Hi there!

 

So you’re planning a camping trip in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan!

What’s a perfect way to camp in the UP?!

Camping with views of Lake Superior! Union Bay is a bay of Lake Superior. This is one of the Porcupine Mountains campgrounds.

 

Union Bay Campground. porcupine mountains camping michigan state park. lake superior camping in western up. michigan great lakes camping. upper peninsula michigan travel blog

Union Bay Campground. porcupine mountains camping michigan state park. lake superior camping in western up. great lakes camping. upper peninsula michigan travel blog

Union Bay Campground. porcupine mountains camping michigan state park. lake superior camping in western up. great lakes camping. upper peninsula michigan travel blog

Union Bay Campground. porcupine mountains camping michigan state park. lake superior camping in western up. great lakes camping. upper peninsula michigan travel blog

Union Bay Campground. porcupine mountains camping michigan state park. lake superior camping in western up. great lakes camping. upper peninsula michigan travel blog

Union Bay Campground. porcupine mountains camping michigan state park. lake superior camping in western up. great lakes camping. upper peninsula michigan travel blog

Union Bay Campground. porcupine mountains camping michigan state park. lake superior camping in western up. great lakes camping. upper peninsula michigan travel blog

 

First, some quick things to know about the Union Bay campground that’s located in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.

Then, a bit on how to make camping reservations.

 

 

Things to know about camping at Union Bay Campground in Porcupine Mountains State Park

Porcupine Mountains wilderness State Park campground. modern campground, union bay. Michigan state park camping. things to do in porcupine mountains state park. UP Michigan travel blog

Getting to Union Bay campground, modern campground. Porcupine Mountains wilderness State Park camping. Michigan state park camping. things to do in porcupine mountains state park. UP Michigan travel blog

Getting to Union Bay campground, modern campground. Porcupine Mountains wilderness State Park camping. Michigan state park camping. things to do in porcupine mountains state park. UP Michigan travel blog

 

 

1. You’ll drive along Union Bay (Lake Superior) to get to the Union Bay campground.

Union Bay campground, lake superior drive. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

 

2. There are spots near the campground where you can get views of Lake Superior.

Union Bay campground, lake superior views camping. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground, lake superior views camping. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

 

3. It’s possible to get a campsite right on Lake Superior for some Great Lakes lakefront camping in Michigan!

You can fall asleep to the sound of the waves crashing onto the shore! In the morning my camp neighbor asked me how I slept the night before. I responded it was great hearing the ocean waves… and then I realized what I said… it’s not ocean waves… it’s lake waves!! But Lake Superior can truly feel like an ocean at times!

 

Union Bay campground, lake superior camping. rv camping and tent camping. porcupine mountains lakefront campsite. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground, lake superior camping. tent camping. porcupine mountains lakefront campsite. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground, lake superior camping. rv camping. porcupine mountains lakefront campsite. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground, lake superior camping. tent camping. porcupine mountains lakefront campsite. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

 

4. This means you can eat with lake views from your campsite!

Union Bay campground, lake superior camping. porcupine mountains lakefront campsite for picnic. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground, lake superior camping. porcupine mountains lakefront campsite for picnic. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground, lake superior camping. porcupine mountains lakefront campsite for picnic. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

 

5. There are some campsites that can feel like they are in an open field

Well… to a point. There are campers still all around you. 😜 Also note this means there’s no shade.

 

Union Bay campground, tent camping. open field, no shade. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

 

6. The campground is for tent camping and RV camping

…and other types of camping!

Union Bay campground, different types of camping. tent camping and rv camping. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground, different types of camping. tent camping. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground, different types of camping. tent camping and rv camping. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground, different types of camping. rv camping. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground, different types of camping. trailer camping. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground, different types of camping. rooftop tent camping. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground, different types of camping. rooftop tent camping. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground, different types of camping. rooftop tent camping. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground, different types of camping. airstream camping. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground, different types of camping. tent camping and rv camping. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

 

7. The edge of the campground is lined with flat shale rock and you can walk across it on the edge of Lake Superior.

And you can also set up a camp chair on the rocks to take in the views of Lake Superior!

 

Union Bay campground, camping near lake superior. walk along lake superior. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground, camping near lake superior. walk along lake superior. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground, camping near lake superior. walk along lake superior. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

Even if you aren’t staying directly at a lakefront campsite, there’s a trail that will take you to the shoreline.

 

Union Bay campground, camping near lake superior. trail to lake superior. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

 

8. Beware of “biting flies” around the campground.

If you’ll be heading to the shoreline to hang out in the evening, you may want to be sure to wear long sleeves and/or pants. While I did not have any problems with biting flies here, I did hear someone making a complaint about it. I did however, have a MAJOR issue with the biting flies when hiking the Escarpment Trail in the Porcupine Mountains. In general, it’s a thing that’s said to be a problem across the UP in the summer. I never really had any notable problem myself anywhere in the UP until hiking in the forest on the Escarpment Trail. So, it will be best to be prepared for these biting flies for a trip to the Porcupine Mountains!

 

 

9. You can watch a Lake Superior sunset from edge of the campground!

Union Bay campground, camping near lake superior sunset. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground, camping near lake superior sunset. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground, camping near lake superior sunset. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground, camping near lake superior sunset. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

 

10. There is no sandy beach directly at the Union Bay campground.

People still do get in the water from near the campground though, with access from the rocks.

If you are looking for a sandy beach, there is sand at another part of Union Bay. Driving into the state park from the main east entrance, you’ll pass by a set of stairs that will take you to a sandy beach.

 

Union Bay campground near beach in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground near beach in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground near beach in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground near beach in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

Lake Superior is generally considered cold by most people even in the summer, but people will still get in the water.

 

 

11. Union Bay Campground is the only “modern” campground in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.

There are multiple campgrounds in Porcupine Mountains State Park.

There are 2 standard campgrounds. There is one “modern” campground (Union Bay), and there is also one “rustic” campground on the other side of the park (Presque Isle).

There are also a number of backcountry campgrounds and backcountry cabins, meaning you hike in to your campsite or cabin. The Porcupine Mountains are known as a backpacking destination.

 

 

12. You can get electricity at your Union Bay campsite.

Union Bay campground modern campground with electricity in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground modern campground with electricity in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground modern campground with electricity in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

 

13. There are regular bathrooms along with hot water showers.

Union Bay campground modern campground with bathrooms and hot water showers in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground modern campground with bathrooms and hot water showers in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground modern campground with hot water showers in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground modern campground with hot water showers in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

 

14. There are faucets throughout the campground for drinking water.

Union Bay campground modern campground with drinking water in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

 

15. There’s a garbage dumpster for campers.

Union Bay campground. trash. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

 

16. There are bears in the Porcupine Mountains

According to Michigan State Parks:

Black bear are frequently encountered in the park.

Never feed wild animals as this damages their health, alters natural behaviors, exposes them to predators and causes them to lose their natural fear of humans.

This also makes it even more important that everyone does their part to pick up after themselves!

 

 

17. There’s an RV dump station.

Union Bay campground. rv dump station. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

 

18. You can kayak Lake Superior from the campground!

kayaking near union bay campground, kayaking lake superior in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

kayaking near union bay campground, kayaking lake superior in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

There is a more official boat launch spot to take your kayak into the water that’s near the campground office.

 

Union Bay campground. boat launch for kayaking union bay, kayaking lake superior in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

But there are also people who launch their kayaks from the rocks closer to the campsites directly from the rocks.

 

Union Bay campground. boat launch for kayaking union bay, kayaking lake superior in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

Bring your own kayak!

 

kayaking near union bay campground, kayaking lake superior in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

kayaking near union bay campground, kayaking lake superior in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

Or you can rent a kayak at the Porcupine Mountain Outpost when you get there.

 

Kayak into the sunset! 

 

sunset kayaking near union bay campground, kayaking lake superior in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

sunset kayaking near union bay campground, kayaking lake superior in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog
But be sure to be back before dark for your own safety! 😜

 

 

19. It’s a 10 minute drive to Lake of the Clouds.

Union Bay campground to lake of the clouds. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

This is possibly the most popular spot in Porcupine Mountains State Park. There’s a short trail to the Lake of the Clouds overlook.

From Lake of the Clouds is also where you can access the Escarpment Trail, possibly the best hike in the Porcupine Mountains.

 

Union Bay campground to escarpment trail. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

For more activities, see the best of the Porcupine Mountains.

 

 

20. Summer days are long!

Union Bay campground, camping near lake superior sunset. porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

Ontonagon MI is the city where the Porcupine Mountains State Park is located. In June and July, there are days when sunrise is just past 6am and sunset isn’t until nearly 10pm in Ontonagon!

That means time for lots of outdoor activities!

 

 

Read the reviews of the Union Bay campground.

 

 

🌳

 

 

 

Now…

How to make camping reservations at Union Bay campground

Union Bay campground reservations for porcupine mountains camping, michigan state parks. up michigan travel blog

 

This is the official website for making Michigan State Parks camping reservation.

You can choose Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, and then go from there to choose Union Bay campground.

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 any noteworthy description of the site, including whether it comes with a view of Lake Superior.

 

Union Bay campground map

Union Bay campground map, porcupine mountains state park camping map. up michigan travel blog

 

 

Cost of camping at Union Bay campground

Union Bay campground cost, porcupine mountains state park camping cost, fee. up michigan travel blog

 

In 2020, the cost of camping in Porcupine Mountains State Park at the Union Bay campground was around $28 per night. 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 Porcupine Mountains State Park, you’ll stop by the campground office to check in and get your camping permit!

 

Union Bay campground reservations to pick up porcupine mountains camping permit, campsite check in. michigan state parks. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground reservations to pick up porcupine mountains camping permit, campsite check in. michigan state parks. up michigan travel blog

 

Then off you go to find your campsite!

 

Union Bay campground campsites. porcupine mountains camping. michigan state parks. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground campsites. porcupine mountains camping. michigan state parks. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground campsites. porcupine mountains camping. michigan state parks. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground campsites. porcupine mountains camping. michigan state parks. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground campsites. porcupine mountains camping. michigan state parks. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground campsites. porcupine mountains camping. michigan state parks. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground campsites. porcupine mountains camping. michigan state parks. up michigan travel blog

Union Bay campground campsites. porcupine mountains camping. michigan state parks. up michigan travel blog

 

 

And that’s a bit about Porcupine Mountains camping at Union Bay campground!

 

Learn more about the rustic Presque Isle campground in the Porcupine Mountains, near the Presque Isle River and Lake Superior.

And then there are more camping spots in the Porcupine Mountains.

See more about how to spend your time in the Porcupine Mountains:

More in the western UP:

The rest of the UP:

For more campgrounds directly on Lake Superior:

And see more Great Lakes camping spots on the list of best Michigan state park campgrounds in the UP.

 

HAPPY CAMPING AT UNION BAY CAMPGROUND WITH LAKE SUPERIOR VIEWS!

 

Union Bay Campground. porcupine mountains camping michigan state park. lake superior camping in western up. michigan great lakes camping. upper peninsula michigan travel blog

 

 

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Things to pack for your Michigan vacation!

The ultimate beach towel for travel?!
Turkish towels are considered to be more lightweight than your average beach towel while still being absorbent. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
How to be a little bit more eco-friendly during your road trip!
Instead of using plastic silverware, try out bamboo silverware like this set!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phone
You can beach-proof your phone with a simple waterproof phone case like this.
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!
Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're swimming in Lake Michigan or Lake Superior! Less sunscreen also means less chemicals from that sunscreen will enter our precious Great Lakes!
Get your travel bags more organized!
Packing cubes can make it so you're spending less time on your vacation looking for things! They are basically a form of drawers in your suitcase. Take a look at these packing cubes.