So you’re planning a camping trip in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore!
First, some quick things to know about the Hurricane River campground that’s located in Pictured Rocks.
Then, a bit on how to make camping reservations.
Things to know about camping at Hurricane River Campground in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
1. The Hurricane River Campground is located on the Grand Marais side (eastern side) of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
2. The campground is right next to Hurricane River.
3. Hurricane River is a river that flows right into Lake Superior!
There are a number of spots in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore where you can see a river that flows onto the beach and into Lake Superior and one of those spots is right near the Hurricane River campground!
4. There’s a sandy beach right around Hurricane River.
The Hurricane River beach is one of many Lake Superior beaches in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. There’s a trail to the beach from the campground.
5. You don’t have to walk far in search of colorful rocks along this beach.
You may be able to find some right around the river. And you can also walk along the beach to the right of the river as you’re facing the lake, and you’re likely to find more colorful Lake Superior rocks. Just look, don’t take the rocks, though! As a national lakeshore, all nature, including the rocks are protected.
6. You have a number of hiking options that can start from the Hurricane River campground.
7. You don’t have to walk far in search of a shipwreck site.
One of the hiking options you have is to hike to see a shipwreck… Although you may or may not be able to see it in an obvious way… It’s there for you to try to see though! I did not see anything anyway, although I did not look very hard. The nearby sign reads that you “may” see parts of old shipwrecks when you are around here. You’ll take the trail in the direction of the lighthouse (next on the list).
According to the National Park Service, about this area of Lake Superior:
A dangerously shallow bottom of brown sandstone extends about one mile out.
Hazards like these have led seamen to call this southern shore “Graveyard Coast.”
Side note: If you are interested in shipwrecks and maritime history of the Great Lakes, be sure to visit Whitefish Point. You may also be interested in Crisp Point and Vermilion Point. You can find colorful rocks here too. (These are not a part of Pictured Rocks but you can add on to your Eastern UP road trip or your Lake Superior lighthouse road trip.)
8. It’s about a 3 mile hike round trip to the Au Sable Point Lighthouse from Hurricane River.
You can hike to the Au Sable Light Station directly from the campground. This is the trail heading to the east, which is to the right as you’re facing the lake. You’ll be hiking along Lake Superior and the North Country Trail.
9. It’s around a 7 mile hike round trip to the Log Slide sand dunes from Hurricane River.
You’ll hike to the Au Sable Lighthouse and then continue hiking in the same direction. The trail continues along Lake Superior and the North Country Trail where you’ll find amazing views and you’ll take it until you reach the Log Slide overlook for more amazing views!
10. It’s around a 5 mile hike round trip to hike to Twelvemile Beach from Hurricane River.
In the opposite direction from Hurricane River (west, which is to the left as you’re facing the lake), you can hike to Twelvemile Beach. This is a hike mostly through a forest until you get to Twelvemile Beach. You’ll again be hiking the North Country Trail. There is also the Twelvemile Beach campground.
11. There’s a small picnic area near the Hurricane River beach.
There’s a picnic area located immediately near the Hurricane River beach and at the start of the trailhead. After your hike, you can eat your picnic lunch at the this picnic area to eat near the shores of Lake Superior!
12. There are 2 parts to the Hurricane River Campground: lower and upper
13. The lower campground is the one that is pretty much right at Hurricane River and Lake Superior.
It’s possible to be a less than one minute walk from Hurricane River and the Hurricane River beach. The lower campground is the one that’s closer to the lighthouse and sand dunes.
14. There’s a 0.2 mile trail that connects the upper campground to Hurricane River.
This means this is the trail connects to Hurricane River, the Hurricane River beach, Lake Superior, and the lower campground. This is also the direction you’d hike to get to the lighthouse and sand dunes. On the flip side, the upper campground does seem to feel a bit more private since it is a little bit more away from the more exposed and publicly accessible Hurricane River beach.
15. The Hurricane River campground is for tent camping and RV camping.
16. There are campsites that come with a tent pad.
This will be flat gravel ground to set up your tent.
17. Hurricane River Campground is a “rustic” campground.
18. There is no electricity at the campground.
There is no electricity at Hurricane River Campground, or at any other campgrounds in the national lakeshore park.
19. There are no showers at the campground.
There are no showers at Hurricane River Campground, or at any other campgrounds in the national lakeshore park.
20. There are basic no-flush toilets at the campground.
21. There are faucets at the campground for drinking water.
22. There are bears in Pictured Rocks.
It’s said that a fed bear is a dead bear. This means that once bears start to see humans as a source of food, they can become a threat to humans, and that means a potential threat to you! If a bear is believed to think of humans as a source of food, that bear may be killed.
Currently, bears in Pictured Rocks are generally not seen as a threat to people. But it takes everyone, including all campers, to keep it like that and to keep everyone safe, while you’re camping, and to keep the campers that come after you safe!
Among the things, be sure to take care to pick up after yourself after you eat. You want to avoid leaving food in your tent, and be sure to store all food in your car. This also means it would be better if you didn’t eat inside your tent at all.
Another thing is to also try not to keep scented items inside your tent. Scented items can even include things like shampoo, soap, toothpaste, and sunscreen.
Before you go camping, you can read up on bears in Pictured Rocks (pdf), you can also read more about hiking and camping with bears in national parks.
23. There are “bear-proof” trash cans around the campground.
You will see bear-proof trash cans around Hurricane River, and all over the park.
24. There are biting flies around Hurricane River.
Biting flies are a thing. They seem to affect different people differently. They are known to be a problem to some people in particular on the hiking trail from Hurricane River (towards the lighthouse). The biggest prevention seems to be to wear long clothes that covers your skin so you won’t feel them bothering you. Some people also wear a bug net around their face.
25. What to do as a day trip (or half day trip) from Hurricane River Campground
How far is the Hurricane River Campground from other Pictured Rocks activities?
- Log Slide overlook (if you don’t want to hike) – 10 minute drive
- Trail to Chapel Falls / Chapel Rock / Chapel Beach / Chapel Mosquito loop (aka the cliffs hike) – 1 hour 15 minute drive
- Miners Castle Point overlook – 1 hour 15 minute drive
For more activities, see:
More around the UP:
- Hurricane River to Grand Marais: 20 minutes
- Hurricane River to Munising: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Hurricane River to Tahquamenon Falls: 1 hour 45 minutes (see Lower Falls campground)
- Hurricane River to Kitch-iti-kipi: 1 hour 45 minutes
- Hurricane River to Whitefish Point: 2 hours
- Hurricane River to Porcupine Mountains: 4.5 hours (see Union Bay campground)
- Hurricane River to Keweenaw Peninsula: 5 hours
Read the reviews of the Hurricane River campground.
Here's some info on Michigan vacation prep! Top Michigan vacation spots:
- Best of Michigan's national lakeshores
- Best of Tahquamenon Falls State Park
- Best of Porcupine Mountains State Park
- Michigan waterfalls road trip
- Lake Superior lighthouse road trip
- Best of hiking in Pictured Rocks
- Get a waterproof phone case if you'll be heading out on the water!
- The perfect type of shirt for swimming in Michigan
How to make camping reservations at Hurricane River Campground
The official website for making a Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore camping reservation through the National Park Service is recreation.gov.
You can type in Hurricane River Campground for the search, and then go from there.
You’ll be able to find an updated campground map too.
You can also see the individual campsites that are available. If you click on an individual campsite, it will also give you the basics of the campsite. If you have flexible dates, you can also search the availability by date. This can also help you determine if you should book soon or not, based on the availability of the campsites. If you’re looking to camp in the summer, then book sooner rather than later!
There are also Hurricane River Campground reviews you can read on the camping reservation website.
Hurricane River Campground map
Cost of camping at Hurricane River campground
The cost of camping at Hurricane River campground is around $20 per night. See here for updated camping fees.
Checking in to your campsite
There is no official check-in for camping at the Hurricane River campground. You’ll need to have your camping “permit” printed off before you go. This means printing off your camping reservation confirmation that was e-mailed to you. You’ll get instructions once you book your campsite. And then you’ll stick that on the campsite post when you get to your campsite.
So once you are in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore park and approaching the campground, you’ll start to see signs for the Hurricane River campground. And off you go to find your individual campsite!
And that’s a bit about camping at Hurricane River campground!
More in Pictured Rocks:
- Camping at Twelvemile Beach campground
- Camping at Little Beaver Lake campground
- The best of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
The other national lakeshore in Michigan:
See more Michigan campgrounds near Lake Superior!
HAPPY CAMPING AT HURRICANE RIVER CAMPGROUND!