Best Camping in Michigan: Top 10 Places to Go

Michigan has it all waiting for you, whether you want to fall asleep next to a glittering lake, imagine waking up next to towering dunes, or prefer the peace of a forest. Cliffs rise over Lake Superior in this location, and waterfalls cascade into ethereal rivers. Rolling glacial hills, angular rock formations, and expansive dunes are all found on peninsulas. Camping in Michigan would be the best thing ever!

Camping in Michigan

 Michigan is a particular state, particularly in terms of camping. Many people choose to concentrate on camping in the upper peninsula, or UP, where people typically equate "wilderness" with widespread cabins and forests. However, the lower peninsula, often known as the LP, offers a ton of fantastic campsites with incredible features, so you should take advantage of camping there.

Unsurprisingly, locating a great campsite amidst this splendor is simple. Both of Michigan's peninsulas have many fantastic camping spots, and this state is perfect for camping because it is encircled by three of the five Great Lakes. We've provided you with a selection of the best camping in Michigan and some camping essentials and advice

Top 10 Places to Camp in Michigan

Michigan is the ideal location for a relaxing camping trip! At some of the best camping in Michigan, you may get away from it all, spend time with friends and family, and learn a new appreciation for Mother Nature.  

best places to camp in michiganMichigan is one of the most topographically diverse states for outdoor adventures, with lakeshores bordered with dunes and sandstone cliffs, hiking trails with unspoiled wildlife, and over 20 million acres of forestland. Choose one of the following locations for your Michigan camping excursion.

1. Tahquamenon Falls State Park


Camping in Michigan: Tahquamenon Falls State Park

Location: 41382 W M-123, Paradise, MI 49768

Phone: 906-492-3415

Website: Tahquamenon Falls State Park  

When to Visit: Early Spring, Summer, Late Fall

Best Campsites: Backcountry Campground, Lower Falls Modern Campground

Activities: Bicycling, hiking, camping, fishing, water sports, photography

The 13-mile-long Tahquamenon Falls State Park spans about 52,000 acres. Most of this is undeveloped woodland devoid of structures, roads, or electricity lines. The Tahquamenon River and its waterfalls serve as the park's focal point and are what gave rise to its creation. It is more than 200 feet broad, with a drop of around 50 feet. Water can flow over the precipice at a maximum rate of more than 50,000 gallons per second. The Lower Falls, a collection of five lesser falls that cascade across an island is located four miles downstream.

There are many different recreational possibilities available to guests in the park. Camping, hiking, backpacking, fishing, canoeing, nature studies, and photography are popular pastimes in the spring and summer. The changing colors of the leaves beautifully frame the park. Hunters will also have lots of possibilities to practice their sport. The entire year is open at Tahquamenon Falls. The Upper Falls' unique ice sculptures stand out among the Upper Falls' other natural features, which include the abundant flowage of spring runoff, the sunny days of summer, the brilliant colors of fall, and more. Wade or play in the river and falling water surrounding the Lower Falls on hot summer days. Use water shoes because the riverbed is rough.

“We stayed three nights in June on a trip around Lake Michigan and traveled with friends of ours and our five kids. We have a 28ft travel trailer. Our electric site was nice, good size, moderately wooded, but we could still walk through to our neighbors.”

2. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Camping in Michigan: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Location: N8391 Sand Point Rd, Munising, MI 49862

Phone: 906-387-3700

Website: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore  

When to Visit: Full year

Best Campsites: Little Beaver Lake Campground, Hurricane River Campground

Activities: Camping, hiking, picnicking, boating, kayakin

Pictured Rocks allow one to explore miles of unspoiled beaches, climb nearly 100 miles of trails, witness towering sandstone cliffs, and take in the peace of northern forests unlike any other location on Lake Superior. It's easy to understand why this striking region is considered among the most beautiful in the Midwest, with its abundance of sandstone cliffs, protected beaches, towering dunes, cascades, lakes, and forests. A new world emerges through routes covered in the delicate beauty of wildflowers in the spring. The summer transitions into balmy days—Orange, crimson, and yellow colors herald autumn's magic of change. Although the snow occasionally blazes out with sunlight, the winter months are often marked by the bare, windswept beauty of the snow.

Wildflowers and birds to observe and photograph is brought on by spring. Hiking, picnics, boating, camping, and park ranger programs are all available in the summer. As hunters enter the north woods, autumn exhibits brilliant colors. Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, , snowmobiling, and ice fishing are popular winter activities. Camping is very well-liked, in addition to hiking, kayaking, seeing wildlife, and taking in the breathtaking environment. Because all of the drive-in campsites require reservations, make sure to prepare early.  

The Pictured Rocks Cliff area was a great spot. Easy walk to the high overlook and downhill with steps to the lower overlook. Both were easy walks. Highly recommend.

3. Porcupine Mountains State Park

Camping in Michigan: Porcupine Mountains State Park

Location: 36850 Overseas Hwy, Big Pine Key, FL 33043

Phone: 906-885-5275

Website: Porcupine Mountains State Park  

When to Visit: May to October

Best Campsites: Presque Isle Campground, Union Bay Campground, Backcountry Campground

Activities: Hiking, camping, bicycling, fishing, canoeing, swimming

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is sizable wilderness regions in the Midwest and is the largest state park in Michigan, with over 60,000 acres. Over 90 miles of hiking trails, a contemporary and rustic campsite, wilderness camping, a 35,000-acre old-growth forest, miles of rivers and streams, roaring waterfalls, the Lake Superior shoreline, and unmatched vistas may all be found there. The secluded interior, with its towering hemlock and pine trees, defies time.

To reach the interior of the Porkies, a hiker must go back in time and use techniques that came naturally to our forefathers. To truly enjoy trekking the Porkies, one must understand the ways of a wilderness environment. Canoeing is not permitted in the rivers and streams that flow through the Porkies because of their shallow rock bottoms. Backcountry camping is available, as well as a contemporary and rustic campground. There is something to discover for everyone, and there are numerous possibilities for somewhere to stay the night.

“Wow. This is a must-see in September. The hiking is great, and the views are endless. I suggest at least three full days, and if you have the time, rent a cabin you hike into.”

4. Ludington State Park

Camping in Michigan: Ludington State Park

Location: 8800 M-116, Ludington, MI 49431

Phone: 800-447-2757

Website: Ludington State Park  

When to Visit: Summer, Mid-October

Best Campsites: Cedar Campground, Beachwood Campground

Activities: Hiking, camping, biking, picnicking, backpacking, sightseeing

The picturesque dunes, ponds, marshlands, and woodlands that makeup roughly 5,300 acres of the Ludington State Park make it one of Michigan's most visited state parks. It has several miles of beachfront and beaches on Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake, where it is located. It is a beautiful destination with fantastic landscapes, animals, and adventure options.

For up-close experiences with wildlife, lace up your hiking boots or grab your bike and head out into the park's 18-mile route. Visit this park in Northwest Michigan to pitch up camp, sail across the lovely Lake Michigan, or enjoy the sunshine on the sands of Hamlin Lake. The park may have three campgrounds, sandy beaches, picturesque dunes, a famous lighthouse, wetlands, marshlands, and woodlands. Campers are only permitted to stay outside for 15 nights straight. Each night, campsites must be occupied. 

“The state park is the reason we choose Ludington for our vacations. We spent several days at the beach, but we walked about 1/2 mile north of the beach house to get a private, secluded alcove for ourselves. The view of the lake is magnificent.”

5. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore 

Camping in Michigan: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Location: 9922 Front StreetHighway M-72, Empire, MI 49630

Phone: 231-326-4700

Website: Sleeping Bear Dunes  

When to Visit: Summer

Best Campsites: Platte River Campground, D.H. Day Campground

Activities: Camping, hiking, biking, backpacking, climbing, diving

The natural environment of Sleeping Bear Dunes includes miles of sand beach, bluffs that rise 450' above Lake Michigan, lush woodlands, crystal-clear inland lakes, and unusual flora and animals. The high dunes provide beautiful views across the lake. North and South Manitou Islands and a 60 km (35 km) section of Lake Michigan's eastern shoreline are included in Michigan's Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The park's excellent natural features, such as its forests, beaches, dune formations, and ancient glacial events, were the main reasons it was created.

The Lakeshore offers a vast selection of activities for people of all ages. Climb the dunes, go swimming at one of the many beaches, or go on a trek to some stunning views via the Maple/Beech forest. To discover more about the area's rich history and culture, you should explore Port Oneida or spend some time in the museums. Over 20 miles of easily accessible walking and bicycling trails, with a section groomed for skiing when snow conditions permit, are offered by the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail.

There are a lot of terrains to traverse and many locations to camp, from South Manitou Island's reservable sites for parties of up to 20 people to riverside campgrounds with electric hookups, showers, and modern facilities.

“Absolutely amazing on how truly big the dunes are. This hike is not for the faith of the heart. It was a trek. Once you accomplish the first giant dune, you think of the water there.”

6. Sleepy Hollow State Park

Camping in Michigan: Sleepy Hollow State Park

Location: 7835 E Price Rd, Laingsburg, MI 48848

Phone: 517-651-6217

Website: Sleepy Hollow State Park  

When to Visit: April to October

Best Campsites: Modern Campground, Modern Cabin

Activities: Camping, picnicking, hiking, horse riding, dog sledding

Over 2,600 acres make up Sleepy Hollow State Park, featuring a river that meanders through the park's farms, woodlands, and pathways. The 410-acre Lake Ovid, tucked in the heart of everything, was created by damming the Little Maple River. Sleepy Hollow is home to more than 228 species, ranging from the ubiquitous Blue Jay to the Eastern Bluebird. Look for waterfowl on Lake Ovid during their migration. Additionally seen were the rarely seen Bonaparte's Gull and the Bald Eagle.

Trails 16 miles long for hiking and biking and 6.5 miles for horseback riding and dog sledding pass through prairie grasslands, hardwood forests, and pine tree stands. Region for metal detecting. Snowshoeing is a well-liked activity at the park in addition to the activities mentioned above. The park's 181 modern campsites provide year-round recreational opportunities. Each camp has electricity and easy access to clean water for drinking. Other options for overnight lodging are also available, including an organized campground, a modern and rustic lodge, rustic walk-in campsites, and more.

“Although there were a lot of campers in the park, our site was nicely secluded and a short walk to the bathrooms. Every campsite looked very well maintained.”

7. South Higgins Lake State Park

Camping in Michigan: South Higgins Lake State Park

Location: 106 State Park Drive, Roscommon, MI 48653

Phone: 989-821-6374

Website: South Higgins Lake State Park  

When to Visit: Summer

Best Campsites: Modern Campground, Mini Cabin

Activities: Camping, hiking, boating, bicycling, kayaking

County Road 100 divides the 1,000-acre South Higgins State Park in half. Higgins Lake is to the north, and Marl Lake and 700 acres of maple, oak, and pine forests are to the south. Nearly a mile of Higgins Lake's shoreline runs through the park; the lake is a sizable spring-fed body of water renowned for its clarity and fishing potential. Marl Lake is significantly less developed, shallower, and smaller.

Get a metal detector and try your luck looking for hidden gems along the beach in Northeast Michigan. Swim in the pristine Higgins Lake. On the nature trail at the camp, take in the peace and watch wildlife. Many tourists and residents frequent the South Higgins Lake State Park beach in Northern Michigan. The day-use area of the park offers easy parking for over 600 vehicles, nearly a half mile of prime beach, a sizable boat launch basin and swimming area, family picnicking and playgrounds, interpretive hiking trails, large pavilions for group gatherings, and of course, the focal point—the historic park store.   

“Easy in easy out as long as you go early! We love launching our boat here. The bathrooms are usually pretty clean, and the staff is friendly.”

8. Leelanau State Park

Camping in Michigan: Leelanau State Park

Location: 15310 N Lighthouse Point Rd, Northport, MI 49670

Phone: 231-386-5422

Website: Leelanau State Park  

When to Visit: Summer

Best Campsites: Rustic Campground, Mini Cabin

Activities: Hiking, camping, sightseeing, boating, biking, swimming

With more than 1519 acres available for exploration, Leelanau State Park is situated near the tip of the lovely Leelanau Peninsula. The park includes:

- The Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum.

- Three tiny cabins.

- An 8.5-mile network of hiking and skiing paths.

- A picnic area with a pavilion.

- A primitive campground.

Along the coast, Petoskey stones can be discovered. Leelanau, Native American for "A Land of Delight," is the best way to characterize the region.

The park is split into two close portions. The day-use area, lighthouse, and primitive campground are all included in the northern unit. The popular park's sandy beach and trail system are located in the southern division. This compact, roomy, and laid-back campground is situated on the uncommon rocky shoreline of Lake Michigan, which is excellent for gathering Petoskey stones.  Although essential, it gets fewer visitors than most lakefront campgrounds because there are no showers. The breezy lakefront sites protect against biting flies and mosquitoes, which are the scourge of existence for all Michigan outdoor enthusiasts. At the same time, the heavily forested areas are protected from the lake's relentless breezes.

“We enjoyed the vibe, with rustic camping right along the water, nice trails, and the lighthouse. It was tranquil and very few people.”

9. Wilderness State Park  

Camping in Michigan: Wilderness State Park

Location: 903 Wilderness Park Dr, Carp Lake, MI 49718

Phone: 231-436-5381

Website: Wildness State Park  

When to Visit: Summer

Best Campsites: Pines Campground, Bunkhouses

Activities: Camping, hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, cross-country skiing

Wilderness State Park in Northwest Michigan has a way of converting everyone who visits into believers. It is the perfect name for a wild, rocky, designated dark sky park revered for its clean air, excellent astronomy conditions, coniferous marshes, and 26 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. The vast bulk of the numerous miles of shoreline comprises wide sandy beaches with a few scattered cobblestones. They are surrounded by one of Michigan's best-developed and most diverse wooded dune and swale complexes, as well as some breathtaking wetland areas.

Within its more than 10,000 acres, Wilderness State Park provides visitors with various year-round recreational activities, including trails and a designated dark sky area for stargazing. There are 250 modern campsites, split into the Lakeshore and Pines units, 18 full hookup sites, and nine tent-only sites. There are also three rustic bunkhouses and six rustic cabins available. A swimming beach, a dog beach, and 26 miles of gorgeous Lake Michigan shoreline are also there.

“The views are spectacular, especially if you can grab one of the lakeside lots. The spots are pretty much standard state park spots with some trees but little privacy.”

10. Warren Dunes State Park

Camping in Michigan: Warren Dunes State Park

Location: 12032 Red Arrow Hwy, Sawyer, MI 49125

Phone: 269-426-4013

Website: Warren Dunes State Park  

When to Visit: Summer

Best Campsites: Hildebrandt Semi-Modern Campground, Mt. Randall Modern Campground

Activities: Hiking, biking, camping, swimming, paddling, kayaking, boating

Windswept dunes are nothing new in Michigan. One can find some of the most stunning examples in the southwest of the state, near Lake Michigan, in Warren Dunes State Park. One of the most breathtakingly beautiful sites is Warren Dunes State Park, not only in Michigan. It is only 20 miles from the Indiana border at the entrance to Southwest Michigan, but it feels a world away from the crowded, noisy cities that line Lake Michigan's southern side.

Warren Dunes State Park provides a variety of outdoor activities along the stunning Lake Michigan shore. The dune structure rises 260 feet above the lake and offers breathtaking vistas and a great place to hang glide. The park is available all year long and offers three miles of shoreline and six miles of hiking trails. At Warren Dunes, you may go hiking, scale the dunes, take in breathtaking sunsets, and observe the constellations and planets filling the night sky.  

“Very spacious beach, with several accessible, clean restrooms, plentiful parking, and several food truck vendors. Much easier access than the beaches in Lakeside or Union Pier.”

Camping in Michigan Essentials

Camping in Michigan, we recognize how hard it is that you have everything you need before venturing into the great outdoors. One of the best ways to appreciate Michigan's outdoors is by camping. There are more than a thousand campgrounds here. Sometimes, Lake Superior is only a few steps away when we awaken. Occasionally, we're in a dense, shaded forest. For any Michigan camping trip, whether using an RV or tent or roughing it in the backcountry, people always pack some camping must-haves.

- Campsite Essentials: tent, sleeping bag, table & chair, flashlight, firewood;

- Portable Power Generator: Jackery Solar Generator 1500, Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro

- Camp Cooking Essentials: cooking grill, stove, knife, cutting board, coffee maker, food, fridge

- Camping Clothes: water-proof jacket, hiking pants, boots, gloves

- Cleaning Essentials: hand sanitizer, toothbrush, shower kit, suncream, towel

- First Aid Kit: personal medication, bandages, finger splints, eye drops

>> Download Camping Essentials Checklist PDF

A portable solar generator is necessary to pack when camping in Michigan. A portable solar generator is a great way to guarantee power wherever you need it, even if there is no nearby power grid. If you're camping or off the grid, the Jackery portable solar generator can keep your electronic devices running for hours or even days.

Jackery solar generator for Camping in Michigan

The Jackery Solar Generator 1500 is a fantastic option for camping, fishing, or other outdoor excursions. It includes 4 SolarSaga 100s (simplified versions of 2 SolarSaga 100X) and 1 SolarSaga 100 in the included bundles. The bundle, designed especially for these activities, is ideal whether you're camping for a weekend or extended time. The Explorer 1500 has a sizable 1534Wh capacity and 1800 operating watts (3600 peak watts). It also has 3 AC Pure Sine Wave outlets, 1 PD 60W USB-C port, 1 Quick Charge 3.0 port, 1 USB-A port, and one 12V car port. It can run up to 85% of the equipment in your RV, including microwaves, refrigerators, lights, power tools, household appliances, and other major power users.

Additionally, you can select the Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro if you're outside. It is ideal for individuals who want the most excellent solar generator because it has an upgraded solar panel and battery. Four units of ground-breaking SolarSaga 200W solar panels, which are three times faster than Solar Generator 1000, allow for a complete charge in 1.8 hours. You can enjoy limitless green power wherever you go with a quick and easy 60-second setup. It just requires 1.8 hours to complete an entire wall charge. It offers consistent power for necessities like phones, iPad, computers, and drones through its two USB-C and 100W PD connectors. It contains numerous ports, including three 1000W AC output connectors, two USB A connections, and a DC vehicle port.



Capability (wh)

Input & Output Ports



Jackery Solar Generator 1500

Explorer 1500 + SolarSaga 100W


3*AC Pure Sine Wave AC outlets, 1*PD 60W USB-C Port, 1*Quick Charge 3.0 Port, 1*USB-A Port, 1*12V car port

14"L x 10.4"W x 12.7"H

Mini Cooler(60W) 21H, Ice Shaver (700W) 120Mins, Toaster(650W) 130Mins, Microwave Oven(1000W) 68Mins, Electrical Grill(900W) 75Mins, Blender(500W) 130Mins, Coffee Maker(500W) 130Mins, Pressure Cooker(1000W) 90Mins

Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro

Explorer 1000 Pro + SolarSaga 80W/200W


2* USB-C, 2* 100W PD ports, 3* 1000W AC output ports, 2* USB A, 1* DC car port

12.5"L x 6.1"W x 9.2"H

Refrigerator(520W) 1.6H, CPAP(10W) 80Times, Coffee Maker(550W) 1.5H, Microwave Oven(700W) 1.2H, TV(60W) 13H, Tower Fan(45W) 17H, Laptop(65W) 9Times, Electric Blanket(55W) 14H, Kettle(850W) 1H

Camping in Michigan Tips

Isle Royale National Park, Keweenaw National Historical Park, North Country National Scenic Trail, and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore are all located in the Upper Peninsula. The Lower Peninsula's Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and River Raisin National Battlefield Park are both under the management of the Park Service. Here are some recommendations for the best camping in Michigan.  

  • There are many possibilities in Michigan, including campgrounds with every amenity imaginable, including furnished cabins, swimming pools, concrete RV slabs, picturesque places, and wildlife encounters.
  • Pick an appropriate time to leave. Some national parks are closed in the fall or don't operate throughout the winter, so certain seasons of the year will be busier than others. Even though you only have the summer to travel, you should know that it will be more engaged and congested.
  • Purchase a parking pass. You can pay when you enter a national park. Still, if you plan to visit several in a year or have a few passengers in your car, you could be better off purchasing an annual park ticket, which will allow you to enter more than 2,000 federal recreation locations.

Final Thoughts

There are 83 counties in Michigan, and each one offers a unique camping experience, from bluffs and beaches to forests and falls. The top campgrounds in Michigan are dispersed over two peninsulas and bound together by the Mighty Mac and Midwesterner spirit. Reading this article, you may learn the best camping in Michigan and what to bring.   

A portable generator can enable you to live more comfortably outside while camping in Michigan. The Jackery portable solar generator converts solar energy into electrical power and then stores it for later use. As a backup power source in case your electricity goes out for RVs and campers. A solar generator offers a dependable and eco-friendly power supply for your Michigan camping trip.

Related Posts