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Places to Camp in Michigan

When you think about camping in Michigan, it’s the water that draws most to the Great Lakes State. Michigan has 3,288 miles of shoreline, the second longest of any state, including 1,056 miles of island coast. Plus, you’re never more than six miles from a natural water source, or more than 85 miles away from a Great Lake.

There are plenty of opportunities for coastal and island camping in Michigan, but it’s more than just water. Michigan has the largest state park and state forest system of any state, with over 100 state parks, recreation areas, and state forests. There are also several national parks, forests, and lakeshores to pitch a tent or park the adventure rig. Needless to say, you have some options, so stick with The Dyrt to help you narrow it down. Consider these main Michigan attractions when deciding on where to go camping in Michigan.

For most campers, the epicenter of natural beauty and outdoor recreation in Michigan is Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Mountainous dunes slope from high peaks and plateaus down to meet with the clear blue waters of Lake Michigan. Hiking, biking, hang gliding, off-roading, kiteboarding, paddle boarding, or just simply sandy beach lounging can all be found in and around Sleeping Bear Dunes. Also, when you take a camping trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes, the nearby quaint towns and rolling inland hills speckled with fruit orchards provide the perfect bonus excursions.

Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state in the country. Michigan waterways have been essential to the growth of the nation, but they’ve also been treacherous for mariners for centuries, and continue to demand respect. When camping in Michigan, touring some of the iconic Michigan lighthouses can be a great way to learn about the history of the region, while also taking in stellar views of natural landscapes and architectural achievement. Check in with The Dyrt for information on camping near some great Michigan lighthouses.

Finally, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is an entire playground of its own for outdoor recreation and exploration. Discover some of the many waterfalls like the impressive Tahquamenon Falls, or kayak on Lake Superior for a memorable view of the famous Pictured Rocks. The power of Lake Superior can be seen across the northern shore with unique rock formations, and remnants of the prominent mining and shipping industry still exist throughout. If you’re thinking about more remote or wild camping options in Michigan, the Upper Peninsula is for you. Whatever your camping style, stay tuned to The Dyrt for inside information on the best camping in Michigan.

Best Camping Sites in Michigan (1,273)

    Camper-submitted photo from Wilderness State Park Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Wilderness State Park Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Wilderness State Park Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Wilderness State Park Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Wilderness State Park Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Wilderness State Park Camping

    1.

    Wilderness State Park Camping

    70 Reviews
    195 Photos
    614 Saves
    Cross Village, Michigan

    Wilderness State Park, located just 11 miles west of Mackinaw City, is home to 26 miles of beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline, 20-plus miles of trails, a designated swimming and pet-friendly beach and unique camping opportunities. The park is also a designated dark sky preserve offering stellar views of the sky and is just 9 miles from Headlands Dark Sky Park (an Emmet County park).

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    Camper-submitted photo from Straits State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Straits State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Straits State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Straits State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Straits State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Straits State Park Campground

    2.

    Straits State Park Campground

    67 Reviews
    231 Photos
    358 Saves
    St. Ignace, Michigan

    Michigan Recreation Passport is required for vehicle entry into state parks and recreation areas, state boat launches, state forest campgrounds and state trail parking lots. Learn more: https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-350-79134_79210---,00.html

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access

    $22 - $42 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Platte River Campground — Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
    Camper-submitted photo from Platte River Campground — Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
    Camper-submitted photo from Platte River Campground — Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
    Camper-submitted photo from Platte River Campground — Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
    Camper-submitted photo from Platte River Campground — Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
    Camper-submitted photo from Platte River Campground — Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

    3.

    Platte River Campground — Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

    58 Reviews
    228 Photos
    599 Saves
    Beulah, Michigan

    Overview

    Platte River Campground is located in the southern district of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, on the lower peninsula of Michigan. This year-round facility is one of the most popular campgrounds in the park. It is within walking distance of the Platte River and a short walk or drive away from the Lake Michigan shore. Hikers can access many of the area's day use and backpacking trails just north of the campground.Summer temperatures range from the upper 70s to 90 degrees F (25__ to 32__ C) during the day, and from the 50s to 70 degrees F (10__ to 25__ C) at night.__ Winters are cold, with daytime highs from 20__ to 30__ F (-7__ to -1__ C) and lows in the 10s and 20s F (-12 to -7__ C). Snow is usually on the ground from late November through March.

    Recreation

    Campers can hike, canoe, kayak and fish on the river or the lake. There are canoe rentals at nearby Platte River Point, where the river meets the lake (the point also has beach access for those wishing to drive there). The Platte Plains trail system boasts more than 25 miles (40 km) of trails, some of which can be accessed a short walk away from the campground. Trails to the primitive White Pine backcountry campground are also close by.

    Facilities

    This facility is well-maintained, well-organized and offers a wide variety of sites, including back-in and pull-through sites with electric hookups for RVs, non-electric sites, walk-to sites, group sites (hike-in, tent-only) and a nearby backcountry campground. Each site has a campfire ring and picnic table. Each loop has restrooms with flush toilets and sinks. Hot showers are also available. The group sites allow no more than 25 people per site; pets and RVs are not permitted in them.

    Natural Features

    The campground lies in a wooded area within walking distance of the Platte River and less than two miles (3.2 km) away from the beaches of Lake Michigan. Although the lakeshore is long and narrow, it has northern hardwood and conifer forests, abandoned farm meadows, wetlands, lakes, streams, bogs and splendid examples of a glacially formed landscape.The most prominent features in the park, and those for which it is named, are the perched sand dunes above Lake Michigan. The overlooks at Sleeping Bear, Empire and Pyramid Point bluffs are about 400 feet (122 m) above the lake. With 65 miles (105 km) of Lake Michigan shoreline and numerous inland lakes and streams, the park is wonderfully water-oriented.

    contact_info

    For local information, please call (231) 326-4700 or call (877) 444-6777 for general information.

    Charges & Cancellations

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents

    $50 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Warren Dunes State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Warren Dunes State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Warren Dunes State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Warren Dunes State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Warren Dunes State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Warren Dunes State Park Campground

    4.

    Warren Dunes State Park Campground

    60 Reviews
    171 Photos
    383 Saves
    Bridgman, Michigan

    In the southwestern-most corner of Michigan, about 100 miles from Grand Rapids, Warren Dunes State Park is home to 3 miles of sandy beaches and windswept dunes on the shore of Lake Michigan. There are 6 miles of short trails for exploring the area, but the main draws to Warren Dunes camping is soaking up rays on the beach and climbing the dunes. The tallest dune, Tower Hill, rises 260 feet above the lakeshore and offers a panoramic view over the surrounding area. Park guides offer a variety of seasonal nature programs that highlight the area’s flora, fauna and natural features. Alcohol is not permitted on the beach at Warren Dunes, and dogs must remain leashed, and are restricted to certain areas only.

    The campground at Warren Dunes is located away from the beach, in a wooded area near the highway. On the upside, there’s plenty of shady trees to take cover under on the warmer, sunnier days; on the downside, there’s plenty of highway noise to distract from the peacefulness. The two camp areas—Modern and Semi-Modern—offer a total of 220 tent and RV sites that vary in size and seclusion. The larger Modern area has restrooms with showers, drinking water and playgrounds for the kids; limited hookup sites are available. This area also has three rustic mini-cabins for rent. The Semi-Modern area is more spartan, with just water and vault toilets. A dump station is located between the two areas. Campsite rates range from $25–$45/night; cabins are $52/night.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    Camper-submitted photo from Lower Falls Campground — Tahquamenon Falls State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Lower Falls Campground — Tahquamenon Falls State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Lower Falls Campground — Tahquamenon Falls State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Lower Falls Campground — Tahquamenon Falls State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Lower Falls Campground — Tahquamenon Falls State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Lower Falls Campground — Tahquamenon Falls State Park

    5.

    Lower Falls Campground — Tahquamenon Falls State Park

    54 Reviews
    152 Photos
    200 Saves
    Paradise, Michigan

    The Lower Falls Modern Campground features two campground loops, Hemlock and Portage. All sites have 30-amp service, and some 50-amp sites are available. A sanitation station is available seasonally, and recycling is available.

    The Hemlock campground loop is located about a mile from the Lower Falls and is open year-round. The campground is generally more shaded than the Portage campground loop, with access to the park’s hiking trail system. The campground is the best place in the Lower Falls for cellphone service. In winter, portions are reservable for semi-modern camping.

    The Portage campground loop is located near the river, about a quarter-mile from the Lower Falls. This campground loop features an ADA-accessible modern toilet and shower building and some accessible campsites. A few sites have river views, and the campground loop is generally sunnier and more open than the Hemlock campground Loop. There is North Country Trail access from the campground. In winter, the campground loop is open for hike-in camping.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access

    $28 - $32 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from D.H. Day Campground — Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
    Camper-submitted photo from D.H. Day Campground — Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
    Camper-submitted photo from D.H. Day Campground — Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
    Camper-submitted photo from D.H. Day Campground — Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
    Camper-submitted photo from D.H. Day Campground — Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
    Camper-submitted photo from D.H. Day Campground — Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

    6.

    D.H. Day Campground — Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

    52 Reviews
    182 Photos
    360 Saves
    Glen Arbor, Michigan

    Overview

    D.H. Day Group Campground is a tent-only facility located in the heart of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, about one mile (1.6 km) north of the Dune Climb, where visitors can walk over miles of sand dunes. This year-round campground has four sites which accommodate groups of 7 to 25 people.

    Recreation

    D.H. Day Group is a hub for water activities. Motorized and non-motorized boating is allowed on the lake, with restrictions, and there is a boat ramp about six miles away by which boaters can access Lake Michigan. Campers can also rent canoes and kayaks in the town of Glen Harbor to float the nearby Crystal River. The beach at Glen Haven, which is popular for beachcombing and swimming, is about one mile away from the campground. There are no lifeguards on duty at the park's beaches. The facility is also close to the Dune Climb, where visitors can climb on sand dunes over 200 feet high, walk more than 1.5 miles on the dunes to Lake Michigan and catch a great view of Glen Lake.

    Facilities

    D.H. Day Group is a hub for water activities. Motorized and non-motorized boating is allowed on the lake, with restrictions, and there is a boat ramp about six miles away by which boaters can access Lake Michigan. Campers can also rent canoes and kayaks in the town of Glen Harbor to float the nearby Crystal River. The beach at Glen Haven, which is popular for beachcombing and swimming, is about one mile away from the campground. There are no lifeguards on duty at the park's beaches. The facility is also close to the Dune Climb, where visitors can climb on sand dunes over 200 feet high, walk more than 1.5 miles on the dunes to Lake Michigan and catch a great view of Glen Lake.

    Natural Features

    The campground is open with sparse vegetation. Contrary to the park's name, bears are rarely sighted here, yet other wildlife such as birds, deer and wild turkey may be seen. Although the Lake Michigan shore is long and narrow, it has northern hardwood and conifer forests, abandoned farm meadows, wetlands, lakes, streams, bogs and splendid examples of a glacially formed landscape. The most prominent features in the park, for which it was named, are the perched sand dunes above Lake Michigan. The overlooks at Sleeping Bear, Empire and Pyramid Point bluffs are about 400 feet above the lake. With 65 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and numerous inland lakes and streams, the park is wonderfully water-oriented.

    Nearby Attractions

    The historic area of Glen Haven, which features a working blacksmith shop, a 1920s-era general store and Sleeping Bear Point Maritime Museum, is within a short drive of the campground.

    contact_info

    For local information, please call (231) 326-4700 or call (877) 444-6777 for general information.

    Charges & Cancellations

    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Group
    • Standard (Tent/RV)

    $40 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Fort Wilkins Historic State Park — Fort Wilkins State Historic Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Fort Wilkins Historic State Park — Fort Wilkins State Historic Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Fort Wilkins Historic State Park — Fort Wilkins State Historic Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Fort Wilkins Historic State Park — Fort Wilkins State Historic Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Fort Wilkins Historic State Park — Fort Wilkins State Historic Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Fort Wilkins Historic State Park — Fort Wilkins State Historic Park

    7.

    Fort Wilkins Historic State Park — Fort Wilkins State Historic Park

    52 Reviews
    189 Photos
    266 Saves
    Copper Harbor, Michigan

    Fort Wilkins Historic State Park, located in the northern tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula, features a modern campground, trails, a historical fort with a living history program, two 1860s lighthouses on Lake Superior and much more.

    Visitors will enjoy a quarter-mile of rocky Lake Superior shoreline, Lake Fanny Hooe and a quarter-mile of sandy beach on Lake Manganese.

    The park features a restored 1844 army military outpost, including 19 buildings, with a living history program provided by the Michigan History Center. Visitors can experience a look back at life on the northern frontier during the mid-1800s and a time when soldiers were stationed in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Michigan Recreation Passport is required for vehicle entry into state parks and recreation areas, state boat launches, state forest campgrounds and state trail parking lots. The Michigan Recreation Passport does not cover local, county, municipal, or metropolitan parks or recreation areas. Learn more: https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/buy-and-apply/rec-pp

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • Standard (Tent/RV)

    $30 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Hoffmaster State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Hoffmaster State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Hoffmaster State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Hoffmaster State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Hoffmaster State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Hoffmaster State Park Campground

    8.

    Hoffmaster State Park Campground

    51 Reviews
    338 Photos
    356 Saves
    Norton Shores, Michigan

    Located on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, Hoffmaster State Park is 1,200 acres of wooded sand dunes and 3 miles of sandy beach. The park is named for P.J. Hoffmaster, considered to be the founder of Michigan’s state parks system. Located just a few miles south of Muskegon, and 40 miles west of Grand Rapids, this park offers an outdoor reprieve where you can swing in your hammock under shady pine and hardwood forest, and enjoy pleasant lakeside strolls while peeping for migrating sparrows and hawks. One of the park’s must-do activities is climbing the winding wooden stairway to the Dunes Overlook for great views over the lake, and the fascinating dunes that have developed along the lakeshore.

    Open from April to October, the campground at Hoffmaster State Park offers nearly 300 wooded tent and RV campsites on either side of Little Black Creek. Sites are equipped with electrical hookups, picnic tables, and fire pits; restrooms and water faucets are located throughout the campground area. Sites can accommodate trailers and RVs up to 50 feet; a dump station is available near the campground entrance. A kids’ playground is located near the creek, between the two camp areas, and there are two trailheads for accessing the beach. There are also several picnic areas and a concession stand inside the park. Dogs are permitted in the campground area and on the trails, but must remain leashed; they are not permitted on the swim beaches. Campsite rates range from $25–$37/night.

    If you need a break from sunning and swimming on the beaches at Hoffmaster, you can visit the Gillette Visitor Center. You can learn about the park’s sand dune ecosystem, see exhibits about the park’s flora and fauna, or attend a nature program about native birds, bugs or beasts. The center also offers guided, interpretive bird walks, dune hikes and night prowls. If you’re ready to strike out on your own, pick up a trail map and start roaming the park’s 5 miles of hiking trails. On the 1-mile Dune Overlook Trail you can climb 100 stairs into the park’s “quiet area” for a panoramic view over the dunes and Lake Michigan. Bring your birding guide with you, as the park is known for a wide variety of residential and migrant songbirds and raptors.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    Camper-submitted photo from Rivermouth Modern Campground — Tahquamenon Falls State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Rivermouth Modern Campground — Tahquamenon Falls State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Rivermouth Modern Campground — Tahquamenon Falls State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Rivermouth Modern Campground — Tahquamenon Falls State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Rivermouth Modern Campground — Tahquamenon Falls State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Rivermouth Modern Campground — Tahquamenon Falls State Park

    9.

    Rivermouth Modern Campground — Tahquamenon Falls State Park

    47 Reviews
    128 Photos
    323 Saves
    Paradise, Michigan

    The Rivermouth Modern Campground is wooded and features two loops with a variety of sites, including some accessible, paved and pull-though sites. Campers enjoy walking along the river among blueberries and wildflowers underneath massive red pines. Bicycling is a popular way to travel around the campground, to the playground and to the accessible fishing platform in the adjacent Rivermouth Pines Campground. There is a 30-amp service available on each site, with some 50-amp sites available. There is a nearby boat launch, and kayaks are available to rent, first come, first served, from the Rivermouth Campground office. A sanitation station and recycling are available.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access

    $20 - $23 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Traverse City State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Traverse City State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Traverse City State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Traverse City State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Traverse City State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Traverse City State Park Campground

    10.

    Traverse City State Park Campground

    47 Reviews
    90 Photos
    198 Saves
    Traverse City, Michigan

    Traverse City State Park is a 47-acre state park set in a more urban setting and featuring .25 miles of beautiful beach on the Grand Traverse Bay. The park is located only 3 miles from downtown Traverse City, one of the Michigan's most popular resort towns.

    The park was established in 1920 on about 16 acres of land after the logging industry began to wane. In 1921 and 1939, parcels were added to increase the park's land area. The original inhabitants of the land were the Ottawa branch of the Algonquin Indians.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
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