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Backcountry Camping at Pictured Rocks / Backcountry Deals / Manitou Island BackCountry

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan includes a 42 mile section of the North Country National Scenic Trail, stretching from Munising to Grand Marais. Editor's Note:  If your kid's are over 8 years old, this is a wonderful family getaway.

Whether you are planning a less rigorous family vacation or an adventure camping experience, Pictured Rocks is perfect for Backcountry camping.

So lace up your hiking shoes ... grab a snack, water, map and compass ... and head on down the trail of adventure in Michigan at Pictured Rocks!

More Campgrounds in Michigan


The Pictured Rocks cliffs are spectacular but can be dangerous. Fifteen miles of the North Country Trail are atop 50-200 foot high cliffs. Cliff tops are covered with loose sand and gravel. Unsupported overhangs of soft sandstone are common. For your safety, stay away from the cliff edge. 


The weather near Lake Superior is very changeable. Summers are often warm but be prepared for cool, rainy, windy weather. Hypothermia can occur at any time - know the symptoms. Use a layered clothing system - see our Backcountry Coupons and deals 


You may encounter bears and other wildlife in the backcountry. Keep a clean camp and be cautious. Store food in lockers or hang on food poles. 

Insects such as black flies, mosquitos, and stable flies can be a nuisance between June and September. Long pants and shirts and insect repellant are recommended. 


This formation of rock extends from Tahquamenon Falls, 75 miles east of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, to Laughing Whitefish Falls, about 30 miles west of Lakeshore. 

  • Bridalveil Falls

  • Chapel Falls

  • Miners Falls

  • Mosquito Falls

  • Munising Falls

  • Sable Falls

  • Spray Falls


Although all of the trails at Pictured Rocks are adventurous and beautiful, the White Birch Trail
Located at the Twelvemile Beach Campground, approx. 18 miles west of Grand Marais on Alger County Road H-58 is our favorite. Make sure you allocate some time for this hike!

This two-mile long self-guiding interpretive trail begins at the east end of the campground. The beautiful trail explores the natural history of the uplands in this area of Michigan adjacent to the lake, an environment very different from that near the campground and Lake Superior.

Trail guide (pdf) 

Gear up for your camping trip with great deals and coupons:  

 Other BackCountry Camping Ideas in Michigan:

  • Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is 15 miles west of Ontonagon in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The park's 60,000 acres are one of the few remaining large wilderness areas in the Midwest.

  • Some of the best backcountry camping in Michigan is located on North and South Manitou Islands.  You can get to the islands by ferry operated by Manitou Island Transit out of Leland.  

    Manitou Island Camping - North
    North Manitou Island
    Village Campground
    Manitou Island, MI 

    Reservations: (231)326-5134
    Phone: (231)326-5134

    15,000 acres of wilderness with a visitor use concept that emphasizes solitude, self-reliance and a sense of exploration. Camping on North Manitou is "open": you choose the campsite! The primary visitor activities include hiking, swimming, backcountry camping and backpacking.

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