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Camping Road Trip through Michigan Upper Peninsula

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Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan (UP) is one of a few places left for great road trips where you can really feel like one with nature. There is so much to do that everyone will have their own spin on their vacation but here are our 6 choices for what you can do in the UP.

When to Go:

Winters can get cold, so the best time to go would be from May-August.

How to Get There:

The UP is relatively isolated but can be accessed via the I-75 from the Lower Peninsula (LP) and also from the West through Wisconsin.

What to See:

  1. Mackinac Bridge - Allow 1 hour

    The longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere links the Upper and Lower Peninsula on the I-75. You can get out of your car, walk around the bridge, and see awesome views of the lake shores all around you. If you are fearful of driving over the long bridge you can even utilize the driver's assistance program which will drive your car for you! Depending on traffic it shouldn't take more than an hour to enjoy the views and cross the bridge.
  2. Hiawatha National Forest - Allow 1 day minimum

    Hiawatha National Forest known as the Great Lakes National Forest covers a large part of the upper peninsula and is divided into two areas; the western and eastern units. It stretches from Lake Superior to Lake Michigan on the western unit and touches the Lake Superior, Michigan and Huron on the eastern unit. It is dotted with tiny lakes, beautiful waterfalls, scenic shorelines, lighthouses and many hiking and canoeing trails. It is has a lot of native wildlife to see including turtles, muskrats, mink, black beers, white tailed deer, moose and wild turkeys.
  3. Picture Rocks National Lakeshore - Allow 4 hours minimum

    No visit to the UP is complete without a stop at the Picture Rocks National Lakeshore. There are various water falls and monuments along where the UP and Lake Superior meet, and the views are spectacular. You can take a three hour boat tour for $34.00 for adults or $10.00 for children 6-12 on Pictured Rocks Cruises. Five years old and younger are free. You can choose to go at sunset or on a special longer tour, but all are really great ways to see this incredible part of the United States.
  4. Eat a Pasty - Allow 30 minutes

    The local cuisine must not be missed. It is a kind of meat turnover and they are sold at most grocery stores as well as side-road stalls. Many claim to produce the best, but Lawry's Pasty shop, which has two locations, in Marquette and Ishpeming, still claims to be the best.
  5. Copper Mine - Allow 1 hour minimum

    Visit the famous Copper Island, near Houghton with its beautiful copper deposits. You can even go into one of the old copper mines - a fun adventure where you can learn about the old time history and lifestyle of the UP residents. The tours last between 45 minutes an and 3 hours and cost from $12.50-$55.00, depending on how adventurous you want to be. Most will leave with a little copper souvenir. But you can find everything from jewelry to picture frames made out of this base metal.
  6. Rent a cottage or spend a week at a campground

    The best way to enjoy the UP is by sitting still and observing the nature. All the trees and animals make this one of the U.S's more beautiful spots. There are too many locations to choose from and our smart search option here at CampingRoadTrip.com shows more than 100 campgrounds and RV parks in the Upper Peninsula. So pick your own, or just drive up to one, and you are sure to have a great time.

A trip to the UP must be a combination of both moving and sitting still and so is perfect for a RV or camping trip. The UP is truly a unique and mostly untouched environment offering many different adventures that make it the perfect place for a relaxing trip with the family.

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3 comment(s) so far...

Don't forget Tahquamenon Falls. There is a Michigan State Park Campground at the Lower Falls with 249 camp sites. If you have an RV 23ft or longer I would suggest getting a site in the Riverbend Campground. Also close by is Whitefish Point with the Great Lakes Ship Wreck Museum. In order to take in the whole area it is well worth a 2 or 3 day stay.

By bop1111 on 4/10/2012 9:03:07 PM

I am heading there next week via Ontario Ca. Thanks for the article

Bill Golden

By bgolden49 on 5/30/2012 7:50:55 PM

We love camping in the UP. Our favorite campground is Van Riper State Park near Ishpeming.

By LwFoto on 7/16/2013 8:15:20 AM
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