The National Park Service has announced that beginning on March 28, 2017, all backcountry camping permits and reservations for Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore must be obtained online at www.recreation.gov. Phone reservations may be made by calling: 1-877-444-6777. While it is highly recommended during the summer season to make reservations in advance, if backcountry campsites are still available, day-of reserving will still be an available option. The NPS stated that the change is due to increased usage of the backcountry camping areas.
Recreation.gov allows backcountry campers to make reservations, go over rules and regulations, and print out their permits. Backpacking campers will no longer have to go to a park visitor center to pick up their permits. This is good news for those backpackers who in the past, arrived after the visitor centers closed for the day. Only those utilizing kayaks or other paddling vessels to access backcountry camping sites will be required to check-in at visitor centers before heading out.
Until the switch to recreation.gov, backcountry camping permits must be obtained in person at the Interagency Visitor Center in Munising, MI. For anyone who wishes to make a reservation for backcountry camping for the time period from January 1 to March 27, 2017 this can be done through the old mailing or faxing form.