Notice: We are no longer taking reservations by mail or fax.
Beginning in 2017, backcountry permits will only be available online via www.recreation.gov. Online reservations can be made beginning Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 10 am.
The key to a successful trip is careful planning and preparation. Please read the Backcountry Camping Planner (PDF 13.98 MB) carefully for details on permits and the backcountry. When planning your itinerary, keep in mind the time of year, terrain, weather, and the physical condition of everyone in your party. Remember you can only travel as fast as the slowest person in your group.
Backcountry Camping Planner (PDF 13.98 MB) - 17 pages of important backcountry information.
A backcountry camping permit is required for all overnight stays in the backcountry. The permit is only for the dates, locations, and party size specified. Through March 27, 2017, permits are still available from the Interagency Visitor Center in Munising. Beginning March 28, 2017, permits must be obtained via www.recreation.gov. or by calling: 1-877-444-6777. International callers: 1-518-885-3635.
A Few RemindersBackcountry campers must stay in specific backcountry campgrounds as noted on their permit. Campsites are located at two to five mile intervals along the trail. Each campground has a specific capacity; individual campsites within each backcountry campground are identified by a numbered post.
Do not expect your cell phone to work in the park. Many areas do not receive reception due to cloudy conditions, hilly topography, heavy forest cover, and a lack of towers.
Hammocks are allowed in place of a tent, but you must stay within 15 feet of the numbered post at the campsite. Keep in mind that trees are not available at all sites.
Pets are not permitted. Fires are permitted only in community fire rings at the campgrounds. Fires are not allowed at the Mosquito River and Chapel Beach campgrounds.
No bikes or wheeled or motorized vehicles allowed in the backcountry
Commercial transportation is available for hikers wishing to take a bus to the starting point and hike back to their vehicle. For information, please visit the Shuttle Service webpage.
You may encounter bears and other wildlife in the backcountry. Keep a clean camp and store food in lockers.
Insects such as black flies, mosquitoes, and stable flies can be a nuisance between late May and September. Long pants and shirts and insect repellent are recommended.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is closed to hunting April 1 to Labor Day, but is open to hunting the rest of the year during small and large game seasons. Wear blaze orange or bright colors if you are concerned about being seen by hunters.