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BEST Pictured Rocks Camping 2023 (MAP): Backcountry, Tent Camping, RV Parks, Campgrounds

arch in pictured rocks- best camping in munising
Beautiful sandstone cliffs of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Discover the Best Pictured Rocks Camping in 2023

Camping in Pictured Rocks is at the top of most Upper Peninsula travel bucket lists.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is one of the most popular natural attractions in the Upper
Peninsula of Michigan for obvious reasons! Visitors rave about the gorgeous waterfalls and
tremendous cliffs,
all of which can be explored by an extensive network of scenic trails.

Camping on the North Country Scenic Trail

The North Country Scenic Trail spans the entire 42-mile length of the park. You’ll find unique natural
experiences on the trail along with several backcountry campsites to hunker down for the night.
Kayaking and boat tours are the next most popular ways to take in the beauty of the Pictured
Rocks and explore their rich history
. And since it’s just a few miles east of Munising, you’ll have
food and supplies close by.

Whether you’re viewing the Pictured Rocks from land or by sea, there is so much to explore at the Pictured Rocks. But after a long day hiking, kayaking, or biking, you’ll be ready for some of the most restful sleep of your life.

Read on for the best camping in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Be sure to check our interactive map for locations!

If you’re thinking about a road trip to the U.P., just know that some of these campsites and RV Parks can fill quickly, so the time to reserve your spot is now.

map of places to go camping in pictured rocks

Little Beaver Lake Campground
Near Shingleton, MI

Nestled amidst a tranquil forest setting, Little Beaver Lake Campground is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered, a perfect spot for tent camping. Located near the southern boundary of the park, this intimate camping spot provides a peaceful retreat away from the bustling crowds.

With only 10 rustic camping sites available, it offers an exclusive experience for those seeking solitude and a deep connection with nature only a half-hour from Munising MI.

Wake up to the soft sounds of birdsong and the gentle rustling of leaves as you step outside your tent. Little Beaver Lake itself invites you for a morning kayak or a leisurely paddle, allowing you to embrace the serene beauty of the surrounding landscape. If fishing is your passion, the lake teems with trout, providing a perfect opportunity to test your angling skills.

After a day of exploration, gather around the campfire, sharing stories and roasting marshmallows under the twinkling stars. The peaceful atmosphere and the soul-soothing ambiance of Little Beaver Campground make it an idyllic escape for nature enthusiasts seeking solace and serenity.

ultimate guide to michigan's upper peninsula

Twelvemile Beach Campground
Near Grand Marais, MI

If the allure of the vast and picturesque Lake Superior beckons you, then Twelvemile Beach Campground is the perfect choice. Situated along the shimmering shoreline, this campground offers breathtaking views of the expansive lake, inviting you to bask in the beauty of Michigan’s pristine beaches.

With 36 spacious and well-maintained sites, Twelvemile Beach Campground caters to both tent and RV campers. Awaken in your camping site to the soothing rhythm of waves crashing against the shore, and begin your day with an invigorating hike along the beach or an energizing swim in the refreshing waters of Lake Superior.

For those seeking adventure, a picturesque trail winds its way through towering sandstone cliffs, leading you to the iconic Chapel Rock and the awe-inspiring Grand Sable Dunes. As night falls, be captivated by the mesmerizing sight of the Milky Way as it stretches across the dark canvas of the sky, uninterrupted by city lights.

Located 15 miles west of Grand Marais off Alger County Road H-58, Twelvemile Beach Campground is one of my favorite drivein campgrounds.

waterfall in the pictured rocks

Hurricane River Campground
Au Sable Point Trail, Seney, MI 49883

Located at the heart of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, the Hurricane River Campground offers a perfect balance between wilderness immersion and convenient amenities. Nestled between the Hurricane River and Lake Superior, this campground provides a unique camping experience surrounded by moving water and nature.

Among the 21 available camping sites, some are tucked away within the sheltering white birch forest, while others offer glimpses of the majestic lake. Here you’ll explore the network of trails that wind through the surrounding area.

Marvel at stunning waterfalls, tranquil beaches, and awe-inspiring sandstone cliffs along the way.
After a day of hiking, relax and unwind on the sandy shoreline, basking in the golden hues of a spectacular Lake Superior sunset.

As darkness descends, be sure to listen for the distant call of a loon echoing across the water, an enchanting melody in the night. Be sure to make a visit to the Au Sable Light Station.

guide to river camping in Michigan

Munising Tourist Park Campground
E8518 M-28, Munising Michigan 49862

The Munising Tourist Park Campground near Pictured Rocks fills up quickly, and with good reason. The campground provides a range of amenities and facilities to ensure a comfortable stay, including spacious campsites, both electric and non-electric, suitable for tents, RVs, and trailers. Some sites even offer lakefront or wooded views.

The campground also offers modern restroom and shower facilities, a dumping station, and a playground for children. Pets allowed. One of the most popular Michigan campgrounds and RV Parks near Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, you’ll love the RV sites right on the shores of Lake Superior.

Bay Furnace Campground

Located within the Hiawatha National Forest, this quiet lakeside campground offers a serene and scenic camping experience. You’ll find tent sites and RV sites, all equipped with fire rings for cozy campfires. Set against the backdrop of the national forest, and near a picturesque lake, campers can enjoy the beauty of nature and the tranquility of the surroundings. You’ll also find stunning views of Grand Island, just off the coast.

Whether you prefer pitching a tent or parking your RV, Lakeside Campground offers a peaceful retreat for outdoor enthusiasts looking to immerse themselves in the beauty of the Hiawatha National Forest.

backcountry campsite in the pictured rocks

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Backcountry Camping

Be aware that A Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Backcountry Camping Permit is required.

In our quest to uncover the hidden treasures of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, we now delve into the realm of backcountry camping along the legendary North Country Trail.

Prepare to embark on a wilderness odyssey as we explore the awe-inspiring beauty and solitude that awaits you in this remarkable corner of Michigan’s natural paradise. Just know that you’ll need to have a permit before setting up a backcountry or dispersed camping site.

Backcountry camping permits can be purchased online up to six months in advance or three days before your trip. Most importantly, remember to leave no trace of your camping experience.

guide to the central up

Beaver Basin Wilderness
46°33’02.1″N 86°18’14.7″W

The Beaver Basin Wilderness is a haven for nature enthusiasts seeking a true backcountry camping experience.

Situated along the North Country Trail, this untamed wilderness beckons with its rugged terrain and pristine beauty. As you traverse the trail, be prepared to encounter ancient white birch forests, vibrant wildflowers, and the possibility of glimpsing elusive wildlife amidst the dense foliage.

This 13-mile wilderness includes three crystal clear lakes!

chapel rock- best pictured rocks camping
Chapel Rock in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Chapel Basin
46°32’47.5″N 86°26’29.1″W

Prepare to be captivated by the ethereal charm of Chapel Basin, a hidden gem along the North Country Trail. This mesmerizing backcountry camping spot offers a unique combination of towering sandstone cliffs, lush forests, and cascading waterfalls.

As you traverse the trail, witness the breathtaking spectacle of Chapel Falls plunging into a crystal-clear pool below, while Chapel Rock stands sentinel in all its glory. These camping sites are among the best in the area.

Miners castle - best pictured rocks camping
Miners Castle in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Miners Castle
46°29’13.2″N 86°33’24.2″W

Prepare to be awe-struck as you venture to Miners Castle, a backcountry camping destination that offers a majestic blend of panoramic vistas and ancient geological wonders.

Witness the splendor of the towering sandstone cliffs, shaped by the relentless forces of wind and water over millennia, as they overlook the vast expanse of Lake Superior. You’ll find serenity in the natural beauty found at this campsite.

Please be aware there is no potable water or working water systems here.

More Upper Peninsula Campgrounds for Camping Near Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Munising Pictured Rocks KOA Journey
E10102 M-28, Wetmore, MI 49895

One of the newer Pictured Rocks RV Parks and campgrounds, KOA journeys is a comfortable spot for camping near Pictured Rocks that you won’t want to overlook.

Woodland Park Campground
E21738 Braziel St, Grand Marais, MI 49839

Petes Lake Campground
Wetmore, MI 49895

Sevenmile Creek Campground
Shingleton, MI 49884

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About the Author-
My name is Robert Trudeau, and I’m a web content writer soon to be graduating with a B.S. in Writing with a minor in Digital Studies. Hailing in from the Upper Peninsula, I’m no stranger to the expansive beauty of Michigan. In this role, I’m excited to share my knowledge of Michigan while working within the web content development process. In the future I hope to work as a web developer and backend content strategist, helping clients build powerful websites with research-driven content and brand-specific strategies to support continued success.