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Some of the best camping locations along Minnesota’s North Shore
Are you planning a camping trip to Minnesota’s North Shore? As someone who has camped in this area before, let me tell you – it’s an incredible experience. The rugged beauty of Lake Superior and the surrounding Northwoods is not to be missed.
Before you pack up your gear and hit the road, there are a few things you should know. From the best campsites to tips for staying comfortable in changing weather, I’m here to help you plan the ultimate North Shore camping adventure. So grab a cup of coffee, and let’s get’s get started!
What is the best camping along Minnesota’s north shore?
Spirit Mountain Knife River Campground
In Duluth, this campground is nestled in a rugged area surrounded by the Northwoods. With activities like hiking, mountain biking, and river tubing, there’s something for everyone. RVs are welcome, and the campground provides access to the Knife River for fishing.
This scenic campground is on the shores of Lake Superior near Two Harbors. It’s known for its stunning views and peaceful surroundings. RVs are welcome, and there’s easy beach access for swimming and relaxing by the water.
Burlington Bay Campground
This campground is in the heart of Two Harbors and offers both RV and tent camping. It’s a great spot for families, with access to the beach, playground, and a bike trail that connects to nearby parks.
Burlington Bay is within walking distance of downtown Two Harbors. So you won’t miss out on any of the fun. Plus you can paddle board right out into the bay. The campground sites are a little close for my comfort in the RV section, but the tenters have a little more privacy.
Gooseberry Falls State Park
Known for its iconic waterfall, this campground is a must-visit destination. The park features hiking trails, fishing, and easy access to Lake Superior. RVs are welcome. There are no lake view sites, but you can take a short walk to see the lake.
One of the things I love about camping at Gooseberry Falls State Park is that you’ll get first view at the waterfall. The camp doesn’t open to the public until 8am, like all other state parks. But at 7am, I guarantee you’ll be the only one at the waterfall!
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
This campground offers stunning views of the lighthouse and Lake Superior. It’s a great spot for hiking, biking, and fishing. This is one of the only places you can string up a hammock on the cliffsides of Superior.
This past year they added a RV park setback away from the shore. You can also do some remote sites that require you to backpack in.
North Shore Camping Co
In Two Harbors, this boutique campground offers unique glamping experiences. They even have Airstream trailers and yurts. It’s a great option for those who want a more luxurious camping experience.
We have some amazing things to do along Minnesota’s North Shore. Camping is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve mapped out some of my favorites for you to stop at: 28+ Stops on the North Shore’s Highway 61 – Minnesota’s Road Trip
Black Beach Campground
Tettegouche State Park
This beautiful park offers stunning views of Lake Superior, as well as hiking trails, fishing, and rock climbing. RVs are welcome, and there are some sites with lake views. The sites are set back away from the lake, giving you some reprieve from the wind. But you are still close enough to the wonderful waterfalls.
George Crosby Manitou State Park
This remote park is known for its pristine wilderness and beautiful lakes. It’s a great spot for hiking and fishing. Tent camping is the only option here, and the park is not RV friendly. The sites are along the Superior Hiking Trail, and have their own shelters.
Temperance River State Park
This unique park is known for its beautiful river and stunning waterfalls. It’s a great spot for hiking, fishing, and photography. RVs are welcome, and there are some sites with river views. Temperance River is absolutely stunning in the morning and evening. Seriously, you gotta see it for yourself.
Cascade River State Park
This park offers easy access to the Cascade River, as well as hiking trails and fishing. RVs are welcome, and there are some sites with river views. Plus you’ll have the opportunity to see all the stunning waterfalls at first light.
If camping sounds like a little too much roughing it, there is a bunch of great vacation rentals, cabins and hotels that will make you feel like you are staying in a spa. Here are some of my favorites: Where to stay on the North Shore in Minnesota | Amazing Locations
Grand Marais Campground & Marina
This campground is in the charming town of Grand Marais and offers easy access to the harbor and shops. RVs are welcome, and there are some sites with lake views. There is tons of great things to do in Grand Marais, all within walking distance of the campground.
Judge CR Magney State Park
This remote park is known for its beautiful Brule River and hiking trails. Tent camping is the only option here, and the park is not RV friendly. But this remote park is absolutely amazing. Plus you’ll also get to see the amazing Judge CR Magney State Park.
Grand Portage Marina & RV Park
This campground is near the Canadian border and offers easy access to Grand Portage National Monument. RVs are welcome, and there are some sites with lake views.
Aside from the Natioanl Monument, the is the Grand Portage State Park just a few miles further north. But they do not have any camping, just a day use only area. It’s still worth a visit to see the largest waterfall in Minnesota.
Can You Disperse Camp in Minnesota?
Minnesota has strict regulations on camping, and this includes dispersal camping.
You are able to go camping in the national forests of Minnesota, so long as you abide by the regulations set by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Some national forests in the state provide dispersed camping opportunities.
Before setting out on your camping adventure, make sure to research the area-specific regulations. Keep in mind that fire restrictions are also enforced in some areas, and it’s critical to comply with them to prevent wildfires.
The Superior Hiking Trail is a great place for dispersed camping. With designated sites every 2-6 miles, you’ll have an amazing backcountry experience. I’ve been up a few time, but my favorite trip as to Section 13.
Can You Camp on Lake Superior’s Shoreline?
This get’s a little tricky. Most of the shoreline is on private property or part of a State Park. There are plenty of great campsites you can reserve.
One of the best places is Split Rock Lighthouse State Parks cart in sites. They are nesteled right up on the cliff sides.
You can also find some good sites at Temperance River State Park. They accommodate RVs, and have some trees obstructing the view.
If you want full panoramic views of Lake Superior with beach access, you really need to stay at Burlington Bay Campground. They accommodate both RV’s and Tents.
Getting a shoreline view of Lake Superior in Minnesota is a bit of an Olympic sport and requires a little luck too. The sites usually fill up the day reservations go up.
Tips for Camping on the North Shore
It’s important to come prepared for variable weather. Even in the summer months, temperatures can dip at night, so be sure to bring warm layers, rain gear, and a sturdy tent.
Another key consideration is location – the North Shore is home to many beautiful state parks and campgrounds, but they can fill up quickly in peak season. It’s a good idea to make reservations in advance if you can.
Don’t forget to pack plenty of food, water, and extra blankets. While they do have stores along the north shore, they are few and far between. With some careful planning and foresight, a camping trip on the North Shore is amazing!
Ready to start planning?
As someone who has camped along Minnesota’s North Shore, I can tell you firsthand, you won’t want to miss this trip. With its rugged beauty, stunning lake views, and endless outdoor activities, there’s truly something for everyone. From the sprawling forests to the tucked-away beaches, the North Shore is a true camping paradise.
So what are you waiting for? Get your gear ready, make your reservations in advance, and embark on an unforgettable camping adventure along Minnesota’s North Shore. Trust me, you won’t regret it. I know I can’t wait to go back!