So you’re planning a camping trip to Michigan!
What’s a perfect way to spend your time in Michigan?!
Camping near Lake Michigan!
Muskegon State Park is one of the many state parks in Michigan in which you will be camping near Lake Michigan.
There are 2 campgrounds at Muskegon State Park. One of the campgrounds is on the southern side of the state park, called Channel Campground, near the Muskegon Channel (aka near the Muskegon lighthouse) and Channel Beach. The other campground is on the northern side of the state park, called Lake Michigan Campground, near a Lake Michigan overlook and stairs that lead to the shoreline!
Below will cover more specifically the Lake Michigan campground, but there are also general things that can apply to both Muskegon State Park campgrounds.
So first, some quick things to know about the Lake Michigan campground at Muskegon State Park.
Then, a bit on how to make camping reservations.
Things to know about camping at Muskegon State Park’s Lake Michigan campground
1. Muskegon State Park is a Michigan state park that’s located along Lake Michigan.
Explore the map.
2. There’s a trail to the Lake Michigan overlook directly from the campground.
Depending on the location of your campsite, it’s possible that it could take less than a minute to get to the Lake Michigan overlook, or it may be a few minutes walk.
There are people who bike to the Lake Michigan overlook from their campsite.
3. At the bottom of the stairs is a beach.
Consider this a camper’s beach! Since the main beach access is from the campground, this is practically a private beach just for campers!
Lake Michigan water levels were said to be high in 2020, and that means less of a sandy shoreline.
4. There are no lifeguards at the beach near the campground, or at any of the beaches in Muskegon State Park.
Lake Michigan is a big lake, and it can act like an ocean in many ways, so take care!
5. You can watch a Lake Michigan sunset from the Lake Michigan overlook… or down at the beach!
6. There is tent camping and RV camping at Muskegon State Park.
7. The Muskegon State Park campground is a “modern” campground.
As opposed to a “rustic” campground.
8. There are regular bathrooms along with hot water showers.
9. You can get electricity at your campsite.
10. There are faucets around the campground for drinking water.
11. There are campsites that are located right next to the path to the Lake Michigan overlook.
For reference, you can take a look at the campground map, and the Lake Michigan overlook is located between A-50 (north loop) and A-53 (south loop).
👆 This is the location of campsite A-59 (south loop) on the right side. (Upside down number on the pavement.) Notice: You’ll see the sun (direction of Lake Michigan) in the background. Almost straight on will lead you to the Lake Michigan overlook.
👆 This is the location of campsite A-55 (south loop) on the right side. Notice: Once again, you’ll see the sun in the background. If you look carefully you will also see a bike and bike rack. This is the start of the path to the Lake Michigan stairs.
👆 This is the location of campsite A-50 (north loop). Notice: In the back there’s a sign, and that’s the start of the path to the Lake Michigan overlook.
12. There are campsites located right next to the main road that goes through the state park.
This isn’t a particularly busy road, and the speed limit of this road is 35mph. But if you are a light sleeper or you have fears that a car will come crashing into you while you’re sleeping in your tent overnight 😜 then you may try to avoid the campsites near the road. You may also consider bringing earplugs just in case.
You can look at the campground map and pay attention to the location of the road.
13. There are cabins and a yurt at Muskegon State Park at the Lake Michigan campground.
👆 Mini-cabin in Muskegon State Park. Similar to camping but your shelter is provided! Bring your own everything.
Description about Muskegon State Park mini-cabins MC-14 and MC-16 from Michigan State Parks:
Contains two bunk beds, a table and chairs, an electric heater, a microwave, and a refrigerator.
Has outlets in cabin.
Description about Muskegon State Park yurt from Michigan State Parks:
Contains 2 cedar bunk beds, 2 stacking cots, a table and chairs, a wood stove, skylight, and solar lantern.
This yurt sits on a raised deck.
14. You can buy firewood and ice at the campground office.
To prevent the spread of invasive species, it’s always best to buy your firewood locally.
In 2020, cost of buying firewood at Muskegon State Park was $5, and the cost of buying ice was $2.
15. There’s a garbage dumpster for campers.
Leave your campsite free of trash the way you’d like to start your camping trip!
16. There’s an RV dump station (sanitation station) in the northern loop of the campground.
17. It’s about a 5 minute drive to South Scenic Drive along the lake.
Well it’s only directly along the lake for a little bit, but it’s a particularly scenic spot of the road called South Scenic Drive! For reference on a map, this is near the intersection of South Scenic Drive and Memorial Drive.
18. It’s about a 6 minute drive to Snug Harbor picnic area.
This can be a nice picnic spot. There are also cornhole boards here. Bring your own cornhole bags so you can play!
Snug Harbor can also be a kayak spot in Muskegon State Park.
From the Snug Harbor picnic area is also where you can find one spot to start the Dune Ridge Trail which is a hike across sand dunes.
There are more hiking trails in Muskegon State Park. You can pick up a map of Muskegon State Park hiking trails when you check in for your campsite.
Or you can print off this Muskegon State Park map (pdf) from Michigan State Parks.
19. It’s about a 6 minute drive to Channel Beach.
This is the main beach of Muskegon State Park.
20. It’s about a 7 minute drive to the Muskegon Channel.
The Muskegon Channel is also where you can see the Muskegon Lighthouse. You can only SEE the south pier lighthouse (the main Muskegon Lighthouse, the red one). There is no way to cross over to that lighthouse from the state park. You’ll need to drive around to get to it. Pere Marquette Beach is over there which is a pretty grand beach.
On the Muskegon State Park side, there is the smaller north pier light. The north pier is basically a bunch of rocks you’ll walk over to get to, so it’s best to wear proper shoes if you want to walk out to it.
For reference on a map, there is the Muskegon north pier parking lot.
21. There’s an ice cream shop a few minutes down the road from the Lake Michigan campground.
This is not a part of the state park, but because of its proximity to the campground, you can also call this the camper’s ice cream shop! There is outdoor seating.
22. Summer days are long!
In June and July, there are days where sunrise is just past 6am and the sunset isn’t until nearly 9:30pm in Muskegon MI.
That means time for lots of outdoor activities!
Read the reviews of the Muskegon State Park Lake Michigan campground.
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- Get a waterproof phone case if you'll be heading out on the water!
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How to make Muskegon State Park camping reservations
This is the official website for making Michigan State Parks DNR camping reservations.
You can choose Muskegon State Park, and then go from there.
You’ll be able to find an updated campground map too that shows current availability of individual campsites for your dates. This can give you an indication of how soon you may want to book.
If you click on an individual campsite, it will also give you notes about that campsite.
Cost of camping at a Muskegon State Park campground
In 2021, the cost of camping at Muskegon State Park is around $33 per night or $37 per night depending on the electricity capacity of your campsite.
There is an additional reservation fee. See here for updated camping fees.
Also, as a Michigan state park, a Michigan recreation passport is required for entry.
If you’re a Michigan resident, hopefully you already have the annual recreation passport, in which case there’s no additional fee.
If you don’t have the recreation passport, or you’re from out of state, for Michigan residents the annual pass is around $17 when purchased at a state park and for out-of-state residents it’s around $34. See current fees here.
Checking in to your campsite
Then, once you arrive at Muskegon State Park, you’ll stop by the campground office to check in and get your camping permit!
Then off you go to find your campsite!
And that’s a bit about camping at Muskegon State Park!
While you’re in the neighborhood, you can also see about visiting Hoffmaster State Park that’s another Michigan state park that’s located along Lake Michigan. There is also the Hoffmaster State Park campground here. This is about a 30 minute drive from Muskegon State Park.
And if you want to break up your drive on your way back down south along Lake Michigan, then the South Haven beach town is 1.5 hours south of Muskegon State Park.
Looking for more camping near the Great Lakes?
You can also make it a Lake Superior camping trip in Michigan.
Or you can make it a greater Upper Peninsula camping trip in Michigan.
HAPPY CAMPING AT MUSKEGON STATE PARK!
Turn your Michigan road trip into a national park road trip out west?! Take a look to get ideas for your road trip across America!
- Road trip to remote North Dakota national park
- Road trip to South Dakota (with 2 SD national parks + 1 SD national memorial + 1 SD cave national monument)
- Road trip to Wyoming (with 2 WY national parks + 1 WY national monument)
- Road trip to Idaho (with 1 ID national monument to see lava fields and caves!)
- See more: National park road trip out west from Michigan
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