The key to a successful trip is careful planning and preparation. 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.
Use the Backcountry Camping Planner (PDF 5.88 MB) - a 24-page pamphlet of important backcountry information - to help plan your trip.
A backcountry camping permit is required for all overnight stays in the backcountry, year-round. The permit is only for the dates, locations, and party size specified. 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. Campgrounds 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. Campers reserve a space within the backcountry campground; not a specific numbered site. Numbered sites are first-come, first-served for those who have a reservation in that campground.
There are individual campsites and group campsites. Individual campsites are available for groups of 1-6 people (2 tents or hammocks maximum). Groups of 7-20 people must camp in designated group sites. Maximum three consecutive day stay at any backcountry campground. No persons or groups are permitted to camp longer than 14 days per calendar year in the lakeshore.
You may encounter bears and other wildlife in the backcountry. Keep a clean camp and store food in the provided bear-proof lockers. Campers are required to clean out lockers before departing and not leave any food or supplies behind.
Follow Leave No Trace guidelines! Be responsible caretakers while in the park and respectful of other visitors.
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.
For more information:
Backcountry Trip Planner (pdf)
Backcountry Map and Mileage (pdf)
GPS Coordinates - Backcountry Campgrounds (pdf)
Be Bear Aware site bulletin (pdf)
Beaver Basin trail map (pdf)
Beaver Basin Wilderness
For Your Safety
North Country National Scenic Trail
North Country Trail Association
Firewood and Campfires
Last updated: January 28, 2020