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The Best Camping in Upper Peninsula Michigan (9 campgrounds)

| Updated May 31, 2023

The best camping in Upper Peninsula offers comfort, beauty, and plenty of things to do nearby!

If gorgeous waterfalls, national forests, a beautiful park, or wildlife viewing sound good to you, then Michigan's Upper Peninsula is waiting for you!

If you've followed RV Lifestyle for any amount of time, you know that Jennifer and I love the UP. It's our go-to destination and we never get tired of it. It has something for everyone, no matter the time of year!

So, here are some of our favorite “must-see” places and where to stay in the area.

6 Must-See Places and Where to Stay Nearby

In the following, I have outlined the best places along with the best campgrounds when visiting the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Not only will you see beautiful scenery, but you will find easy access the all the Great Lakes has to offer.

From national parks and Mackinac bridge to state forests, this area has everything the great outdoors can offer.

St. Ignace

The Best Camping in Upper Peninsula Michigan (9 campgrounds) 1
St. Ignace

St. Ignace is a great place, with lots of fun to be had. You can check out Mackinac Island, which is located four miles across Lake Huron. There are various ferry lines that will take you to the island. Rent a bike, or try some new food like fried pickles!

You can also visit the Grand Hotel, which is indeed “grand.” They also claim to have the world's longest front porch which comes in handy during the lazy days of the summer months!

You may also want to check out tourist shops, the Mackinac Island Fudge place, and Castle Rock.

Campground #1: Straits State Park

Stay at this state park featuring 181 acres of recreation. A short walk can boast views of Mackinac bridge!

Enjoy picnic tables, viewing platforms, a playground, great views, and a waterfront area along Lake Huron all while camping.

Campground #2: St. Ignace / Mackinac Island KOA

This campground is the perfect place to stay while exploring Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Check out Mackinac Island, Tahquamenon Falls, Whitefish Point, Pictured Rocks, and Soo locks. Many of these are just a short drive away!

This campground features a picnic area, snack bar, tour shuttle, game room, camp store, potable water, a fire ring, and other family-friendly amenities!

Campground #3: Tiki RV Park and Campground

This is one of those peaceful RV parks, located in a White Pine forest. You can also take a short walk to reach the Mackinac Ferry dock!

Full hook-ups are available or walk on the wild side by staying in the rustic campground area with primitive sites. You can still enjoy the free WiFi near the office (and in some campsites).

The best part? Use their free dump station before leaving! (Speaking of which, here's a helpful article on How to Find Rest Areas with RV Dump Stations.)

Pets are welcome and kids stay for free!

Campground #4: The Gourd Bard (A Harvest Host Option)

This amazing 110-year-old barn was voted the 2016 Barn of the Year!

You can only score a stay here if you have a Harvest Host membership, but it is worth it! If you do not know, Harvest Hosts provides free campsites to its members provided by private hosts.

Located about 20 minutes away from St. Ignace, you can enjoy gourd art, classes, pheasants, chickens, and other historic farm attractions.

Sault Ste. Marie

photo of us watching freighters from our campsite at the Soo Locks Campground
That's Jen and me and the dog watching the big lake freighters from our campsite at the Soo Locks Campground in the Michigan UP

Camping in Sault Ste. Marie is one of the best ways to access Soo Locks.

The Soo Locks, a set of parallel locks, are operated and maintained by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. They are an engineering sight to see!

Or stop by the local visitors center which helps explain the area's history and has information about Soo Locks.

During the summer, Soo Locks Park offers live music. Or, enjoy a Soo Locks boat tour which will show you the locks, the local lighthouse, and comes with dinner (if you choose that tour).

Campground #5: Soo Locks Campground

Located along the breathtaking St. Mary's River, this campground has it all. Choose from 100 sites with electric and water hook-ups. Then, visit the Soo Locks!

Other amenities include a dump station, camp store, restrooms, as well as a game and recreation room.

Tahquamenon Falls

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Tahquamenon Falls Winter Camping a few years ago.

Tahquamenon Falls State Park is a sprawling land area that encompasses about 50,000 acres over 13 miles. Most of the area is woodland and undeveloped open land.

The big draw are the waterfalls on the Tahquamenon River. The Upper Falls is one of the largest falls on the east side of Mississippi. It is nearly 200 feet wide, with a drop of 50 feet!

Campground #6: Tahquamenon Falls

This campground is an excellent choice for a home base for Tahquamenon Falls.

It is open year-round, and costs anywhere between $20 – $32 a night depending on the season. Enjoy hiking, biking, or horseback riding before unloading your boat at the boat launch.


Munising Falls
Munising Falls

You won't want to miss Pictured Rocks, located on the shores of Lake Superior. You can even see them from a glass-bottom boat! Then head over to the Munising Falls to see breathtaking waterfalls throughout the area.

Campground #7: Munising Tourist Part Campground

If you want stunning views of Lake Superior, then this is the place for you!

Featuring 127 scenic campsites, this modern campground has 78 sites with electric and water hookups, and 26 with sewer hookups as well. There are also bathrooms with flush toilets and showers.

Other amenities include free WiFi, a dump station, and pets are welcome.

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness

porcupine mountains
Porcupine Mountains

Fall is a wonderful time of year to visit the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park! That is because this area offers fall foliage galore!

Spend the day hiking and exploring this gorgeous area. See gorgeous waterfalls and lakes before visiting the Caledonia Copper Mine, Lake of the Clouds.

Campground #8: Union Bay Campground

Listen to waves crashing on the Union Bay shoreline of Lake Superior from this gorgeous campground.

This modern campground offers electrical service, bathrooms, a sanitation station, boat launch, a camp store, and more!

The Garden Peninsula / Big Bay De Noc

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Lake Michigan

The Garden Peninsula is 22-miles long. It is bordered by Big Bay de Noc on the west and Lake Michigan on the east.

This region of Michigan is a little bit off the beaten path, but has attractions that make it worth it!

Enjoy world-class fishing, the Fayette Historic State Park, monarch viewing, the Village of Garden, or water sports like canoeing and seas kayaking.

Campground #9: Fayette Historic State Park

Enjoy the gorgeous 711-acre Fayette Historic State Park. It is the perfect mix of nature and history,

The park features a historic townsite, boat launch, harbor slips, and a beach. You can also enjoy its 5-miles of walking and hiking trails that can be used as cross-country skiing trails in the winter.

Mike and Jennifer's Great Lakes Bundle – 2 ebooks!

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This bundle is our popular Upper Peninsula RV Adventure Guide PLUS our newest Adventure Guide – The Great Lakes Shoreline Tour! Both ebooks will give you plenty of ideas and resources to enjoy this part of the US.

Explore this Bundle and plan your next trip!

Mike Wendland

Published on 2021-12-24

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

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