Recently I’ve been talking about our trip to the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan’s upper peninsula. I’ve covered all the hiking we did and all the gorgeous natural scenery we saw. Sadly, I’ve arrived at my last post in the series; where we stayed.
There are lots of options for lodging in and around the Porcupine Mountains wilderness area. Looking for a chain or boutique hotel? You can find that in nearby towns. Looking for more of a cabin feel? There are plenty of those nearby too! Want to stay in the park? Then plan to get a little more rugged. The park itself has a large variety of lodging options, including drive in campsites, walk in campsites, walk in cabins, and walk in yurts.
All of the lodging options, prices, operating dates, and reservation info can be found on the park’s reservation page.
Today I will focus on the campground we stayed at; the Presque Isle Campground. This campground is located on the western most edge of the park (circled below in purple.)
Zooming in, you can see the campground is part of the Presque Isle Scenic Area, which contains the largest waterfalls in the park. It’s pretty neat that you can walk to these impressive falls from your campsite, meaning that you can see them multiple times on multiple days in multiple kinds of lighting. (For getting that perfect waterfall shot.) I covered these in a previous post; visiting them is a must do while in the park.
Looking at the campground map, you can see all the available sites. The campground has 50 sites, with six of them being walk-in sites.
Drinking water is located on the southwest side of the campground and the restrooms are located centrally. The drinking water is a pump your own well water situation. Well water is always a gamble, sometimes it can taste metallic, sometimes it can smell like eggs, but this water was great. Ice cold and zero weird tastes or smells.
The restrooms were pit toilets, one toilet per building. They were fine, as far as pit toilets can be. One of them would fill with flies at different parts of the day, which was a little strange since both buildings didn’t do that. If that happened and was bothersome, I would just use the other one. (Each bathroom location had 2 any gender toilets, one toilet per building.)
We stayed at campsite P6, which is on the north side of the campground overlooking the lake. The views from this campsite were absolutely stunning.
Each site is equipped with a picnic table and fire ring.
This was my first time camping in a different state’s park system, so I can’t really speak to if this is common for Michigan, but none of the fire rings had any sort of cooking grate. Having a lot of experience with Wisconsin State Parks where every single campsite I’ve ever stayed at had some sort of cooking grate, this was surprising. Luckily I noticed this while planning the trip and we brought ours along. You can certainly still cook without it, I just prefer to have one. Is that the first step towards becoming a glamper? Requiring a cooking grate?
A fence on the north side of the site tells you where to stop walking as the land drops steeply and suddenly down to the lake below.
I’m no stranger to giving up campsite privacy for great views. One of my favorite parks, Wyalusing State Park, is full of breath taking campsite views while offering no privacy from neighbors. That tradeoff is often worth it and was certainly the case here too. If you aren’t staying at a campsite on the ridge and aren’t right next to an amazing view, that sounds less appealing.
I took some pictures of the campground to help illustrate. This was a view of the campground on the other side of the road from us, sites P3 and P5. You can see the campsites differentiated by the fire rings.
The view to our neighbor, P4. A few more trees, but you can see right into their site.
The view across the street to P7. You can see the pit toilets in the distance.
This is something to consider when setting up your campsite too. Placing your tent or car in a strategic space to offer yourself a little privacy is often the only thing you can do. I knew we had an amazing view of the lake and I wasn’t trying to block other people from enjoying that, I was just carving out a little den to feel more private.
While the lack of privacy is a negative for this campground, this campsite has one pretty big positive which made it superior….as in Lake Superior. The view!
My advice: set up your campsite so you’re never looking away from the lake and all those nearby neighbors won’t even cross your mind.
That’s what Moxxi did. She lounged in my chair while still enjoying the view.
Sometimes she would nap in the chair too.
A cool thing about the view, it changes! Sunsets are amazing from this site. We enjoyed a spectacular show every single night.
Remember how I mentioned setting up your campsite to never have to look away from the view? If your tent has a more open side or a window side, aim it at the lake. This is one of the best views I’ve ever had from this tent window.
Another positive of this campsite and the campground in general? It’s proximity to other gorgeous sites. Even if you aren’t lucky enough to have a site overlooking the lake, you can still take in the scenery.
Like I mentioned in a previous post, this campground is very close to the Presque Isle River waterfalls. This waterfall, and two others, are only a short 5 minute walk from your site.
Want to get close and personal with the largest of the great lakes? Head down the stairs from the northeast side of the campground to the lakeshore and enjoy.
With a plethora of lodging options at the Porcupine Mountains, there’s something for everyone. From glamper to camper to backpacker, if you’re looking for a more “rugged” sleeping experience, a site for you is waiting. If you fall into the “camper” range like I do, then I encourage you to consider this campground when planning your Porcupine Mountain adventure. With it’s stunning views and proximity to the park’s largest waterfalls, it makes for a memorable stay.