Don’t let a little bit of cold and snow stop you from enjoying a fun camping experience! Adventure out into the snowy wilderness of Michigan’s upper peninsula this winter and enjoy the gentle quiet and striking beauty that this gorgeous area has to offer! Here are the prime spots to winter camp in Michigan’s U.P.!
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Munising
Why wait for summer to experience the beauty of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore? Head out for a winter adventure and take in the breathtakingly gorgeous views! You’ll enjoy snowshoeing or cross country-skiing over the powdery trails, zooming on your snowmobile across the unplowed roads, or just relaxing while doing some ice fishing! But if you’re really into thrills, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is one of Michigan’s best destinations for ice climbing, with its several frozen waterfalls and sandstone cliffs with ice columns! No matter what you do, you really can’t beat those views!
There are many perks to winter camping in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore! Not only are the campgrounds open year round on a first come, first served basis, but you’ll be able to stay free of charge! Vault toilets are available, but you should prep your RV for dry camping in the winter months! Visit the National Park Service’s website for more information!
Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Paradise
One of Michigan’s favorite destinations is amazing in the wintertime too! Visit Tahquamenon Falls State Park in the colder months and you just might see things in a totally different way! Set up camp and you’ll be able to hike or snowshoe over to the falls, which are beautiful flanked by snowy banks, or they might even be frozen over for a totally different, yet equally stunning sight! You’ll also appreciate the miles of snowmobile trails, cross country skiing paths, and the wildlife settling into their wintery habitat!
Tahquamenon Falls State Park keeps one campground, Hemlock Campground, open year round for winter visitors! This campground is located about a mile from the lower falls, and features modern restrooms, 50 amp service on some sites, a dump station, and an abundance of beautiful scenery! For more information and to make a reservation, visit the Michigan DNR website!
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Ontonagon
No matter the season, you should not pass up an opportunity to take in the beauty of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park! Not only will you get to see sights like the gorgeous Lake of the Clouds or the many spectacular waterfalls located throughout the Porkies, but you’ll also enjoy snowshoeing or cross-country skiing by lantern light, or traversing the miles of snowmobile trails! Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park also features its own ski area, so ski enthusiasts can hit the slopes and make the most out of their visit!
Winter RV camping isn’t available in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, but if you’re willing to leave the RV behind, cabins and yurts are available throughout the winter, as well as backcountry camping if you’d like to brave sleeping in a tent! If you’d like your RV along for the adventure, nearby River Road RV Park is a wonderful spot to set up camp! This year-round campground features comfortable amenities like pull-through sites, 30 and 50 amp service, modern laundry facilities, WiFi, and more! Click here for more information!
Burned Dam Campground - Ottawa National Forest, Watersmeet
Looking for totally secluded peace and quiet? Brave a trip out to Burned Dam Campground! This amazing spot is tucked away in a tranquil location where you’ll be able to set up camp comfortably! The serenity of the white, snowy landscape will surround you, for a calming change from the busy action that the summer brings! Hike out to Mex-I-Mine Falls, which could very well be frozen over, but it's still a pretty sight to see! These falls once held a dam that was used for lumber transportation for many years, although it burned down around the year 1900! It’s still a neat spot to visit, and it provides you with a relaxing, short hike to enjoy on your stay!
The Burned Dam Campground is open year round, although no services are available, so you’ll be able to enjoy a true dispersed camping experience! Take note, however, that when the weather is bad, the roads leading to this campground are not plowed, so you may have to plan ahead or have a backup plan, since the last thing you’ll want is to get your vehicle and RV stuck in the snow!
Straits State Park, St. Ignace
If you want to set up camp as soon as you get into the U.P., check out Straits State Park! It not only puts you near the fun of the Straits area, but the waterfront campsites provide some of the most breathtaking views of the Mackinac Bridge! You can explore the area without all the tourists, although many places will be closed down for the season. If you’re a snowmobiler, this is a great starting spot for a trail ride, and be sure to make the awesome ride across the ice bridge to Mackinac Island!
You’ll enjoy the winter at Straits State Park, which likes to stay active during the winter season with events like winter family fun days and snowshoeing after dark! Sites are not reservable during the winter months, so be sure to call ahead and ensure that space is available!
What do you think of these prime spots to winter camp in Michigan’s U.P.? There are so many advantages to winter camping, so get out there, avoid the crowds, and enjoy the gentle quiet of beautiful wintery landscapes! Make sure to practice basic winter safety while camping, and always let a reliable person know where you’re going, and check out these helpful tips before you head out! Where are you excited to try winter camping? Comment with your thoughts!