The Porcupine Mountains State Park covers 60,000 acres of beautiful wilderness, and you won’t have to look far to find something for everyone in your group to do on your trip. This adventurer’s paradise offers hiking, snowboarding, skiing, and fishing, along with swimming and kayaking to round out your adventures.
Even on your recovery days, you can take a short hike to see one of the many majestic waterfalls, and you could easily spend an entire day birdwatching or rock hunting on one of the nearby islands or shorelines.
The mountains offer so many things to do that the only problem people tend to run into is figuring out where to stay on their trip. If you’re still exploring Upper Peninsula hotels, then it helps to know the various types of lodging that are available in the Porcupine Mountains, along with their benefits and drawbacks for creating the perfect vacation.
As you explore the different options, consider how each one will support your goals for the trip. If you’re leaning more on the adventurous side, you’ll also want to think about planning a place to stay that allows you to rest and recuperate between excursions.
Get Cozy In an Ironwood Hotel
Locals will tell you that the best Upper Peninsula motel might be easier to find than you think. The Magnuson hotel is one of Ironwood’s most recently updated lodging options. It is built for the avid outdoors person with a huge parking lot that has enough room for all of your trucks, snowmobile trailers, and buses.
Its sister location, the Indianhead motel, is also a favorite place for happy-yet-exhausted adventurers to rest their heads. Here, you can pamper sore muscles after a long day of skiing in a whirlpool tub. You’ll also find amenities that include a sauna, a ski wax room, and free Wi-Fi to help you stay on top of the latest trail and weather conditions.
When you stay at a Porcupine Mountains hotel in Ironwood, you also have the opportunity to soak up the small town feeling at one of the most historic towns in the area. Make sure to leave some time in your itinerary to wander over to one of the local restaurants for a bite to eat and a delicious drink after a busy day exploring the mountains. The hotel staff will also be eager to share a few historic sites to stop by to learn more about the rich history of the area.
Try Out a Tiny House
Upper Peninsula hotels come in all sizes, and tiny houses are a fun and quirky way to spend a night during your visit to the mountains. Built in 2020, the Porcupine Mountains Union Bay Tiny Quill House is another one of the newer additions to the list of lodging options.
The miniature house is in the Union Bay campground, and it sleeps four, with room for two people to rest on the main floor and a bed for two more in the loft. If you opt for the tiny house experience, you’ll have a mini kitchen to cook in, a fire pit, a picnic table, and a grill outside. Keep in mind, however, that the tiny home is truly built with minimalism in mind. The smaller space works best when you plan to spend the majority of your day outside and just want a place indoors to catch a few hours of sleep before you head out again.
Spend a Night at a Mountain Resort
The Porcupine Mountains also have several resorts available that can provide you with a comfortable place to sleep. If you’ve ever stayed in a luxury tropical resort, then you’ll want to keep in mind that these tend to be a bit more rustic. The Konteka Black Bear Resort is located a short drive from the state park, and it has amenities such as a bowling alley and pool hall available for when you prefer some indoor action.
The Superior Shores Resort is another option that provides you with access to a private beach along the shoreline of Lake Superior. The resort does require a two-night minimum stay for the cottages, lake house, and beach house, except for the rare times when a one-night option opens up. When you stay here, you gain access to a fully-equipped kitchen along with the ability to include your kids in the reservation for free.
Choose Your Own Camping Adventure
Saying that you’ve been camping in the Porcupine Mountains is bound to earn you some admiration from others for being a true outdoor adventurer. After all, camping near the shoreline of Lake Superior or in the backcountry where the bears may be the most active are outdoor camping trips that go beyond what you’d experience at many family campgrounds.
Going camping in the Porcupine Mountains requires a little prep work since most campsites require reservations and permits for visitors to the state park. If you prefer something extremely family-friendly, you’ll want to check out the two main campgrounds available. The Union Bay campsite has full hookups along with modern restrooms that make it possible to wash up after playing along the shoreline.
The Presque Isle campground doesn’t have hookups, but there are drive-in campsites along with walk-up options. Here, you won’t find the modern restrooms that Union Bay has available, but there are vault toilets and hand pumps for water access. People also love how these sites provide easy access to the hiking trails that take you close to the gorgeous scenery.
For the truly adventurous, backcountry camping is allowed in the Porcupine Mountains. You will need to register your group for camping in the backcountry and pay a small fee. The established backcountry campsites have a metal fire ring along with a bear pole for hanging food and scented items out of reach of the local wildlife.
During your registration process, you can get essential information along with your permit, including insight into the latest weather conditions and black bear sightings. You can also get info on the state park’s rules and regulations andh tips for minimal-impact camping. Remember that backcountry camping tends to work best for those who already have some experience with spending the night outdoors. But, the adventure is worth the effort when you wake up to the sounds of local wildlife sharing their morning with your group.
Once you’ve found your ideal Porcupine Mountains hotel or campsite, you’ll want to move quickly to secure your lodging before it gets booked up. Even rustic campsites book fast, and planning ahead helps you get first pick for a place that provides the perfect amenities for a comfortable stay.
You may also want to consider the need to plan for several different types of lodging. Many people choose to include a hotel stay in their plans to rest and clean up after an extended camping trip. Choosing to stay in a nearby small town helps you to get more of a feel of the local lifestyle that helps to round out your experience as a Michigan mountain adventurer.