Spanning 42-miles along Lake Superior between the cities of Munising and Grand Marais, the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore provides endless possibilities for solitude, inspiration, and spiritual rejuvenation. Of course, camping in Pictured Rocks is a popular experience.
Known for its towering cliffs and caverns, waterfalls, and phenomenal trail system, the national lakeshore is a perfect place to unwind. While there are plenty of lodging options nearby, camping under the northern sky is the best way to relish in everything the Pictured Rocks has to offer.
With 14 backcountry camping sites for hikers and three quaint drive-in campgrounds, you’ll get the entire Pictured Rocks experience by staying at any of the following spots:
NOTE: All campgrounds (including backcountry sites) require reservations and permits ahead of time.
Pictured Rocks Camping & Campgrounds
While the wilderness area is about 3.5 miles deep, it also includes over 8 miles of the North Country Trail and connecting trails, making this a perfect spot for hikers. The Beaver Basin Wilderness isn’t as busy as areas like Miners Castle, so if you’re looking for solitude – this is it.
ADA Sites: 1
Location: At the end of Little Beaver Lake Road, 3 miles north of Alger County Road H-58 and 20 miles northeast of Munising.
The sites at Twelvemile Beach Campground are located on a high sandy plateau near Lake Superior; the most popular sites have a lake view.
There are three sets of stairs to the beach as well as a day-use picnic area and parking. The two-mile White Birch Nature Trail begins and ends at the campground. The North Country Scenic Trail treks through the campground, as well.
ADA Sites: 2
Location: 15 miles west of Grand Marais off Alger County Road H-58 (34 miles east of Munising).
Nestled amidst the woods, Upper Hurricane River offers a rustic getaway with its enchanting deciduous trees dotting the area. Hurricane River Lower Campground serves as the trailhead for the Au Sable Light Station – a 3-mile round trip footpath that treats visitors to breathtaking views of Lake Superior, a historic lighthouse, and the remnants of shipwrecks.
The Au Sable Light Station, standing tall at 86 feet, exudes a mysterious yet alluring charm. The path leading to it is adorned with tall pines and birches. If you’re looking for a beautiful walk that your four-legged friends can tag along with, this is a pet friendly trail!
How Many Sites: 21
ADA Sites: 2
Location: 12 miles west of Grand Marais on County Road H-58 (37 miles east of Munising).
Most of the park’s 14 designated backpacking camping areas are along the North Country Trail, which runs the entirety of the Pictured Rocks park. These small remote campgrounds each have 3 to 6 individual sites. In addition, there are eight separate group sites. All of these sites are only accessible to campers by foot and some by boat.
Location: Most campgrounds are located at 2 – 5-mile intervals along the North Country Trail.
Area Bucket List Attractions
A scenic wonderland, the Pictured Rocks cliffs are best experienced by water. For over 50 years, Pictured Rocks Cruises – a trusted National Park Service partner – has ferried visitors to iconic sites such as Lovers Leap, Miners Castle, Grand Portal Point, and the East Channel Lighthouse.
Tours depart daily from downtown Munising, mid-May until mid-October. Secure your spot by booking online or call (906) 387-2379.
Now offering a 3-hour Miners Castle tour, passengers can explore the caves of the most popular sandstone formation in the park without it taking up a bunch of their time! Otherwise, Pictured Rock Kayaking’s ultimate tour is a 5-hour adventure that features Lovers Leap, Grand Portal Point, Chapel Rock and Cove, and so much more.
Things to Keep in Mind:
Campgrounds are open from May 15 through October 15. Water systems and toilets throughout the park shut down on October 15.
Each drive-in campsite comes equipped with a tent pad, picnic table, and a fire ring that has a grill grate. In addition, the campgrounds offer well water and vault toilets, but do not provide electric, water, or sewer hookups.
Visitors should not expect cell phone reception at the campgrounds so enjoy your time offline at one of Michigan’s biggest gems.