Camping Permits, Fees, and Reservations

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Looking out through the forest at a boat tied up to a dock on a lake.
NPS Photo

Camping Permits

Camping permits and fees are required for all camping in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The permit system allows campers to reserve campsites in advance. Each permit is good for up to 14 consecutive nights of camping. Camping permits are non-transferable. You can reserve individual, primitive, and group campsites and obtain a permit at Recreation.gov. The email confirmation you receive from Recreation.gov is NOT your permit! You must go into your recreation.gov account and print your official permit. If the permit is not printed two days prior to the start of the trip it can be picked up in person at the Lakeshore's Visitor Center in Bayfield. A $10 reservation fee is also charged for each trip. The fees must be paid when the reservation is made.

Group Sites

A party of eight to twenty-one people is considered a group. All groups must use designated group campsites. Group camping permit reservations may be made beginning in January for that year via Recreation.gov after the group camping lottery. Every January, the park conducts a group camping lottery for individuals and Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) holders, to reserve group campsites for that year. After the lottery is concluded, all remaining campsites and dates are available for reservation. Learn more about the group camping permit lottery.

Amenities: All campsites have a fire ring and bear resistant food locker. In general, they also include a picnic table and tent pad, and nearby privy.

Accessibility: Individual site #1 on Stockton Island at Presque Isle and site #3 on Sand Island are Accessible. Groups sites A & B on Stockton at Quarry Bay and group site C on Sand Island are Accessible. All have boardwalks leading from the docks to the campsites and vault toilets, as well as raised wooden decks for tent pads, which connect with the boardwalk. Picnic tables and fire rings are all designed to be Accessible. If you need these sites, please request them when making a permit reservation.

 

Build Your Itinerary

How to make a reservation online.

To make camping reservations and obtain a camping permit go to Recreation.gov or call the Bayfield headquarters to speak to a Park Ranger at 715-779-3397, select option 2. Please note that you can only book an itinerary within a 30 day window of when you want to start your trip, and does not include group camping.

  1. Go to Recreation.gov.

  2. Make sure to select Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Camping Permits.

  3. Build Itinerary (blue box on the right).

  4. Search for campsites and select dates by adding group size in upper left corner.

  5. After you select the dates click Book Now.

  6. Log in to account or create a new log in for recreation.gov.

  7. Fill out the general information page including: address, entry & exit points, vehicle information, and emergency contact information.

  8. Proceed to cart.

  9. Select Book Now and pay with your credit card online. Write down the confirmation number and print off your permit to have with you while camping on the islands.

 

Refunds and Itinerary Changes

A 50% refund of nightly camping fees may be issued for the cancellation of an entire trip if the cancellation is made at least eight days before the start of the trip. The $10 reservation fee is nonrefundable. No refunds will be issued after the start of a trip. No refunds will be issued for partial cancellations.

If itinerary changes are necessary once a camping trip is underway, please contact park staff by calling (715)779-3397 ext. 2, or in person whenever possible. Present your camping permit to park staff when making these itinerary changes. There is no charge for changes due to severe weather conditions, campsite closures, or if the Apostle Islands Cruises Camper shuttle is cancelled. Campers choosing to make itinerary changes for other reasons, seven days or less from the start of a trip, or during the trip, will be charged a $15 fee each time they make a change to the itinerary. Permits are non-transferable.

Campers planning to use the Apostle Islands Cruise Service Camper Shuttle to reach Oak, Michigan, or Stockton Island can obtain a full refund of their nightly camping fees (the $10 reservation fee is nonrefundable) if the shuttle is cancelled. Verification from the Apostle Islands Cruise Service Camper Shuttle will need to be provided in order to obtain the refund.

 
A boardwalk along a tree lined edge of a lake.
The Tombolo Savannah Trail on Stockton Island.

NPS Photo/M. Carlson

Last updated: August 24, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

415 Washington Avenue
Bayfield, WI 54814

Phone:

(715) 779-3397

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