Union Bay-Porcupine Mountains State Park is home to a seasonal campground that is available to visit from mid May to mid October. With a limited window of time, it’s well worth planning your trip in advance, as peak season can bring a gaggle of campers and tourists, making priority campsites difficult to find. The initial weeks of August are almost always packed, thanks to kids and college-students trying to camp before school starts again.
Subsequently, if you want smaller crowds but still want to enjoy the sun, try to reserve a spot during the latter end of August. This is also when the Porcupine Mountains Music Festival happens, giving you a great event to check out. Regardless of your needs, during camping season you can call the campground where staff will provide details on sites that you might not see at the Reservations Center or online. If you can’t find what you’re looking for online, give them a call!
If you happen to forget a thing or two, there’s the Porcupine Mountain Outpost store right outside the entrance to the campground. It's open from May through mid October. There you can find souvenirs, camping supplies, and even clothing. You might find the occasional pre-made sandwich, but besides soft drinks and milk, there are no real groceries here. You’ll have to travel all the way out to Ontonagon (25 miles away) for groceries. That said, you can make the trip worth if you if you grab a bite to eat at Syl’s, a legendary diner famous for its repertoire of comfort food classics.
The campground itself is moderately sized, with 99 sites available for RVs and tents. One of the draws to the campground is that all sites have at least 30 amp electric hookups available. One of the most common complaints here is due to the limited amount of pull-through sites, with many options too small to accommodate larger vehicles.
Porcupine Mountains State Park is uniquely known for its hybrid existence between contemporary and antiquated beauty. The park is extremely modern, thanks to the updated facilities and well maintained grounds. However, it skirts the line with a true wilderness feel, owing to the rustic touches, and charming yurt cabins, available for overnight accommodations as well. Whatever your intent to visit, there’s no mistaking the quant appeal of this Michigan state park.
This was our first time camping in Michigan and we loved being so close to Lake Superior. We're used to MN state parks, so we found the campsites in MI to be a bit small and too close to each other. The fire ring for the site behind ours was very close to the bed area of our camper. Our spot was campsite #98. There's not a lot of shade or vegetation between campsites in that row, but it was easy walking distance to the modern restroom/showers and Lake Superior. Next time we would like to camp along the lake. The trail around Lake of the Clouds was well worth it!
You can't beat the Porcupine Mountains if you're looking for wilderness experiences in Michigan. Union Bay is a nice campground to use as a base camp for lots of day hikes in the area.
It can be busy and weekends are louder with kids, dogs, loud neighbors, etc , just like most state parks. Weekdays tend to be quieter even when busy.
Many sites are quite close together and there isn't much privacy in those. Some sites have odd sizes and shapes so be prepared to adjust your rig on the site to get best placement and be level (back in vs. sideways, etc ). Also consider having leveling blocks with you.
Sites in bottom loop offer great views and access to Lake Superior. But even the upper loops are a short walk to awesome shoreline and amazing sunrises.
Bathrooms are clean and showers have good design, although shower heads could use some maintenance.
Staff working the office seem to really know their stuff about hiking the area, so check with them for ideas in addition to the Visitors Center.
If you want the wilderness feel of the Porkies but modern amenities at the end of the day, this is the place.
Note that cellular service can be extremely weak if you don't have a booster.
We tent camped. It’s crowded and it’s close quarters but it’s the Porkies and it’s what we expected. Screaming kids, barking dogs, loud partiers, RV’s that never shut their lights off and those light obscure the night sky views…this park had all of that. We expected it and unless you are early or late in the season, you should too. Our site had a major flood and the mud afterwards was pretty intense. The storm was predicted to be so bad that the very kind Park Ranger came by to go over the take cover procedure just in case. Some people had to move sites because of the flooding afterward. They were accommodated. On the other hand this park has magnificent trails, a really nice camp store with souvenirs, wood and ice cream. The walk to the lake was short and Lake Superior was as majestic as ever. The bathrooms were as clean as busy bathrooms could be. People were adhering to state mandated mask wearing rules. I love the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park so this was a fine but average place to rest my head after enjoying the park.
I absolutely loved campsite 28 in the Union Bay Campground. You sit right next to Lake Superior overlooking the water! Between you and the water is a beautiful large rocky beach area that spans the shoreline for miles. Especially because you also get a wonderful view of the sunset as well. At night we laid out on the rocks and watched the stars! All night long you hear the waves crashing into shore. It was so peaceful.
It is hard for me to look for other campsites at different campgrounds because of how much I loved this spot. This site is hard to beat!
Not to mention how beautiful the rest of the park was. Mountains, waterfalls, and thousands of acres of forest. I will be coming back for another visit.
Beautiful family campground on the North ashore of Lake Superior. It has RV, tent and back country sites as well as cabins and yurts for rent. Many amazing hiking trails and beautiful waterfalls to explore near by. Campground has large clean bathrooms and showers and a nice camp store. It is also pet friendly and has WiFi, but no playground. We stayed at site 82 which had a partial view of the lake and backed the tree line. It was a nice site. I gave this campground 4 out of 5 stars because some of the sites were a little too close together but overall a great campground and we will be back!
Great park. Explore 100 miles of trails and sleep under the stars. Love the sites on the water. Reserve early as it is booked during July and August. Firewood available at outpost store just before you enter park. Be sure to stop and pick some up before you check in. It’s kind of a far walk when hauling wood if you are driving a motor home.
The campground itself is clean and has large sites on the back row, smaller sites on lake superior, and average sized sites in the Center. There are many hike in sites available for tenters, and also hike to cabins and yurts. The hiking is in the mountains and mostly point to point. Be prepared to hike some distances with steep climbs and descents, and uneven footing. At the visitors center they have suggested levels of difficulty and numbers of hours for various hikes posted on the wall. I recommend a little research before starting your hike. We loved the lake of the clouds ridge hike and the presque river water falls hikes. Beautiful sites and peaceful hikes. Often there was no one else around. We found we had the sunsets at lake in the clouds all to ourselves.
This is a very large park! It took me 45 minutes to drive across the whole park. My favorite spot was prequel isle with the water falls! There is also a cliff face to hike along and see Lake Superior. Another noteworthy attraction is mirror lake!
The big thing about this campground is the size of it. Positioned on a hill like feature, It has an hill-top section and a bottom of the hill section. Some of the sites at the bottom are a little rocky, so not great for tent camping, but for campers this would be an ideal location for it overlooks Lake Superior. The top section is great for tent camping for it had an abundance of grassy sites. This is a very picturesque campground and one that is a great place to call home for a multiple day adventure to the Porcupine Mountains and has amenities such as showers and restrooms. It really takes you away into nature and provides a unique view of Lake Superior from a beach of stone.
We absolutely loved camping at Union Bay! There were a lot of people, but they aren’t so close that it’s annoying. There’s electric at all the modern campsites, as well as the typical picnic table, fire pit combo. While the site itself was sort of small (ours was not suitable for anything other than tents) I actually enjoyed having all our stuff close by. When you stay here, don’t forget to put your trash in your car! We didn’t and we’re visited by a pretty sassy raccoon 😂 The sunsets on Lake Superior were amazing, and we even saw an awesome storm coming in that ended up just being a lot of wind. Short drive to tons of hiking trails, including the Escarpment trail which is one of the most amazing hikes in Michigan. If you’re hungry, there’s a great diner in Ontonagon that has amazing pizza and breakfast! Totally recommend and will definitely be back! (ps prepare for black flies, deet doesn’t even scare the little vampires and they are literally everywhere. I recommend bringing a good anti itch stick/spray)