Book It!
From: Ontonagon, MI
Price:$ 425

$325 (Under 18) Minimum Age 7

Duration: 4 Days, 3 Nights
July 11 - 14, 2019

Or book a Custom Trip

4 Days, 3 Nights
Skill Rating:
Ontonagon, MI
$ 425

$325 (Under 18) Minimum Age 7

Minimum Age 7
Included: Campsite permits, food, dishes and utensils, tents, instruction
Not Included: Transportation to/from location, personal gear including packs, park stickers

Bring the family along on this introductory backpacking trip to the scenic north woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. You’ll forget that you’re the Midwest as you hike the Lake Superior Shoreline amongst cascading waterfalls that plummet from the scenic bluffs of the Porcupine Mountains -- named by the Objibwe Native Americans for the resemblance to a porcupine when viewed in profile. This trip will take you through old growth forests, along scenic bluffs and winding rivers. It’s incredible how rejuvenated you feel returning to civilization after a few days living the simple life.


Day 1: We meet at park headquarters mid-afternoon. We'll make introductions, go over our route and the contents of our packs, and prepare to head out. Depending on availability and the composition of the group, we may stay in a rustic cabin the first night, or set up our tents at an easily accessible campsite.

Day 2 & 3: We break camp in the morning and pack up, hiking between 5 and 10 miles each day, taking plenty of time to enjoy the beauty of the woods and the spectacular views. We'll set up our tents in a new campsite each night, preparing dinner, relaxing around a campfire, and then curling up in our sleeping bags for a good night's rest.

Day 4: We break camp a final time, and head back toward civilization, putting down our packs and bidding farewell to our companions at about noon to return to our homes. **This itinerary is subject to change.

Clothing & Equipment:

You should dress in layers for warmth and for easy removal to prevent overheating. All items should be waterproofed and packed inside your backpack with the exception of your sleeping pad (which can be strapped to the outside of your pack), and sleeping bag (which should be waterproofed and strapped to the bottom of most external frame backpacks).
In thinking about your child they will be expected to have the same gear as any adult.
Your goal should be to keep all your gear weight to 25 % to 30% of you total body weight. This rule can include children.

  • Raingear (jacket and pants). Ponchos are unacceptable.
  • 2 T-shirts
  • 1 Towel
  • 1 Shirt (long sleeved cotton or synthetic)
  • Fleece jacket or sweater
  • Sun/Rain/Cold hat
  • 2 Socks - 1 wool and liner socks if you use them
  • 1 pair fast-drying long pants NO BLUE JEANS or cotton
  • Underwear and 1 pair synthetic long underwear NO COTTON
  • Bandanas (optional)
  • 1 Pair shorts
  • 1 Well broken-in pair of light weight hiking boots. Gortex soft shells are very good.
  • 1 pair sandals (something comfortable to wear in camp)

Equipment List

  • Pocket Knife (Can be shared with family members)
  • Toiletry Kit (toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, biodegradable soap/shampoo, sunscreen, face cream, tampons, nail clipper, personal medicines, etc.)
  • Bug repellent (a must up North!)
  • Sleeping Bag (compact 3 season), closed-cell foam pad
  • Small flashlight w/extra battery and bulb. Headlamps are preferred. (Cannot be shared)
  • Large plastic cup with handle - commuter mug
  • Backpack (internal or external frame) at least 4,000 cubic inches.
  • Matches or lighter (in waterproof container)
  • Water bottle (at least 1 quart)

Optional Equipment

  • Fishing rod (collapsible with container and license) and tackle
  • Camera, film, waterproof container
  • Fleece pants or comfortable clothes for evening in camp
  • Sew/repair kit
  • Ziploc storage bags
  • Compass
  • Headnet (for bugs)
  • A waterproof backpack cover

What is special about this trip?
We love the cascading waterfalls, pristine Lake Superior shoreline, ridiculously starry night skies, old growth forests and really living the simple life for a long weekend. The “Porkies” are a national treasure, and they’re right here in the Midwest!

How do I get there?
We usually take highway 51 on our way up to the Porkies. It is easy to follow and stays on 4 lane roads longer than most of the other routes.

How and where will you meet me?
Your guide(s) will let you know whether the group will meet at the visitor center or the Lake of Clouds parking lot. Arrival time is 2 PM.

How long will it take me to get there?
The drive from the Chicago area takes about 8-9 hours and is well worth it!

Where should I stay overnight around there?
If you plan to stop en route or spend some extra time in the UP’s gorgeous north woods, give the office a call for a recommendation on a great place to stay.

What money should I take?
You won’t need any money during the trip. Just bring traveling money.

Do they take plastic there? Are there cash stations?"
The shops and restaurants in Silver City and Ontonagon accept major credits cards and ATMs are readily available.

What's the weather like?
It’s pretty similar to summer weather in Chicago. Highs are in the 80s with overnight lows in the mid 50s - 60s. You’ll find that Lake Superior is a bit chilly if you decide to take a dip - invigorating!

What are the accommodations like?
We stay in trailside backcountry campsites along Lake Superior. We bring lightweight 2-man Eureka tents.

What do I need to bring?

We will send you a gear list upon registration.

Can I drink the water?
Some insist that you can drink the water straight from Lake Superior or any of the rivers running through the Porkies, but use filtration pumps, boiling or purification tablets to treat all our drinking and cooking water.

What's the food like?
We begin each day with a hot breakfast of coffee, tea or hot chocolate, oatmeal, fruit and trail snacks. We eat trail lunches of sandwiches (tuna, summer sausage, peanut butter), dried fruit, trail mix, cookies, etc. Feel free to bring a favorite energy bar or snack, but don’t feel obliged to. Typical dinners are spaghetti dishes, beans and rice, Thai noodles or Jambalaya.

What time zone will I be in?
US Eastern Time Zone

How can people reach me in an emergency? Can I call home?
Cell phone coverage is spotty at best in the area, but the park office land line can be reached at (906) 885-5275.

How much time do we spend traveling each day? How many miles? Do I have free time?
Our route is extremely flexible so we can accommodate any mileage desires. Typically we hike between 4 and 11 miles a day. This leaves plenty of time to relax, swim or explore more of the park in the afternoon.

What kind of equipment do you use?
We use high quality, durable equipment for all our backpacking trips. We bring several Whisperlite stoves and Katadyn filtration pumps.

How many people are on this trip? How many guides? Who are the guides / what are their qualifications?
Typically, between 4 and 8 people join us on this trip. The guides are experienced outdoor professionals and hold certifications in Wilderness First Aid.

How can I prepare physically for the trip? How much prior experience is needed?
No prior backpacking experience is necessary for this trip. To prepare physically, the best thing to do is take several hikes while carrying a pack. Load your pack with 20-30 lbs and walk on a trail (really, any soft surface will do). As your fitness improves, increase the duration of your hikes rather than the weight in your pack.