Hi there!

 

If you’re planning a camping trip in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, you have a few different options for how to do so in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park!

 

Best campgrounds in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. Best camping in Michigan, in Upper Peninsula. backpacking the porcupine mountains backcountry camping, cabins. lake superior, great lakes campgound. up michigan travel blog

Best campgrounds in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. Best camping in Michigan, in Upper Peninsula. lake superior, great lakes campgound. up michigan travel blog

 

 

 

First, the quick list of the types of camping in the Porcupine Mountains.

And then, a bit more about each of these camping types.

 

 

Here are your basic options for camping in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

 

1. Union Bay campground

Main Porcupine Mountains campground #1. Modern campground on the shores of Lake Superior

Best campgrounds in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. Best camping in Michigan, in Upper Peninsula. union bay campground, lake superior, great lakes campgound. up michigan travel blog

 

 

2. Presque Isle campground

Main Porcupine Mountains campground #2. Rustic campground near Lake Superior and Presque Isle River in a quieter area of the state park

Best campgrounds in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. Best camping in Michigan, in Upper Peninsula. presque isle campground, lake superior, great lakes campgound. up michigan travel blog

 

 

3. Outpost campgrounds

Rustic campgrounds with very few campsites located off a main road in the state park

Best rustic camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. porcupine mountains outpost campgrounds. Best camping in Michigan, in Upper Peninsula. up michigan travel blog

 

 

4. Backcountry camping throughout the Porcupine Mountains

Backpacking the Porcupine Mountains: Hike to your campsite

Backpacking the Porcupine Mountains. Best backcountry camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. Best camping in Michigan. Best backpacking trails in Michigan, in Upper Peninsula. up michigan travel blog

 

 

5. Backcountry cabins throughout the Porcupine Mountains

Backpacking the Porcupine Mountains: Hike to your cabin

Backpacking the Porcupine Mountains. Best backcountry cabin camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. Best camping in Michigan. Best backpacking trails in Michigan, in Upper Peninsula. up michigan travel blog

 

 

🌳

 

 

 

And now…

A bit more about each of these Porcupine Mountains camping spots!

 

1. Union Bay campground

Camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park: union bay campground. Best tent camping in Michigan. Best campgrounds in Michigan, in Upper Peninsula. lake superior, great lakes. up michigan travel blog

 

If you’re looking for a standard campground in the Porcupine Mountains that you can drive to, then Union Bay is your campground!

This is the main Porcupine Mountains campground, and it’s the most popular campground in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.

This is a “modern” campground for both tent camping and RV camping, and there’s a regular bathroom along with hot water showers. You can also get electricity at your campsite.

It’s possible to get a campsite along the shores of Lake Superior. This makes for a great Lake Superior sunset spot.

This is around a 10 minute drive from the most popular spot in the state park, Lake of the Clouds

 

Camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park: union bay campground. Best tent camping in Michigan. Best campgrounds in Michigan, in Upper Peninsula. lake superior, great lakes. up michigan travel blog

Camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park: union bay campground. Best rv camping in Michigan. Best campgrounds in Michigan, in Upper Peninsula. lake superior, great lakes. up michigan travel blog

Camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park: union bay campground. campgrounds in Michigan, in Upper Peninsula. lake superior, great lakes. up michigan travel blog

Camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park: union bay campground. campgrounds in Michigan, in Upper Peninsula. lake superior, great lakes. up michigan travel blog

Camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park: union bay campground. campgrounds in Michigan, in Upper Peninsula. lake superior, great lakes. up michigan travel blog

Camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park: union bay campground. campgrounds in Michigan, in Upper Peninsula. lake superior, great lakes. up michigan travel blog

 

Read more about the Union Bay campground in the Porcupine Mountains.

 

 

2. Presque Isle campground

Camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park: presque isle campground. Best tent camping in Michigan. Best campgrounds in Michigan, in Upper Peninsula. up michigan travel blog

 

There is also a “rustic” campground in the Porcupine Mountains that you can drive to, and that is the Presque Isle campground. This is also for both tent camping and RV camping. There’s no electricity here, and there are no regular bathrooms here. There are basic no-flush toilets.

This is on the other side of Porcupine Mountains State Park from Lake of the Clouds, about a 45 minute drive. The Presque Isle campground is located in a quieter area of the state park. This is the side of the Presque Isle River and the waterfalls of the Porcupine Mountains.

It is possible to get a campsite with views of Lake Superior, although the lake views are a little obstructed because of the trees. There is a trail with stairs that you can take from the campground to get to a (rocky) Lake Superior beach.

The North Country Trail passes by the Presque Isle campground.

 

Camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park: presque isle campground. Best tent camping in Michigan. Best campgrounds in Michigan, in Upper Peninsula. up michigan travel blog

Camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park: presque isle campground. Best tent camping in Michigan. Best campgrounds in Michigan, in Upper Peninsula. up michigan travel blog

Camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park: presque isle campground. Best tent camping in Michigan. Best campgrounds in Michigan, in Upper Peninsula. up michigan travel blog

Camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park: presque isle campground. Best tent camping in Michigan. Best campgrounds in Michigan, in Upper Peninsula. up michigan travel blog

Camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park: presque isle campground. Best tent camping in Michigan. Best campgrounds in Michigan, in Upper Peninsula. up michigan travel blog

Camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park: presque isle campground. Best tent camping in Michigan. Best campgrounds in Michigan, in Upper Peninsula. up michigan travel blog

 

Read more about the Presque Isle campground in the Porcupine Mountains.

 

 

3. Outpost campgrounds

Rustic camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. porcupine mountains outpost campgrounds. up michigan travel blog

 

And then there are 3 more much smaller rustic campgrounds that you can drive to. These have no showers, no regular bathrooms (there are basic no-flush toilets), and no electricity.

The Porcupine Mountains “outpost” campgrounds:

  • Union River outpost campground has 3 campsites
  • Lost Creek outpost campground has 3 campsites
  • White Pine Extension outpost campground has 8 campsites

All of these outpost campgrounds are located along the “main” road that runs through Porcupine Mountains State Park that connects the 2 sides of the park. (That would be South Boundary Road.)

 

Rustic camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. porcupine mountains outpost campgrounds. up michigan travel blog

 

You could say that the Lost Creek outpost and White Pine Extension outpost are the most convenient in terms of location, as it’s located in the middle around a 20 minute drive from both Lake of the Clouds and the Presque Isle River.

 

 

4. Backpacking the Porcupine Mountains: Backcountry camping

Backpacking in the Porcupine Mountains. Backpacking trails. Backcountry camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. up michigan travel blog

Backpacking in the Porcupine Mountains. Backpacking trails. Backcountry camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. up michigan travel blog

 

Backpacking in the Porcupine Mountains is a thing. This means that you hike to your camping spot. There are designated backcountry campgrounds or backcountry campsites in the Porcupine Mountains. 

 

Below are a few examples of backcountry campsites to get you started. Individually, you can make each of these into an overnight (1 night) backpacking trip, since the nearest parking lot is just a few miles away. So if you’re “practicing” for a bigger backpacking trip, these can also make for a good trial run! Or, you can hike further to easily make your Porcupine Mountains trip into a multi-day backpacking trip.

 

 

Backcountry camping along the Escarpment Trail

Backpacking in the Porcupine Mountains. Backpacking trails. Hiking the Escarpment Trail. Backcountry camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. up michigan travel blog

 

The Escarpment Trail is among the best day hikes in the Porcupine Mountains. And it’s possible to camp along the escarpment ridge.

 

Backpacking in the Porcupine Mountains. Backpacking trails. Hiking the Escarpment Trail. Backcountry camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. up michigan travel blog

Backpacking in the Porcupine Mountains. Backpacking trails. Hiking the Escarpment Trail. Backcountry camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. up michigan travel blog

Backpacking in the Porcupine Mountains. Backpacking trails. Hiking the Escarpment Trail. Backcountry camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. up michigan travel blog

Backpacking in the Porcupine Mountains. Backpacking trails. Hiking the Escarpment Trail. Backcountry camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. up michigan travel blog

Backpacking in the Porcupine Mountains. Backpacking trails. Hiking the Escarpment Trail. Backcountry camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. up michigan travel blog

 

For backcountry camping along the Escarpment Trail, look for campsites marked ES-1 and ES-2 on the backcountry campsite map (pdf).

 

 

Backcountry camping along Lake Superior Trail

Backpacking in the Porcupine Mountains. Backpacking trails. Hiking the Lake Superior Trail. Backcountry camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. up michigan travel blog
👆 Backcountry campsite LS-18.

 

You can also hike the Lake Superior Trail as an overnight or multi-day backpacking trip. 

There are many backcountry campsites along the trail that are practically lakefront campsites with Lake Superior just a few steps away! 

 

Backpacking in the Porcupine Mountains. Backpacking trails. Hiking the Lake Superior Trail. Backcountry camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. up michigan travel blog

Backpacking in the Porcupine Mountains. Backpacking trails. Hiking the Lake Superior Trail. Backcountry camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. up michigan travel blog
👆👆 Shores off of backcountry campsite LS-18.

 

Backpacking in the Porcupine Mountains. Backpacking trails. Hiking the Lake Superior Trail. Backcountry camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. up michigan travel blog
👆 Backcountry campsite LS-15.

 

For backcountry camping along the Lake Superior Trail, look for campsites marked LS-1 to LS-18 on the backcountry campsite map (pdf). In August and September 2020, there were reports of LS-14 being underwater, so maybe avoid booking that campsite if you can.

 

 

Backcountry camping near Mirror Lake

Backpacking in the Porcupine Mountains. Backpacking trails. Hiking the Mirror Lake Trail. mirror lake backcountry campground. Backcountry camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. up michigan travel blog

 

You can also make it an overnight backpacking trip to the inland lake of Mirror Lake in the Porcupine Mountains.

 

Backpacking in the Porcupine Mountains. Backpacking trails. Hiking the Mirror Lake Trail. Backcountry camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. up michigan travel blog

 

This is in the area of Summit Peak, which is the highest point in the Porcupine Mountains.

 

Backpacking in the Porcupine Mountains. Backpacking trails. Hiking the Summit Peak Trail. Backcountry camping in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. up michigan travel blog

 

Look for campsites marked ML and SML on the backcountry campsite map (pdf).

Read more about backcountry camping in the Porcupine Mountains.

 

 

5. Backpacking the Porcupine Mountains: Backcountry cabin

Backpacking to Porcupine Mountains cabin. Backpacking trails. Lake Superior Trail. Backcountry cabin in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. buckshot cabin. up michigan travel blog
👆👇 Buckshot cabin along the Lake Superior Trail.

 

There are over 15 cabins in Porcupine Mountains State Park, and the vast majority of these cabins will give you a backcountry experience! This means that you will hike to your cabin. 

So if you’re looking to have an overnight backpacking experience without having to carry a tent, then a backcountry cabin experience might be for you!

Among other places, there are backcountry cabins located a short trail from the shores of Lake Superior.

 

Backpacking to Porcupine Mountains cabin. Backpacking trails. Lake Superior Trail. Backcountry cabin in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. buckshot cabin. up michigan travel blog

Backpacking to Porcupine Mountains cabin. Backpacking trails. Lake Superior Trail. Backcountry cabin in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. buckshot cabin. up michigan travel blog

Backpacking to Porcupine Mountains cabin. Backpacking trails. Lake Superior Trail. Backcountry cabin in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. buckshot cabin. up michigan travel blog

 

According to Michigan State Parks:

Each cabin sleeps two to eight people and is equipped with bunk beds, mattresses, a wood-heating stove, table/chair, fire circle, axe, bow saw and cooking and eating utensils.

There is no running water or electricity.

A vault toilet is located nearby. (Bring toilet paper.)

Linens and towels are provided.

Look for the cabin icon on the backcountry trail map (pdf) to chart out an overnight or multi-day backcountry cabin trip! You can make it a cabin to cabin backpacking trip!

Read more about staying in a backcountry cabin in the Porcupine Mountains.

 

 

How to make camping reservations for the Porcupine Mountains

All Porcupine Mountains camping reservations can be made through the official Michigan state parks camping reservation website. This includes cabins.

If you’re at one of the regular campgrounds, you will check in at the campground office when you arrive. There is a campground office at both Union Bay and Presque Isle.

If you’ll be staying at a backcountry campsite or one of the cabins, you will need to stop by the Porcupine Mountains Visitor Center to get your backcountry camping permit.

 

And that’s a bit about camping in the Porkies!

 

Explore more of the Porcupine Mountains:

 

More of the UP:

 

HAPPY CAMPING IN THE PORCUPINE MOUNTAINS!

 

Best campgrounds in Porcupine Mountains wilderness state park. Best camping in Michigan, in Upper Peninsula. backpacking the porcupine mountains backcountry camping, cabins. lake superior, great lakes campgound. up michigan travel blog

 

 

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