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Contact: Scott Berry, (906) 387-3700
Backcountry camping at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore has doubled in growth in the last five years. The increase in usage has made it more difficult for backpackers to get reservations and a more labor intensive process for park staff to fufill reservations with our current system. After hearing from users about our permit process and talking to other parks, we have decided to switch to an online reservation system.
Begininning at 10 am on March 28, 2017, all backcountry camping permits and reservations must be obtainted via www.recreation.gov. Phone reservations can be done by calling 1-877-444-6777 or 518-885-3639 (for international travels). The phone system hours are: 10 am - 12 am EST March 1 through October 31 and 10 am - 10 pm EST November 1 through February 28. While it is highly recomended during the summer season to make reservations in advance, if backcountry campsites are still available, day of reserving will still be an available option. This can be done via the backcountry campers' own devices (via phone/internet) or with help from park staff at Munising Falls and Grand Sable visitor centers. For those using the visitor center reservation services, a credit card will be required.
Recreation.gov allows backcountry campers to make reservations, go over rules and regulations, and print out their permits. Backpacking campers will no longer have to go to a park visitor center to pick up their permits. This is good news for those backpackers who in the past, arrived after the visitor centers closed for the day. Only those utilizing kayaks (or other paddling vessels) to access backcountry camping sites will be required to check-in at visitor centers before heading out. All backcountry users should still check for the latest weather and safety conditions before starting any trip.
While we understand this is a substaintial change, we believe this is the best option for the park and for backcountry campers. Recreation.gov is utilized by many other federal recreational areas to great success. We appreciate the public's patience a we continue to develop the reservation program in the coming months.
Until we switch to recreation.gov, backcountry camping permits mut be obtained in person at the Interagency Visitor Center in Munising, MI. For anyone who wishes to make a reservation for backcountry camping for the time period from January 1 to March 27, 2017 this can be done through the old mailing or faxing form.
For more information on backcountry camping at Pictured Rocks NL, visit our Backcountry Camping page.