Thinking of planning a trip to go camping in the UP?
Then you’ve come to the right place!
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is one of my favorite places in the Midwest to explore.
There are simply so many great things to do in the UP.
One of those fun things to do is to go camping in the Upper Peninsula.
UP camping can be a really unique and fun experience, especially because it is such a unique landscape.
The area is known for being a bit more rugged and there are some beautiful State and National Parks to go camping at.
Camping in northern Michigan is far different than so many other places to go camping in the Midwest.
I think you’ll quickly see why camping in the Upper Peninsula is a must-do experience.
So, let’s take a look at some of the best spots for camping in the UP!
15 Best Places For Camping In The UP
You Can’t Go Wrong Camping In The UP At Hiawatha National Forest
The Hiawatha National Forest is one of the best National Parks in the Midwest.
It’s absolutely beautiful and has some great hiking trails to explore.
That’s part of the reason it’s frequently considered one of the best Upper Peninsula campgrounds.
Hiawatha National Forest has a variety of campgrounds and camping situations on offer.
They have 2 cabins you can rent, 5 different campsite zones with over 100 campsites, and you can even try dispersed camping.
Dispersed camping is where you can camp anywhere within the National Forest.
It doesn’t have to be a designated campsite, which is a really cool way to try camping in the UP!
Admire Waterfalls When You Go Camping At Tahquamenon Falls State Park
If you want to see some of the prettiest waterfalls in Michigan, then you’ve got to go to Tahquamenon Falls State Park.
Tahquamenon Falls Start Park is one of the best MI State Park campgrounds.
The park has two campgrounds.
There is one at the Lower Falls, so it’s a bit closer to the waterfalls.
The other campground is at the mouth of the river.
So it really just depends on what sort of atmosphere you’re looking for when you go MI State Park camping.
Both campsites are open year-round, and in total, there are over 200 different campsites.
Try Glamping At The Rippling River Resort And Campground
The Rippling River Resort and Campground is located in Marquette, MI.
It’s also a great place for camping in the UP.
At the Rippling River Resort and Campground, you have a variety of options.
You can stay in one of their glamping cabins, their luxury cabins, or their glamping tent.
They also have rustic campsites, full hook-up sites, and electric hook-up sites.
So you can bring your own tent or RV, or just bring your clothes.
There’s a camping accommodation to fit every need at this campground in northern Michigan.
Find Rustic Camping In The UP At Big Lake State Forest
The Big Lake State Forest is a great campground in the Upper Peninsula if you like rustic camping.
Rustic camping simply means it’s just you and your tent.
There typically aren’t any bathhouses at these campgrounds, but your campsite does typically have a fire pit and picnic table.
However, if you like rustic camping, this is a great spot for Upper Peninsula camping.
There are only 12 campsites, and they are all first come first serve.
The campground is perfect for those who want to stay near a lake.
You can go paddling or canoeing and kayaking and then hang out by the campfire at this campsite in the UP.
Enjoy Lakeside Views At Indian Lake State Park
Indian Lake State Park is located on Indian Lake. It happens to be the fourth-largest inland lake in the Upper Peninsula.
So, if you enjoy camping near a lake, this is a great Upper Michigan campground for you.
There are two separate campgrounds, one on either side of the lake.
On one side there is a modern campground, and on the other, there is a semi-modern campground.
This just means that some of the campsites have hookups for RVs and some don’t.
Between both campgrounds, there are over 200 campsites.
Indian Lake State Park also has 2 cabins you can rent if tent camping isn’t your thing.
See Gorgeous Views Of The Bay At Kleinke Park
Kleinke Park is actually a county park located about 13 miles north of Menominee, MI.
Its location provides it with some of the best views of the Bay.
If you’re camping in Upper Peninsula Michigan at Kleinke Park, you can even go swimming in the Bay.
Swim at your own risk though, as there is no lifeguard on duty.
You can also just relax on the sandy shore, or use the boat launch to go boating in the Bay.
There are a number of campsites at the park and they all include 50 amp service, so you can bring your RV.
This campground in the Upper Peninsula also has a bathhouse that has flushing toilets, sinks, and even showers.
It’s one of the best places for camping in the UP.
Go Camping In The UP At Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
One of the best National Parks in Michigan is Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is also one of the best places to go camping in the Upper Peninsula.
The campgrounds are only open from the middle of May until the middle of October.
So you’ll need to plan ahead if you want to go camping there.
There are three separate campgrounds, with a little under 70 campsites total.
That’s another reason why you’ll need to plan ahead – there aren’t a ton of campsites at this Upper Peninsula campground.
However, if you get the chance to camp here, I’m sure you’ll love it.
The Lakeshore is absolutely stunning and there are so many great trails to explore too.
The Log Cabin Resort And Campground Is A Hidden Gem In The UP
Located in small-town Curtis, Michigan, the Log Cabin Resort and Campground is truly a hidden gem that is perfect for camping in the UP.
This campground in the Upper Peninsula is only open seasonally.
So, that means, it typically opens in the middle of May and closes for the season in October.
While you’re staying at this privately owned Upper Peninsula campground, you’ll be able to explore Big Manistique Lake.
The entire campground is a little over 25 acres and you can explore as much as you’d like.
Included in those 25 acres are 54 campsites. The campsites range from rustic to full hook-up sites.
They also have 13 cabins you can rent if you don’t want to bring your own tent or RV.
All of the cabins were hand-built, and the oldest dates back to the early 1900s.
The oldest one is also the biggest, and can house up to 13 people!
View A Michigan Lighthouse At Paradise Point RV Park
You’ll find Paradise Point RV Park about an hour north of the Mackinaw Bridge, in Michigan’s Upper Penninsula.
This campground in northern Michigan is situated on the waterfront, with views of the DeTour Reef Lighthouse.
It is a gated RV park with 14 full hook-up sites.
So, it is not very big, but it’s in a truly picturesque setting.
You’ll be parked on the waterfront and the park is even pet-friendly!
If you’re looking for one of the most picturesque campgrounds in the UP, then this is it!
Try Primitive Camping In The UP At Drummond Island Township Park
For those who prefer primitive camping, you may want to check out Drummond Island Township Park.
Drummond Island Township Park is located in Drummond Island, MI.
It’s one of the best islands in the Great Lakes to explore and it’s perfect for Upper Peninsula camping too.
This Upper Michigan campground has a total of 48 campsites in the UP.
Of those 48, about 30 of them have electricity and a majority of them are on the water.
However, you won’t find a bathhouse at this Upper Peninsula campground.
There are outhouses you can use, but there’s no running water other than the wells for drinking water.
But, if you’re up for primitive camping with lake views, you can’t pick a better campground in the UP.
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park Is Great For Camping In The Upper Peninsula
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is one of my favorite state parks in Michigan.
It’s a great spot to enjoy Michigan’s fall foliage, and it’s got some great hiking trails too!
So, it’s no surprise that it also has one of the best MI State Park campgrounds.
There are actually several different campgrounds at this State Park.
You can stay at a backcountry camping site, a modern site, or rent one of their yurts or cabins.
In total, there are over 150 campsites and around 12 different cabins and yurts, you can rent.
You’ll be able to explore this beautiful area of Michigan when you try MI State Park camping at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.
Camp In Michigan Near Lake Huron At Straits State Park
Straits State Park is located in St. Ignace, MI, right by Lake Huron.
St. Ignace is one of the best places to visit in Michigan, and it’s known for its Lake Huron views.
So this MI State Park campground is a must if you’re interested in exploring St. Ignace and the surrounding area.
The campground has over 200 different campsites with a mixture of modern and semi-modern campsites available to rent.
They have also recently begun updating many of the bathhouses near the campsites.
If you’d prefer to try glamping, they also have 2 mini cabins that you can rent and stay in.
Try Dispersed Camping In Michigan At Ottowa National Forest
If you’ve always wanted to try dispersed camping in the Upper Peninsula, then head to Ottowa National Forest.
Dispersed camping is where you just find a spot in the woods and place your campsite there.
You can stay at your dispersed campsite for up to 16 days in this Upper Peninsula campground.
If that’s not your thing, don’t worry.
You can also pitch your tent on a traditional campsite in the Ottowa National Forest.
With over 18 different campgrounds, there are plenty of beautiful campsites to choose from.
Stay In A Lakeside Cabin At Superior Times Resort And Campground
Superior Times Resort and Campground has a mixture of tent sites, RV sites, and lakeside cabins that you can rent.
The campsites are located right by AuTrain Lake, in the UP.
There are about 15 sites that have full electric hook up that can be used for either an RV or a tent.
If you don’t have an RV, they also have ones that you can rent directly from them!
For their cabins, they have a few that you can rent.
They are all named after popular UP destinations, and they range from 1 bedroom to up to 5 bedrooms.
So they have options for almost any group size.
Bring Your RV To Union River’s Big Bear Campground
Union River’s Big Bear Campground is located at the base of the Porcupine Mountains.
It is right by Lake Superior and you’ll also get sweeping views of the mountains.
This campground in the Upper Peninsula is only open seasonally, from May to October.
There are just under 50 campsites available to rent, and spots fill up quickly since it’s in a great location.
You can bring your tent, camper van, or RV. Most of the sites are also pet friendly!
If you want to stay near Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, but don’t necessarily want to stay in the State Park, this is a great option.
Packing List When Camping In The UP
If you are searching, here are some tips on how to pack lightly when packing for UP camping.
A concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring along when camping in the Upper Peninsula. It is always important to protect your personal information. Identity thieves are everywhere.
This unisex RFID blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind. You can place it under your clothes next to your body to carry your ID safely.
If you have a pouch already that does not come with the RFID protection, as I do, these RFID sleeves are the perfect solution.
If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an external charging battery. This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips.
I like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses so I do not have to worry about it while out and about, and if I forget to recharge it at night, it will still be good to go the next day.
My daughter gifted me with this FugeTek selfie stick and tripod setup for my birthday. I absolutely love it! It is made of lightweight aluminum and is so easy to use.
It has Bluetooth connectivity and is a breeze to use for taking Insta-worthy selfies while on your camping getaways in Michigan.
I never much believed in using packing cubes when traveling. That is until I tried them. Now I am hooked. These are the exact cubes I use to stay organized when I pack for a trip!
You will want to bring your own refillable water bottle with you.
I never leave home on a trip without my Bobble filtration bottle. The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for your adventures and it fits nicely in the pocket of a backpack.
Perhaps you are traveling a long distance and packing space is a premium in your suitcase, or in your car. Then this set of collapsible silicone foldable water bottles would work well for you. Would not take up much space at all.
You will want a backpack or daypack with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc.. . No matter the time of day or evening.
This foldable water-resistant backpack would be great. And it comes in many different colors.
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is so beautiful, it’s easy to see why everyone wants to go camping in the UP!
From State Parks to camping resorts, there is an Upper Peninsula campground for every type of camper on this list.
Have you stayed at any of these Upper Michigan campgrounds?
If so, I’d love to hear about your camping in the Upper Peninsula adventure in the comments!