Summer in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

As you start planning your camping trips for 2022, how about the Upper Peninsula of Michigan? We’ve never spent more than a handful of days there over the last 30 years, even though Joel’s sister has lived there that entire time. If you’re into fun on the water, including swimming, boating and general sightseeing and haven’t checked this location out, maybe next summer’s the time.

Vacation with your boat

If you like to camp and bring your boat for some fun on the lake, the U.P. (pronounced yoo – pee) has so many places to go including Lake Superior. We didn’t use any campgrounds during our time there in August. We stayed at Joel’s sister and brother-in-law’s cabin on Beaufort Lake.

The lake does have Beaufort Lake State Forest Campground which is very small, rustic (read: no hookups) and no reservations required. We’ve never tried camping there, we are highly suspicious that our 43-foot fifth wheel would fit there (make sure to investigate this as you plan your trip). There’s also a public boat landing.

Lake Michigamme is between Beaufort Lake and Marquette, Michigan. It’s a much larger lake and a few campgrounds along it. Also, we paid to use the dump station ($10 fee and then you also have to buy a 24-hour park pass) at Van Riper State Park. This campground looks pretty great too with lots of trees.

And don’t forget Lake Superior. Joel and I went to college in Duluth, Minnesota, the western-most tip of the lake. In that location, the lake literally affects the weather. Plus, the water tends to be very choppy and cold with big ships coming into the port daily. But when we took an afternoon on the lake just off the shore of Munising, it was so different.

Granted, we could not have had more perfect weather. But the lake was so smooth, warm and CLEAR we didn’t feel like we were on the largest of the Great Lakes. It was a great day of exploring the Pictured Rocks along the lakeshore, seeing a shipwreck (we didn’t even have to go into the water to do that) and swimming in some caves.

There are so many places you can put your boat in for recreational use in the U.P., we can’t list them all here. But this website should help you with your trip planning.

Other activities in the U.P.

There are many other things to do in the Upper Peninsula like hiking (we’ve done Sugarloaf) or mountain biking. And don’t forget, Sault Sainte Marie, where the Soo Locks are located, which help ships migrate between Lake Huron to Lake Superior. The Mackinac Bridge that takes you into Canada is impressive and the Soo Locks are so interesting! I went over the bridge and toured the Soo Locks decades ago and I still remember how cool it was to this day.

This post only scratched the surface and only looked at the summer months. There is a ton of stuff to do in the U.P. year round, including skiing (downhill and nordic) in the winter (although that might not be super fun in your camper). Enjoy your 2022 travels!