So you’re planning a camping trip in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan!
What’s a perfect way to start off your time in the UP?!
Well, if you’re driving up from the south, you’ll be driving across the Mackinac Bridge and the Straits of Mackinac to get to the Upper Peninsula, which will be the eastern part of the UP.
So then of course it would be perfect to stay at a campground with views of the Mackinac Bridge on your first night!
First, some quick things to know about the Straits State Park campground.
Then, a bit on how to make camping reservations.
Things to know about camping at Straits State Park
1. Straits State Park is about 5 minutes from the Mackinac Bridge once you cross over into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
2. There are spots near the campground where you can get views of Lake Huron.
…and the Mackinac Bridge!
3. There’s a small beach at the campground.
4. It’s a beach with views of the Mackinac Bridge, so you can go swimming in Lake Huron with bridge views!
5. The campground is for tent camping and RV camping
…and other types of camping!
6. It’s possible to get a campsite right on Lake Huron for some Great Lakes lakefront camping!
7. It’s possible to get a campsite with views of the Mackinac Bridge!
8. The Straits State Park campground is a “modern” campground.
As opposed to a “rustic” campground.
9. You can get electricity at your campsite.
No electricity at the lakefront campsites though.
10. There are regular bathrooms along with hot water showers.
11. There are faucets throughout the campground for drinking water.
12. There’s a garbage dumpster for campers.
13. There’s an RV dump station.
14. There’s firewood available for purchase on-site near the state park entrance.
15. There are cabins at Straits State Park.
Similar to camping but your shelter is provided! Bring your own everything. See more about mini-cabins in Michigan state parks.
16. There’s a trail to a Mackinac Bridge overlook from the campground, or you can drive there
17. The Father Marquette National Memorial is located in Straits State Park.
Father Marquette is considered to be an important part of Michigan history, along with the Great Lakes region in general.
There is a U.S. national memorial that’s a part of the National Park Service located in Straits State Park. This is in a separate area from the campground, and you’d drive to it.
In the area of the memorial, you can learn more about what Father Marquette did, along with general history of the Straits of Mackinac area in Michigan.
According to Michigan State Parks, Father Jacques Marquette was considered a “missionary explorer.” Also:
In 1675, Marquette and Louis Jolliet departed St Ignace on a 3,000 mile trip to explore and map Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River Valley.
Marquette’s map was the most accurate then known.
Marquette stands as one of Michigan’s greatest men and the memorial honors him and his achievements.
18. Summer days are long!
In July, there are days where sunrise is before 6am and the sunset isn’t until after 9:30pm in St. Ignace MI, the city where Straits State Park is located.
That means time for lots of outdoor activities!
Read the reviews of the Straits State Park campground.
How to make camping reservations at Straits State Park
This is the official website for making Michigan State Parks camping reservation.
You can choose Straits State Park, and then go from there.
You’ll be able to find an updated campground map too.
You’ll see that there are 3 campgrounds at Straits State Park:
- Lower West
- Lower East
You can also see the individual campsites that are available. If you click on an individual campsite, it will also give you any noteworthy description of the site, including whether it comes with a Mackinac Bridge view.
You can reserve the cabins the same way you do the campsites, but you’ll want to select the “lodging” part. These are called mini-cabins.
Straits State Park map
Upper campground map
Lower West campground map
Lower East campground map
Cost of camping at Straits State Park campground
In 2020, the cost of camping at Straits State Park was around $30 per night. There is an additional reservation fee. See here for updated camping fees.
The Straits State Park cabins are around $52 per night.
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.
And that’s a bit about camping at Straits State Park!
If you’re driving over from the south, stop by Wawatam Park for Mackinac Bridge views on the Lower Peninsula side.
Plus things to do as a day trip from Straits State Park when you’re in the eastern UP.
And then if you’ll be continuing your drive, here are more ideas for your circle the UP trip route with the best places to visit.
Looking for more lakefront campsites in the UP?
You can camp on in inland lake at the Andrus Lake State Forest campground that is kind of near Tahquamenon Falls State Park.
Some lakefront campsites on Lake Superior available at these campgrounds:
- Bay Furnace campground in Hiawatha National Forest near Munising and Pictured Rocks.
- Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
- Porcupine Mountains State Park
And more Great Lakes camping spots on the list of best Michigan state park campgrounds in the UP.
HAPPY CAMPING AT STRAITS STATE PARK WITH MACKINAC BRIDGE VIEWS!
Here are some ideas for an Upper Peninsula road trip!
The most important places in the UP to know about are Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, and the bubbling Big Spring of Kitch-iti-kipi.
Make it a Michigan camping trip to remember by going camping near Lake Superior.
Lighthouses are also a thing, so stop by one of the Lake Superior lighthouses (or many more!), like Whitefish Point and/or Crisp Point. You can also go to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum to explore why Lake Superior has a reputation for being Shipwreck Coast and the Graveyard of the Great Lakes.
Many people don't make it over to the western part of the Upper Peninsula. But if you want to, you will want to know about Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park and the Keweenaw Peninsula.
Then, on your way back down south, you can make a detour to go to Mackinac Island (ferry required) or Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. (Or, you can do these things on your way up north!)
Read the details: Best places to visit in the Upper Peninsula
There are affiliate links on this page.