Welcome to the Beaver Basin Wilderness

President Obama signs the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009 into law on March 30 at the White House. Also pictured from left to right: Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Senator Robert Bennett (R-UT) (White House Photo, 3/30/09, Chuck Kennedy)
President Obama signs the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009

White House photo

On March 30, 2009, President Obama signed the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 into law. Among other actions, this Act created the Beaver Basin Wilderness within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The 11,740-acre Beaver Basin Wilderness was proposed as part of the 2004 General Management Plan, and provides permanent legal protection for this part of the lakeshore.

The Beaver Basin Wilderness includes 13 miles of stunning Lake Superior shoreline from Spray Falls on the west to Sevenmile Creek on the east. The wilderness is some 3.5 miles deep.

The Beaver Basin Wilderness offers opportunities for quiet, solitude, wilderness recreation, and spiritual renewal. The wilderness zone includes 8.4 miles of the North Country National Scenic Trail and 8.5 miles of connector trails, as well as backcountry campgrounds with individual and group sites.

View of Beaver Basin forests in autumn and Lake Superior in distance from overlook
View from the Beaver Basin Overlook in the fall. Four-wheel drive is recommended to get to this spot.

NPS photo

Trail access into the Beaver Basin Wilderness is mainly from the day-use parking area near the end of 3-mile Little Beaver Lake Road. This is a narrow, unpaved road restricted to single vehicle units less than 36 feet in length and vehicle/trailer combinations less than 42 feet. Little Beaver Lake Road is approximately 18 miles east of Munising along Alger County Road H-58.

There is also a 3-mile, rough backcountry road that leads to the Beaver Basin Overlook picnic area / trailhead. This road is located off H-58 approximately 1 mile east of Little Beaver Lake Road. Four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended for this unpaved road.

Visitors can also hike into the wilderness zone along the North County Scenic Trail adjacent to Lake Superior - check the park map for details.

Visitor to the Beaver Basin ponders the edge of a peaceful pond.
Visitor ponders a beaver dam

NPS photo

Traditional recreation uses are allowed within the wilderness zone including hunting, fishing, day hiking, overnight backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and more. Check at a visitor center for information on activities. Pets are not allowed on trails, beaches, or lakes within the wilderness zone.

Electric motors only are permitted on Little Beaver and Beaver Lakes, as those lakes are within the wilderness boundary. Motor boats on Lake Superior are free to beach along the Lake Superior shoreline adjacent to the wilderness area.

Vehicle access and car camping is allowed at Little Beaver Lake Campground because it is outside the wilderness boundary.

Clear waters of a pond in the Beaver Basin Wilderness
Pond within the Beaver Basin Wilderness

NPS photo

More about the Beaver Basin Wilderness

  • Three beautifully clear lakes: Beaver Lake - 762 acres, Trappers Lake - 45 acres, Legion Lake - 35 acres.

  • Five cold water streams: Lowney Creek, Arsenault Creek, Sevenmile Creek, Little Beaver Creek, and Beaver Creek.

Green springtime forest view from the Beaver Basin overlook.
Overlooking the Beaver Basin Wilderness

NPS photo

  • Extensive wetlands and clear streams providing habitat for native coaster brook trout and other fish. Old growth cedar swamp exhibiting healthy regeneration, an important browse species for white-tailed deer.

  • Popular fish species including brook trout, largemouth, smallmouth and rock bass, northern pike, and white sucker.

The bridge over Beaver Creek in the frosty winter.
Beaver Creek bridge in winter

NPS photo

  • Extensive beech-maple upland hardwood forest habitat for numerous mammals, birds, and flowering plants including black bear, timber wolf, American marten and fisher, migrating songbirds, raptors (such as bald eagle, barred owl, peregrine falcon, waterfowl and upland game birds), and spring wildflowers.

  • An interesting pattern of glacial geology including post-glacial meltwater channels, escarpments, and Lake Nipissing beach ridges.

Map with legend shows the boundaries of the Beaver Basin Wilderness at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Last updated: December 13, 2022

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 40
Munising, MI 49862


Munising Falls Visitor Center

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