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We didn't camp there. We just used the public dump station, twice. Minimal fee. Very clean.
Was looking for a remote, simple camp ground in the U.P. and was not disappointed. With a small walk to the beautiful beaches, a long day hike of the waterfalls, with access to the Porkies you can not find a better place. Yes, the only thing you will get is running water and vaulted toilets, but the campsites are clean, and well kept, good for just popping a tent and sleeping after a long day of playing in the U.P. play ground.
We stayed here to visit Porcupine Mountain State Park. We enjoyed the park, had some great hikes along water falls and spending time along the shore of Lake Superior.
Check-in was smooth and they offered us several options of sites to pick from. The campground seems to be well maintained and some of the sites are large. Our site was grass and had some ruts from previous guests. It sounded like they had a lot of rain earlier in the summer.
Some sites do face each other which we find a little awkward when you are not traveling with friends. The pressure to visit when outside every time does feel a bit uncomfortable. We were fortunate to have a great family next to us which made the awkwardness feel much less uncomfortable.
There were some sites that were full of toys (four wheelers and side-by-sides) but we never felt that they were noisy. There were a couple of sites that enjoyed “sharing” their music with the campground, but that didn’t subside after a while (thankfully).
Ontonagon is a quiet sleepy little town which didn’t seem to have much happening. But it was a Covid year and everything is a little different.
We enjoyed our time here and would stay here again and will bring some friends along as well.
We first stayed at Alpine Campground this summer and we ended up staying twice on two separate trips. Both times we needed a place to rest for a night on our way to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and later to Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. We think we discovered something special.
The campground is on a beautiful property. It is a bit dated and our pull thru sites where just long enough for our 35’ trailer and truck to stay connected. Sites were grass, a little un-level but were very spacious. These pull-thru sites were water and electric only (30 amp) and the water pressure was a little low. There is a convenient dump station on the way out of the park.
But the sweet owner who opened this park years ago with her husband made the stay a gem. She and her three small dogs went out of her way to make there way around the park on her golf cart and check-in with her guests.
There are full hookups sites back in the trees and there are also some great group camping sites down by the river. Some even looked like the had water and electric at them. There were tents also setup on the perimeter of the grounds.
Where we may have found some small things at a different park a bit disappointing, the charm of this park made this a special place to stay and dream of years gone by. We look forward to visiting again.
I only stayed for one night but it was incredible! The waterfalls are remarkable. Stay for more than one night because there is so much to do.
Union Bay is the only “modern” campground in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness, offering around 100 fully-reservable, electric sites with access to a modern bathroom and shower house. The lakeside sites, as you can imagine, are the most popular and spacious, and most often booked 6 months in advance. If you come after leaf season, you can have the place to yourself. However, the winds off the lake can be powerful and the numerous campsites on the upper level offer a bit more protection, if somewhat more cramped.
The boat launch is right next to the campground, if you plan to get out onto the big lake. The outdoor adventure opportunities in the park are endless, from hiking, biking, and paddling in the spring through the fall to skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. But, bring your muck boots if you come in the fall or spring, as the trails and campground is wet and full of mud.
As a designated wilderness, motorized recreation is not allowed within the park, so your walk in the woods remains undisturbed. Backpacking is very popular here and backcountry camping sites are numerous, and reservable (get your permit at the Visitor’s Center). The park offers cabins and yurts, some of which are only accessible by trail which and heated by a wood stove making a winter adventure more attractive. There is also a downhill skiing area located within 3 miles of the Visitors Center.
The bathrooms at Union Bay are modern and comfortable with individual unisex shower units accessible via an outside door. The laundry room has 1 washing machine and 2 dryers(be sure to run the dryer on high). Water is available at several spigots throughout the campground, and the sewer dump station is right on the way out of the campsite to take care of that business when you leave.
Be sure to drive or hike up to the Lake of the Clouds overlook and trail network. The glacially carved escarpment offers a priceless view of what the locals call “the Porkies” and makes the long drive to get here worth it.
The closest town of significance to Union Bay is Ontonagon, 18 miles away, so plan ahead with supplies. Just outside the campground is a small, privately run, campstore where you can get ice cream, ice and a few other food items, and lots of tourist trinkets – just look for the oversized black bear.