Matt Johnson

5 of the Best Campgrounds in the UP (Upper Peninsula)

Author: Matt JohnsonPhotos/Graphics: Mike HawthornePublished: Jul 1, 2022Updated: Dec 12, 2023

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a nature lover’s paradise, and what better way to enjoy all that it has to offer than by RV camping out in one of its many campgrounds? From Lake Superior’s sandy shores to the Porcupine Mountains’ ancient forests, there is no shortage of beautiful places to set up camp in the UP.

The upper peninsula is surrounded by both Lake Michigan to the south and Lake Superior to the north and Wisconsin to the west. But it doesn’t exactly come in contact with Michigan state itself.

As one of the most northern land masses in the United States, the upper peninsula offers a unique beauty you can’t find anywhere else. With plenty of hiking trails and places for great tent camping, we think you’re going to love camping in the UP.

We’ve compiled a list of our five favorite campgrounds in the UP. Some of these are difficult to travel to, but all are majestic and amazing. Here are five of the best campgrounds in the Upper Peninsula.

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park 

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
Photo courtesy of

The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park (sometimes called Porcupine Mountains State Park for short) campground is located at the western end of the UP. This state park is a popular destination for camping, hiking, fishing, and canoeing.

The campground is situated on the shore of Lake Superior and offers stunning views of the water. From rustic campgrounds to the awesome fishing pier, you’ll love this Michigan State Park. When we stayed there it changed our perception of upper peninsula campgrounds.

There are also many hiking trails in the park, which provide opportunities to see wildlife and explore the scenery. Canoeing is another popular activity in the park, and several rental companies offer canoe and kayak rentals.

For those who enjoy fishing, the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park campground is a great place to cast a line. There are numerous lakes and rivers in the area, and anglers can find a variety of fish species to target.

Whether you’re looking for a place to camp or enjoy the great outdoors, the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park campground is worth a visit.

Tahquamenon Falls State Park 

Tahquamenon Falls State Park 
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Are you looking for a breathtaking camping destination? Look no further than Tahquamenon Falls State Park in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The park is on the Tahquamenon River, which flows into Lake Superior.

The park’s highlight is the Upper Falls, the second-largest waterfall by volume east of the Mississippi River. The falls are accessible via a short hike from the campground, and there are also numerous trails for hiking and cross-country skiing. The park also offers opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing.

Whether you’re searching for a lovely retreat or an exciting trip, Tahquamenon Falls State Park is the ideal location to park your tent.

Mackinac Island State Park 

Mackinac Island State Park
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Mackinac Island State Park is situated on the Straits of Mackinac. The island is located in Lake Huron and is accessible by ferry. 

This Michigan State Park is easy to get to and was one of our favorites when we stopped through there with our RV.

The park offers a wide variety of activities for visitors, including hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

Fort Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge are two historical sites that offer plenty to explore. Fort Mackinac was built in the 18th century and served as an important outpost during the American Revolutionary War. The Mackinac Bridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world, providing stunning views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding area.

The campground is located near the center of the island, making it convenient for visitors to explore all the park offers. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and reservations are strongly recommended during peak season.

Mackinac Island State Park is the place to go if you’re searching for an action-packed vacation or a restful retreat.

Isle Royale National Park 

Isle Royale National Park
Photo courtesy of the National Park Foundation.

Isle Royale National Park is located in the northwest corner of Lake Superior and is known for its remote wilderness and majestic scenery.

The park has a campground that allows visitors to experience the park’s natural beauty firsthand. Several hiking trails wind through the island’s forests, and visitors can also explore the island’s many lakes and streams. In addition, the campground offers a variety of other activities, such as canoeing, fishing, and bird watching.

If you’re longing for a place of seclusion and natural beauty, Isle Royale National Park is the perfect destination. With miles of unspoiled land and tranquil waters, it’s easy to feel like you’re away from civilization. Whether exploring the island’s many hiking trails or simply taking in the views, Isle Royale is sure to leave you refreshed and rejuvenated.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is one of the most popular destinations in Michigan.

The campground is in the eastern upper peninsula on Lake Superior and offers stunning views of the surrounding cliffs. You can see for miles from up there, and the colors are beautiful in the evening light. It’s a perfect spot to capture some spectacular views and watch the stars come out.

There are also plenty of opportunities for hiking, canoeing, and fishing. In addition, the campground offers a variety of amenities, including shower facilities and laundry facilities. No matter how much you enjoy camping in the wilderness, everyone enjoys modern restrooms.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is the ideal site for the most beautiful scenery in the world, a stunning hike, or a test of your endurance, depending on your needs and preferences.

Honorable mentions

In addition to the campgrounds above, we have a few others that deserve a brief mention. If you have the time, give them a try and let us know what you think in the comments.

  • Muskallonge Lake State Park. This beautiful 217-acre park located in Luce County, Michigan. It is situated between the shores of Lake Superior and Muskallonge Lake, providing visitors with stunning views of the water and surrounding nature. The park offers camping opportunities for those who want to immerse themselves in the great outdoors. With clean bathrooms and an awesome little beach area, campers can enjoy a comfortable stay while still being surrounded by nature. There are special camping rules in place, such as a maximum stay of 15 consecutive nights and a requirement that campsites must be occupied each night. However, two vehicles are allowed per campsite, making it easy to bring along all your camping gear. Whether you’re a hiker or just love being in nature, Muskallonge Lake State Park is definitely worth checking out for your next camping trip.
  • Straits State Park. This state park is a beautiful 181-acre park located in St. Ignace, Michigan, offering breathtaking views of the Mackinac Bridge and the Straits of Mackinac. The park features a spacious campground with 270 sites, including electric hookups and modern restrooms. The campsites are level and can accommodate RVs up to 42 feet long. Reservations are available for those who want to secure their spot ahead of time.Visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, swimming, and picnicking. There is also an observation platform where visitors can take in the stunning views of the bridge and surrounding area.

The upper peninsula is more than just winter camping between the Great Lakes

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a nature lover’s paradise, and what better way to experience all this region has to offer than by camping? If you’re looking for the best campgrounds in the UP, look no further.

We’ve compiled a list of five of our favorites. But there’s plenty more to explore! From McLain State Park and Houghton RV Park to the Twelvemile Beach Campground and Baraga State Park, you’ll find something to love about the upper peninsula. The best part, in our opinion, is the outdoor recreation opportunities such as mountain biking, boat camping, and swimming at a swimming beach. There are also local shops, RV parks, and a boat launch around every corner for those that like something different.

So pack your tent and head north for an unforgettable camping adventure.


Matt Johnson

Senior Content Writer

Matt is an experienced camper and glamping enthusiast with a Master's degree in Wildlife Science from Texas A&M University. Authoring posts for GlamperGear, he shares his wealth of knowledge on picturesque campsites, luxurious accommodations, and the best gear for outdoor adventures. His passion for nature and knack for comfort in the wilderness make him an expert guide for your next camping endeavor.

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