lower tahquamenon falls

Best Camping Sites Upper Peninsula Michigan Offers

(Last Updated On: May 7, 2023)

Camping in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is akin to paradise for every kind of camping enthusiast. The area offers an array of camping choices, from state parks to national forests to lakeside campgrounds to RV parks to rustic campground options.

Whether you’re looking for stunning fall scenery or a summer beach vacation, Upper Peninsula’s camping destinations have recreation for everyone. Here’s our guide to camping at some of the best camping sites Upper Peninsula Michigan offers:

What are the top state park campgrounds in Upper Peninsula Michigan?

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1. Tahquamenon Falls State Park – Top Upper Peninsula Camping Destination

Any list of the best campgrounds in the Upper Peninsula will rate Tahquamenon Falls State Park as among the most picturesque places to camp in the state of Michigan. The 40,000-acre park features two stunning waterfalls and more than 35 miles of hiking trails, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers. Visitors can also enjoy fishing, canoeing, and kayaking on the Tahquamenon River. It’s no small coincidence that the mailing address for this park is Paradise, Michigan.

The Upper Tahquamenon is over 200 feet wide, and is the second-largest waterfall east of the Mississippi in the United States. The Lower Tahquamenon Falls is a group of five waterfalls clustered around a footbridge-accessible island. The four-mile hike between the Upper Falls and Lower Falls is a favorite among trekkers but is a short drive for those who are differently abled.

tahquamenon falls
Image by Jason Gillman from Pixabay

This state park has over 300 campsites divided into three areas that accommodate both tent and RV camper requirements. Additionally, the park offers on-site facilities, including restrooms, showers, and fire rings to make camping comfortable.

lower tahquamenon falls
Image by Meg Bell from Pixabay

2. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park – One of the Best Camping Sites Upper Peninsula Michigan Offers

Covering over 60,000 acres in area, Porcupine Wilderness State Park is a massive, rugged park with varied wilderness landscapes. This park has over 90 miles of trails for hikers, anglers, and cross-country skiers. The “Porkies” offer the rugged 16-mile-long Lake Superior Trail with a range of hiking from along the Lake Superior shore to pathways through virgin forests and along Lake of the Clouds to Presque Isle River and Falls.

trail to lake superior best camping sites upper peninsula michigan
Image by Meg Bell from Pixabay

The park has four rustic campgrounds that cater to tent campers and seasonal cottages for RVs with electric hookups. On-site facilities include primitive toilets and showers. Camping in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is an excellent way to experience the northern Michigan wilderness.

best places to camp in Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Image by David Sieberg from Pixabay

3. Fort Wilkins State Park

Located near the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula in Copper Harbor, Fort Wilkins State Park has more than 175 campsites, two lighthouses, and a historic fort complex dating from the 1840s, at which visitors can learn from a living history program with costumed interpreters presented by the Michigan History Center. With frontage on Lake Fanny Hooe, Lake Manganese, and Lake Superior shoreline, the park offers watercraft-accessible and backcountry sites as well as more conventional sites you can park next to or walk to from your vehicle.

fort wilkins state park
Pavel Trebukov, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

What are the best RV camping sites in Upper Peninsula Michigan?

1. Straits State Park

Straits State Park is an ideal camping location for RV enthusiasts. The park sits on the shore of Lake Huron and offers breathtaking views of “Big Mac” – the Mackinac Bridge to the Lower Peninsula. Straits’ RV sites are equipped with modern amenities, including electrical hookups, restrooms, and showers. Visitors can engage in different recreational activities, such as hunting, fishing, and hiking in the park.

view of bridge from straits state park
Notorious4life (talk) (Uploads), CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

2. Soo Locks Campground

Soo Locks Campground is a popular campground among RV enthusiasts. It provides a perfect location for those looking to explore and experience Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The campground features around 20 RV campsites with full hookups and includes picnic tables and fire rings. Visitors can also opt for the Soo Locks Boat Tour.

3. Tourist Park Campground

Tourist Park Campground is located just west of Munising and is a great place for RV or tent camping. This is one of our favorite campgrounds in all of Michigan, in a great location right on the shore of Lake Superior. Campsites have full hookups and include free Wi-Fi, fire rings, and picnic tables. There is a 14-day limit on your stay; you won’t want to leave! Visitors can take a walk on the nearby sandy beach and local trails or explore local shops and restaurants in Munising. Make reservations as soon as they open up, or they’ll be gone in a flash.

4. Aune Osborn Campground

No one camping in Upper Peninsula Michigan should miss the opportunity to view freighter traffic on the St. Mary’s River from Aune-Osborn Campground at Sault Ste Marie in the eastern Upper Peninsula. Unlike state forest campgrounds, there is far less privacy here, but the views of the ships making their way to and from the Soo Locks are the star attraction. The campground lies on 20 riverfront acres; park your RV on one of the premium waterfront sites for the best view of the action on the water.

Book your camping reservations for Aune Osborn by clicking here.

What are the top scenic campsites in Upper Peninsula Michigan?

1. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, located in Munising, offers something new for campers to see. The park, characterized by its colorful rock formations, offers campers a chance to experience the stunning dunes and beaches. It also has numerous hiking trails, and visitors can take boat tours to explore the colorful cliffs. The drive-in campsites provide utility hookups, restrooms, and showers. Make your reservations here.

pictured rocks camping sites upper peninsula michigan
Image by jjgunn from Pixabay

2. Keweenaw Peninsula

Keweenaw Peninsula is known for its serene natural beauty and breathtaking views. The site features a unique camping experience in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The peninsula is rich in history and culture, and campers can enjoy exploring the local mining towns and sampling the local cuisine. Some of the campsites provide restroom facilities while others have full utility hookups. Choose from the following: Fort Wilkins State Park (mentioned above), McLain State ParkBaraga State Park, and Twin Lakes State Park.

keweenaw map
Photo by Betsy Wuebker

3. Castle Rock Lakefront Campground

Castle Rock Lakefront Campgrounds is a picturesque camping site located on the shores of Lake Huron in the St. Ignace area. It provides a splendid view of Lake Huron with 2000 feet of beachfront, which provides a serene and beautiful camping experience. The campsite offers modern amenities, including water and electrical hookups.

castle rock
Bobak Ha’Eri, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

What are the best fall camping spots in Upper Peninsula Michigan?

1. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

In the autumn months, the Porcupine Mountains State Park offers a range of beautiful colors on the trees and changing foliage. The park has an extensive network of hiking trails with picturesque views of Mirror Lake and the Lake of the Clouds. The park also has four camping areas in different locations and offers amenities, including fire rings, restrooms, and showers. See additional information above.

2. Keweenaw Peninsula

The Keweenaw Peninsula provides scenic views in the fall. Campsites offer brilliant reflections from the shores of Lake Superior and the breathtaking color story of leaves changing throughout the area. Hikers and anglers will enjoy outstanding experiences. Campsites will have a range of amenities such as restrooms, showers, and hookups.

Copper Harbor – Photo by Betsy Wuebker

3. Hiawatha National Forest

Hiawatha National Forest is a serene location to go camping near Munising. The site provides campers with a breathtaking view of fall colors and serene nature walks in the surrounding area. The site also offers several hiking trails and biking tours for visitors. The campsite has numerous amenities, including fire rings, restrooms, and modern showers.

What are the top lakefront camping sites in Upper Peninsula Michigan?

1. Michigamme Shores Campgrounds

Michigamme Shores Campgrounds offers an array of recreational activities to visitors, including birdwatching and swimming. Located on the shores of Lake Michigamme in the western Upper Peninsula, the campground offers fun activities for the kids, including water park, train ride and bounce pad. The campground features both rustic and modern campsites, including fire rings, restrooms, and showers. There is a camp store and laundry facility on site.

2. Van Riper State Park

Van Riper State Park is one of the Upper Peninsula’s most popular camping sites. It offers campers a variety of outdoor recreational activities, including boating, fishing, and swimming. This campground also sits on the shores of Lake Michigamme. Van Riper features rustic and modern campsites with full hookups, fire rings, and modern restrooms.

3. Otter Lake Campground

The Otter Lake Campground is one of the best inland lakes camping sites for families with kids in Upper Peninsula Michigan. The campground sits on the shores of Otter Lake, offering visitors beautiful views of the lake. Visitors can engage in recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and hiking in the surrounding area. The campsite features modern amenities such as water, electrical hookups, and septic dumps. Reserve from their website.

4. Muskallonge Lake State Park

Muskallonge Lake State Park is one of the popular places for camping in the central Upper Peninsula if you prefer a seemingly remote, yet convenient camping experience. About 45 minutes either way from Pictured Rocks or Tahquamenon Falls, it’s great for swimming and fishing. The park is also the darkest sky State Park in the system, making it one of the best camping opportunities to see Northern Lights in Michigan.

copper country sign info keweenaw michigan
Photo by Betsy Wuebker

Overall, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula offers numerous developed campgrounds and primitive camping options that offer visitors an unforgettable outdoor experience. If you enjoy camping in the comfort of your RV or tent camping under the stars, UP Michigan camping provides endless opportunities for exciting outdoor fun. Plan your camping trip in Upper Peninsula Michigan and enjoy the great outdoors now!

15 best camping sites Michigan Upper Peninsula forest trail to lake

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