Few destinations in Michigan are more breathtaking than the views found along Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula. Offering more than 40 miles of coastline on the south shore of Lake Superior, this stunning National Park Service (NPS) site was the first designated national lakeshore in the U.S. Visitors from all over come to Pictured Rocks for the epic scenery, beaches, hiking trails, commercial boat tours, kayaking, and more.
While the park is open year round, some of the nearby campgrounds are only open during warmer months (May through October) as this area can receive significant snowfall, causing treacherous camping and travel conditions.
If you’re looking for a place to park your rig near this Upper Michigan gem, here are seven campgrounds where you can soak in all the views and activities that the area has to offer.
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Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Campgrounds
1. Little Beaver Lake Campground
This campground is one of three RV camping areas within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Located along the shores of Little Beaver Lake, campers can enjoy beautiful views and plenty of water recreation. There’s also a short trail to Lake Superior that connects to the larger North Country Scenic Trail system.
There are eight sites for dry camping, accommodating single-unit RVs up to 36 feet and vehicle and trailer combinations up to 42 feet. There are vault toilets at the campground, and each site features a fire ring and picnic table. Pets aren’t allowed in here due to the campground’s proximity to the Beaver Basin Wilderness area. Camping is open seasonally, usually from May to October. Reservations must be made online at Recreation.gov and can be booked up to 6 months in advance.
2. Twelvemile Beach Campground
Another of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore’s campgrounds sits on a bluff overlooking Lake Superior. This campground offers beach access to Twelvemile Beach and some of the best camping views in the area. While this is the largest of the three RV campgrounds within the park, sites tend to book quickly, as it’s one of the more popular camping destinations.
There are 36 sites for dry camping, each featuring a fire ring and picnic table. The turning radius is tight at this campground, making it difficult for larger rigs to maneuver. Generator use is prohibited on the West Loop of the campground; leashed pets are allowed. Twelvemile is typically open May through October and reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance at Recreation.gov.
3. Hurricane River Campground
The third campground within the national lakeshore has access to hiking trails leading to the famed Au Sable Light Station and shipwreck remnants along the North Country Scenic Trail. This campground is located in a forested area, providing shade and privacy to campers. There are two loops at this camping area (Upper and Lower), but both are near Hurricane River and a short distance to Lake Superior.
With 21 dry camping sites, RVers and tent campers can reserve a spot at this campground online up to 6 months in advance. Reservations can be made on Recreation.gov. Most of the sites are generator-free; pets are allowed as long as they’re on a leash. Like the other national lakeshore campgrounds, there are tight turns, making it difficult for some larger rigs to get in and out of sites. Hurricane River Campground is open from May through October.
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Other Nearby Campgrounds to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
4. Kingston Lake State Forest Campground
This is the closest state forest to Pictured Rocks where you can camp, and it’s less than 20 miles from Grand Marais, Michigan. The campground is almost completely surrounded by water on a peninsula of Kingston Lake, making it a great place to camp for kayakers and anglers. There are also great hiking trails that lead out to Lake Superior.
This rustic campground features 16 sites comfortable for small-to-medium-sized trailers as well as tent camping. The sites are first come, first served, but a recreation passport is required. There are vault toilets, a boat launch, and a picnic area at the campground, and each site has a fire ring and picnic table. The maximum stay limit is 15 days, and the sites are open year round.
5. Pictured Rocks RV Park
If you’re looking for an RV campground with more amenities and room for big rigs, the Pictured Rocks RV Park puts you near the area’s attractions and offers modern amenities for travelers. Located in Christmas, Michigan, the park is about 15 miles from Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and near several Lake Superior boat tour outfitters.
This campground has more than 70 RV sites, all equipped with full hookups. There’s also a camp store, bathhouse, coin-operated laundry facility, and WiFi service throughout the park. Most sites have a concrete pad, although some are gravel. The campground is open seasonally, from May to October, and reservations can be made online. Leashed pets are allowed at the park.
6. Munising Tourist Park Campground
It doesn’t get much closer than this to camping on the shores of Lake Superior. The city-owned campground has been operating since 1924 and is a favorite stop for RVers and tent campers looking for a place to stay with incredible views. You’ll be near the area’s major attractions and outdoor recreation opportunities, and only 3 miles away from the town of Munising, Michigan.
Offering a blend of RV and tent sites, campers can choose from full and partial hookups and rustic camping amenities. The campground features more than 100 sites in total, shower and bathroom facilities, a playground, a dump station, and WiFi access. Reservations can be made online for camping from mid-May to the beginning of October—if weather is favorable the campground is open outside of those dates on a first-come, first-served basis. The park is big rig and pet-friendly, and there’s a 14-day maximum stay limit.
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7. Bay Furnace Campground
Located within the beautiful Hiawatha National Forest, this U.S. Forest Service campground is a prime location for camping near Pictured Rocks. Enjoy incredible views, beach access, star gazing, hiking trails, and more—all a short distance from the national lakeshore and other popular attractions.
With more than 50 dry camping sites, Bay Furnace can accommodate larger rigs, and the campground has a dump station and vault toilets. Each site is equipped with a picnic table and fire ring, and the area is pet friendly. Most sites are shaded and spacious, providing ample privacy. Some sites are reservable online, while others are first come, first served; there’s a 14-day maximum stay limit. The campground is open from mid-May through early October.