If you’re planning a camping trip in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and you’re looking for a campground with beautiful views of Lake Superior, then you must consider camping in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore!
You can choose from regular camping (aka tent camping, RV camping, car camping) or backcountry camping (aka overnight hike to your camping spot).
There are camping spots near the Lake Superior shoreline!
First, the quick list of the types of camping in the Pictured Rocks.
And then, a bit more about each of these camping types.
Here are your basic options for camping in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Regular Pictured Rocks campground that has an upper area and a lower area. The lower area can be less than a minute to the Lake Superior shoreline from your campsite.
Regular Pictured Rocks campground that can get you views of Lake Superior from your campsite.
Regular Pictured Rocks campground with limited campsites that’s in a quieter area of the park. Hike 1.5 miles to Lake Superior.
4. Backcountry camping throughout Pictured Rocks
Backpacking Pictured Rocks: Hike to your campsite along the North Country Trail. There are many backcountry campgrounds that come with views of Lake Superior that are steps away!
Note that there are no cabins in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
Here's some info on Michigan vacation prep! Top Michigan vacation spots:
- Best of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
- Best of Tahquamenon Falls State Park
- Best of Porcupine Mountains State Park
- Lake Superior road trip
- Michigan waterfalls road trip
- Lake Superior lighthouse road trip
- Best of Lake Superior camping in Michigan
- Best of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
- Drive beyond Michigan: Chicago to Yellowstone road trip
- Get a waterproof phone case if you'll be heading out on the water!
- Get water shoes if you'll be heading to any beaches with a rocky shoreline in search of colorful rocks! (aka agate stones or yooperlites)
- The perfect type of shirt for swimming in Michigan
Save the Upper Peninsula Michigan video playlist to watch on youtube later!
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Where to stay in the Upper Peninsula:
- Bear Cove Inn (St Ignace MI, just across the Mackinac Bridge)
- Moosewood Inn (St Ignace MI)
- Best Western Harbour Pointe Lakefront (St Ignace MI)
- Roam Inn (Munising MI near Pictured Rocks)
- Comfort Inn Munising Lakefront (Munising MI)
- Superior Stay Hotel (Marquette MI)
- Staybridge Suites Marquette
- Peterson's Cottages (Western UP near Porcupine Mountains and Keweenaw Peninsula)
A bit more about each of these Pictured Rocks camping spots!
None of the campgrounds in Pictured Rocks have showers or electricity. There are only no-flush toilets. So the Pictured Rocks campgrounds are rustic campgrounds.
The regular campgrounds (first 3 campgrounds listed) go in order from east (Grand Marais side) to west (Munising side).
1. Hurricane River Campground
The Hurricane River runs right by the campground, and this is a river that flows into Lake Superior.
There are 2 sections of the Hurricane River campground: lower and upper.
The lower campsites are the ones closer to Lake Superior, and you’ll be less than a minute’s walk to the shoreline. This is also where you’ll find the hiking trail that will take you to Au Sable Point Lighthouse, and further to the Log Slide Overlook if you want to hike longer along the Lake Superior shoreline and the North Country Trail.
The upper campsites are located about 0.2 miles away, and there’s a trail that connects to the lower campsites and Lake Superior.
See more about this Pictured Rocks camping spot: Hurricane River campground
2. Twelvemile Beach Campground
Twelvemile Beach campground is possibly the best campground in Pictured Rocks! There are many campsites in which you can see Lake Superior directly from your campsite!
See more about this Pictured Rocks camping spot: Twelvemile Beach campground
3. Little Beaver Lake Campground
Little Beaver Lake has very few campsites and is a quieter campground. It’s also in a less visited area of the park.
There are campsites that are located right along the inland lake of Little Beaver Lake. You can also make it a hike to Lake Superior, which will take you to the west end of Twelvemile Beach. It’s possible you may be the only one on the beach!
Once at the shoreline, you can also pick up the North Country Trail that runs along Lake Superior. You can hike to the Big Star Cove for more scenic shoreline views.
See more about this Pictured Rocks camping spot: Little Beaver Lake campground
4. Backpacking Pictured Rocks: Backcountry camping along the North Country Trail in Michigan
Backpacking Pictured Rocks is a thing. This means that you hike to your camping spot. There are designated backcountry campgrounds or backcountry campsites in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
The North Country Trail is a 4,700 mile long trail that extends from the midwest to the east coast. It passes through Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore for around 40 miles.
Basically, backpacking Pictured Rocks means backpacking the North Country Trail. It’s the North Country Trail that you’ll be following through Pictured Rocks for most backcountry camping trips.
The North Country Trail in Pictured Rocks mostly follows along the shoreline, and you will be getting a lot of Lake Superior views by backpacking Pictured Rocks.
If you want to backpack the North Country Trail in Michigan, Pictured Rocks just may be the section to choose!
Officially recommended by the National Park Service for a one-way hike within Pictured Rocks is to get a shuttle to start your hike. Then basically, hike to your car. This way you don’t have to worry about making it in time for a shuttle ride back. And, after your hike, you can get straight to your car! The officially recommended shuttle for backpacking Pictured Rocks is Altran, Alger County Transit.
See more about backcountry camping in Pictured Rocks.
How to make camping reservations for Pictured Rocks
All Pictured Rocks camping reservations are made through the official national parks camping reservation website, recreation.gov.
Pictured Rocks is a popular camping destination, and campsites are limited. So book earlier rather than later! You can take a look at the current availability of your dates to get an idea of how soon you should book.
And that’s a bit about camping in the Pictured Rocks!
Explore more of Pictured Rocks:
- Hurricane River campground
- Twelvemile Beach campground
- Little Beaver Lake campground
- Pictured Rocks beaches
- Pictured Rocks waterfalls
- Best of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
More of the UP:
- More camping spots along Lake Superior
- Camping in Michigan state parks
- Circle the UP Michigan road trip
HAPPY CAMPING IN PICTURED ROCKS!
Watch the videos to see Michigan in action!
Find more amazing things to do in the UP: Watch my Upper Peninsula videos on youtubeIf you see an activity you like, look in the description below the youtube video for the individual blog post about that specific activity!
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 North Dakota national park
- Road trip to South Dakota (with 2 SD national parks)
- Road trip to Wyoming (with 2 WY national parks)
- Road trip to Idaho (with 1 ID national monument to see lava fields and caves!)
- See more: Chicago to Yellowstone road trip
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