want to caught in a storm at night on the beach.
  • Bring a regular white flashlight to help you navigate. 
  • Bring glowsticks (we love these glowsticks, they are perfect for camping too) - So you don't lose each other and they can be used to mark the area where you entered the beach so you can find your way back to your car since it will be well after sunset when you leave. 
  • Bring a bag or backpack to house any Yooperlite rocks you find. These multifunctional crossbody sling bags are perfect as they are lightweight and durable.
  • Don't just look in front of you, shine your light behind you as well as different angles of light can pick up the stones you just passed. 
  • Be sure to wear appropriate shoes as you will be walking in the sand, over rocks and along the shores of Lakes Superior.  We recommend wearing sturdy hiking boots or shoes as you can turn an ankle as the beaches of Lake Superior can be rocky. Wearing appropriate shoes is so important when walking on unsteady landscapes. 
  • Bring extra batteries for your black light and your regular flashlight.
  • It's always a good idea to have snacks and water with you on your Yooperlite adventure! 
  • And of course, bring warm clothes as you explore Michigan's beaches!

When Can I Find Yooperlights?

Yooperlite rocks can be found year round, but if the shorelines are covered in snow during the winter, it will be very difficult. As such, we recommend spring, summer and fall! 

When is the best time to find the glow in the dark Yooper rocks?

In our opinion, early spring (as early as end of March and April) is best as the beaches have not been picked over yet and the mosquitos and bugs are minimal. 

Plus, the crashing waves from winter storms have "reset" the beach with all new stones to discover! So get hunting!

In the summer, searching for Yooperlites, especially after a storm is a great idea as rocks could be washed up on shore. 

Do You Love Petoskey Stones?

Love stones?  Michigan is also famous for Petoskey stones.  Learn where to find them and how to polish Petoskey Stones.

Love Rock Hunting In Lower Michigan?

We were blown away by the fossils we found at Rockport State Park in Alpena Michigan.  The views are just incredible and the fossils...even more so.

Have you Found These Glow in the Dark Lights? Any Questions?

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Are Yooperlites easy to find? Are they rare? Can they be worth something? Answer Hi Becki! Finding Yooperlites takes some persistence, a little …

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About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

Thanks for stopping by!

Our Words of Wisdom: “Never follow anyone else’s path. Unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path, then by all means follow that path.”

"Sherry & Chris"

We're Sherry and Chris the founders of one of Michigan's most comprehensive and Top Travel Blogs!

    Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "Travel-mi.com." A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry.

    In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of Travel-MI.com. This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

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