Many travelers coming from the east forget about the other side of the U.P. - don't miss the Wild West!
You will really get the flavor of the whole Peninsula by taking a loop route within it. Start at the bridge, then go:
1) I-75 north to Sault Ste Marie
2) Back south to M-28, then west, and north at Newberry to Tahquamenon Falls
3) Farther west on M-28, then MAYBE north at Munising to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (You don't want to go there anywhere near peak season. Even if you are lucky enough to find a campsite, the place has received heavy promotion by the state and things are unbelievably crazy with tourist traffic, enough to make the experience unpleasant - to me, at least.)
4) West to Marquette, then farther west and north on U.S. 41; this will take you up the Keweenaw Peninsula, to Houghton/Hancock and as far as Copper Harbor (the Downtown L'Anse waterfront on Keweenaw Bay is a nice stop on the way )
5) South from Houghton/Hancock on M-26 to M-38 west, which will take you to Ontonagon (worth a stop even though most people bypass it to go to the Porkies)
6) West from Ontonagon on M-64 to Silver City, continuing west to the Porcupine Mountains State Park
7) Either back to M-64 south to M-28 west, OR south and west on South Boundary Road to the west end of the Porkies (highly recommended - large beautiful waterfalls on the Presque Isle River) then back south to M-28
8) Either continue west to Ironwood, or turn east onto U.S. 2 at Wakefield to take the southern route back to the bridge
9) U.S. 2 will take you all the way back east - but don't be afraid to divert a bit on some of the state highways to other towns and campgrounds (Gladstone is one nice stop)
Hopefully this all makes sense if you're looking at a map!
The southwest part of the U.P. (Bruce Crossing-Bergland-Wakefield-Marenisco-Watersmeet areas) gets some of the least tourist traffic (most visitors come from the Lower Peninsula, and most of them don't make it that far west). If you like quiet, this is the place to be, with some beautiful campgrounds in the Ottawa National Forest. Developed campgrounds with hookups and appropriate for very large RVs are less common.
Besides some rustic campgrounds that will remain unnamed
, some of my favorites are:
- Gladstone Bay Campground, Gladstone
- Perkins Park, Big Bay
- Van Riper State Park, Champion (lots of highway noise, though)
- L'Anse Township Park, L'Anse
- Fort Wilkins State Park, Copper Harbor
- McLain State Park, Hancock