Twelvemile Beach Campground is a beautiful campground along Lake Superior located within the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, just 15 miles west of Grand Marais. There are 36 sites total, including 2 handicap accessible sites. Twelvemile Beach has water, pit toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, and an interpretive amphitheater. The campground has access to the North Country Trail and the two mile long self-guided White Birch Interpretive Trail. The turning radius and some of the parking at sites are limited, so the Park recommends that camper, or vehicle/trailer length should NOT exceed 42 feet.
There are three sets of stairs to the beach as well as a day-use picnic area and parking. The two-mile long White Birch Trail begins and ends at the campground. The North Country Trail treks through the campground. The entrance road winds through a picturesque stand of white birch.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore drive-in campsites are rustic and do not have electric, water, or sewer hookups. Campsites provide a picnic table, fire ring with grill grate, and tent pad. The campgrounds have vault toilets and well water. Typically there is no cell phone reception.
Sandstone cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, inland lakes, deep forest, and wild shoreline beckon you to visit Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The power of Lake Superior shapes the park's coastal features and affects every ecosystem, creating a unique landscape to explore. Hiking, camping, sightseeing, and four-season outdoor opportunities abound.
Guided kayaking and other boat tours within the national lakeshore are offered by authorized private companies. Pontoon boat and other rentals for use on Lake Superior are available in nearby communities.
We stayed during the last few nights of walk-up only camping. Pit toilets were rough but did have hand sanitizer. Water available at center point of campground. Easy beach access from nearly all sites. Flies varied from nonexistent to intolerable, depending on the wind. This campground was so quiet and beautiful. On our last night a storm blew in and demolished many of the tents and other structures along the beach side. The sites with the best views were hit harder bc of a lack of trees. Beware. No cell service at campground but is available at the Sable visitor center approximately 20 minutes away.
What an amazing campground location! Easy access to the beach and the trails along the water :) We lucked out with a GREAT view of Lake Superior. Sandy sites mean its easy put up and tent and get a good nights rest. For how busy the campground was it wasn't overly loud or too chaotic. Paths down to the beach for easy access no matter what spot you get, it will not be a disappointment. (Though still try for the lake view ones ;) )
I would think it's challenging to get a spot here! We stayed our first night at a campground near Munising then got up SUPER early to get a site here. I believe it's first come, first served but since it's been a couple years that might have changed.
*Munising is not super close, but it's well worth it for a bit of a drive to go on the Picture Rocks cruise! VERY cool to see the cliffside and the brilliant colors from the water :)
There is a backcountry campground not 1/2-mile from the 12-Mile Beach car/RV campground. "Backcountry" is deceptive, as there is a road/parking area about 1/4 mile west of the site.
You'd expect a site close to cars/roads to be clean as it's easy for people to pack trash out to a car, but there was a fair amount of garbage left in fire rings at this campground (we burned what we could and packed the rest out). The plus side was that someone had left a handful of split logs behind, negating the need to gather anything beyond kindling.
Proximity to the drive-in sites provided ready access to potable, running water and flush toilets, although there is a pit toilet at this campground.
Lake Superior is readily accessible from both these sites and the drive-in campground.
This is our favorite campground! We love exploring the beach and hiking down the trails right from the campground. We enjoy the ranger programs that are offered, and the camp hosts are so friendly!!
This rustic national lakeshore campground is tucked in the trees along the south shore of Lake Superior. Next to the campground, there is literally a 12-mile long beach of beautiful white sand along the crystal clear waters of this great lake.
Each campsite is equipped with a picnic table and fire ring with water spigots scattered throughout the campground. There is no electricity available and only pit toilets (which are clean, but rather stinky). Sites are smallish, a bit close together, and can accommodate tents and only small RV’s. RV’s over 25 feet will only fit in a few of the sites near the entrance to the campground.
We visited this campground in third week of September and hit the fall color spot on! The surrounding area provides great opportunities for water sports of all kinds, cycling, hiking, and dune climbing. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Visitor’s Center is about 35 miles west of this campground in the town of Munising where you will find grocery stores, gasoline, a laundromat, and restaurants.
We camped at 12mile towards the end of October. Sites are first come which can be an issue peak season. The campsite was great other then that the outhouses were screwed shut by late fall, which made #2's interesting. The sites are well spaced so you don't feel cramped. Great tree cover with a great view.
Twelvemile Beach sits along a foredune of Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, an intensely remote stretch of shoreline with Grand Marais to the east and the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to the west.
As you pull in, you find the entrance road winds through a white birch forest. I've been to Twelvemile in the spring, summer and autumn and find the forest enchanting with every season. The road takes an abrupt left turn and runs parallel to the Lake, unseen until now. This begins the loop that is Twelvemile Beach Campground.
There are pros and cons to both lakeside sites ($16/night) and the wooded sites ($14/night) across the road. Bugs, wind, and the freshwater gales ol' Gitche Gumee likes to toss up should all be taken into account when choosing a site, but it's safe to say that a lakeside site is always preferred in my book. They run along the dune ridge with sweeping views of Lake Superior and the constant breeze helps keeps bugs at bay (usually).
Sites are generous in size and quite private, especially if you visit in spring and autumn. Access to the beach is plentiful and the North Country Trail actually cuts straight through the campground. Poison ivy has never been an issue for me here. Sites are first come, first served.
If you're visiting during the summer season, get there early and catch sites in the morning as people leave. It sounds extreme but it's well worth the effort (you'll thank me when you're swinging in your hammock as the poor souls who arrive in the afternoon drive through, again and again, hoping for an opening.) I can't recommend Twelvemile Beach enough. Getting there is a journey, but the destination will become one of your favorite places on earth.
Not sure if you can walk along all 12 miles, but you can go for the classic long walk on the beach here and even connect to the North Country Trail. Unfortunately you can’t reserve in advance so get there early afternoon so you can get a site along the dunes or beach or with shade (or by bathrooms, whatever your priorities are). No water, bring treatment or containers. I think the lakeside sites are few dollars more. We were lucky enough to be there during a meteor shower in spring when almost no one else was around. Not the best site if you’ve got bad knees or an accessibility need, as is true for pretty much any sandy MI campground.
Set up your tent on the sands of Lake Superior and take in the view. That makes this the most amazing campground in Michigan. Period. The views are magnificent. We were able to cook dinner over the fire while watching some of the finest sunsets in Pictured Rocks. The vault toilets are surprisingly clean and there is drinking water available. There are also bear proof bins available for hikers who might not have a vehicle.
The downside is the secret about this place has gotten out and the 36 sites pretty much stay filled all year round. It's a first come, first serve campground.
Have stayed near the beech, and the sites fill up fast. The back country sites are really nice, and peacful. Hiking trails are maintained, campsites, well maintained. Highly recommend a boat ride,or a kayak trip, if you are experienced, out onto Lake Superior, to view the pictured rocks. Stunning area, locals are very friendly.