40 Amazing North Shore Campgrounds on Lake Superior

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Minnesota’s Arrowhead Region and North Shore of Lake Supierior is arguably our favorite place on earth. We love everythign about it, from the expansive views of the big lake to the hidden gems tucked into the hillsides.

While there are many resorts and hotels in the area, we think camping is the best way to experience the area. And if you are reading this, then you must too!

Below is a list of 40 north shore campgrounds covering everything from big RVs to hidden primitive tent sites that is broken down into four sections:

Minnesota State Park Campgrounds

Crosby Manitou State Park is one of the best north shore campgrounds on Lake Superior in MN
Enjoying the cascades camping at George Crosby Manitou State Park

Minnesota has an amazing state park system, and some of the best state parks are located on the North Shore of Lake Superior. All provide a wide variety of camping options, from large RV sites to hidden backpack-only sites.

Almost all state parks on the north shore also have largegroup sites, clean bathhouses, a picnic area, an daccess to the superior hiking trail.

Read More: Why We Love Canoe-in Sites at Bear Head Lake State Park

Cascade River State Park Campground

Cascade River State Park Campground sits on the Cascade River and is most well known for the Cascades, a series of five small waterfalls that are easily accessible. The campground has 40 drive-in sites, four pull-through sites, and 5 backpack sites. It also has a full set of amenities.

George H. Crosby Manitou State Park Campground

George Crosby Manitou State Park is one of our favorite north shore state parks, largely due to its remote nature and the stunning hiking trails. There are 21 sites, but all are primitive backpack sites with varying hikes.

Read More: George Crosby Manitou State Park – The Ultimate Guide

Gooseberry Falls State Park Campground

Gooseberry Falls State Park is one of the more popular parks on the North Shore, largely for the picturesque waterfalls. The campground has 69 drive-in sites, 3 pull-through sites and one kayak/canoe-in site. None of the sits have electric hookups.

Read More: 25 Beautiful Waterfalls in Duluth, Minnesota

Judge C.R. Magney State Park Campground

Judge C.R. Magney State Park is a lesser traveled state park near Grand Marais. It is best known for Devil’s Kettle Waterfall. This north shore campground has 27 drive-in sites accomodating RVs up to 45 feet.

Split Rock Lighthouse State Park Campground

Split Rock Lighthouse State Park is one of our favorites and make sure you book early as these sites fill up fast! The campground has 46 drive-in sites at Shipwreck Creek Campground, five accessible sites, 4 backpack sites, and 20 cart-in sites (our favorite).

Temperance River State Park Campground

Temperance River State Park is known for the impressive Temperance River Gorge and accompanying hiking trails. This north shore campground has 52 drive-in sties, 2 pull-through sites, and 6 cart-in sites.

Tettegouche State Park Campground

Our favorite part of Tettegouche State Park are the waterfalls and heading over to Shovel Point, our old rock climbing hangout! The campground has 28 drive-in sites, 5 backpacking sites, 6 walk-in sites, and 13 cart-in sites.

Private North Shore Campgrounds

View form above at Lamb's Resort, a north shore campground on Lake Superior in MN.
Image: View from above at Lamb’s Resort & Campground

In addition to state-run campsites, there are also a number of north shore campgrounds that are run bay private companies. Many are part of historic lodges and come with access to all of the resort’s facilities.

Read More: 35+ Best Ice Fishing Lakes in Minnesota

Golden Eagle Lodge Campground

Golden Eagle Lodge is a family oriented, year round resort and campground on Flour Lake in the Superior National Forest about halfway up the Gunflint Trail.

The adjacent campground has 9 sites for tents and RVs. On-site there is a centralized dump station and two shower rooms with bathrooms. Each site has water and electricity hookups.

Grand Portage Lodge RV Park

Grand Portage Lodge and Casino also operates a campground right on the rocky coastline of Lake Superior in Minnesota. They have 29 sites with full hookups, restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities. They also have a couple of tent sites that are available.

Their north shore campground is open from May 12 through October 14th.

Gunflint Pines Campground

We often stay at Gunflint Pines Campground when we are entering the BWCA from Magnetic Lake Entry Point. They are a full service resort with plenty of camping sites, cabins, full electric and water, a bathhouse, laundromat, playground, lodge/store building, and more.

We think they are one of the best spots to stay if you are interested in the farthest reaches of the Gunflint Trail.

Hungry Jack Campground

Hungry Jack Lodge and Campground is the only resort on Hungry Jack Lake in the BWCA. It is an ideal base for day trips into the BWCA. Their campground has room for large motor-homes, 5th wheels, travel trailers, pop-ups, and tents. All sites are secluded and wooded.

Best part? They have free hot showers and a sauna!

Read More: Minnesota Fishing Trips – Best MN Guides and Charters

Lamb’s Campground

Lamb’s Resort and Campground is the only North Shore Campground with sites right on the lake. They offer primitive tent sites and RV sites with full hook-ups. There is a bathroom with flush toilets, sinks, and hot showers.

The highlight is really the views of magestic Lake Superior!

Lax Lake Campground

Lax Lake Resort and Campground has been around since 1928 and is located a couple of miles off of Highway 61 on Lax Lake. They have 15 sites for campers of all types, two of which can accommodate a pull-thru camper or motorhome with a maximum length of 32 ft.

We love the history of Lax Lake and the Waxlax family that settled the area in the late 1800s.

North Shore Camping Company

North Shore Camping Company is a relative newcomber in the north shore campground scene. They offer a glamping experience with 30 tälts, or wall tents. They are open year round and provide basically everything you need to enjoy a night in the woods.

Read More: 21 Best North Shore Breweries – MN Lake Superior Beer Tour

Nor’wester Lodge Campgrounds

Norwester Lodge and Canoe Outfitters is located on Poplar Lake off of the Gunflint Trail. They offer cabin rentals canoe outfitting and canoe rentals, and a full campground. They offer RV or tenting sites right on the shore of Poplar Lake. Furthermore, they can accommodate up to 40 ft motorhomes.

Penmarallter Campground

Penmaralter Campsite is located in Two Harbors and is one of the more famous North Shore Campgrounds. They have 24 RV sites spread across 13 acres. Sites have full hook-ups and beautiful views of the North Shore of Lake Superior.

White Pine Campground

White Pine Lodge (formerly Big Bear Lodge) is located on Poplar Lake off of th Gunflint Trail. In addion to the lodge and cabins they also offer four rustic campsites for tents. All campsite guests have access to the main lodge, restaurant, and bar.

Read More: Mummy vs Rectangular Sleeping Bag – Which is Best?

Municipal North Shore Campgrounds

View of the campsites by the shore of Lake Superior at Black Beach Campground
Image: Black Beach Campbround

Municipal campgrounds are becoming rarer by the day, but there are still acouple of holdouts about midway up Highway 51. All are geared more towards RV camping.

Black Beach Campground

Black Beach Campground is a municipal campground operated by the City of Silver Bay. It is located by Black Beach, one our favorite North Shore swimming beach.

The campground has 49 sites spread across 14.5 acres. They have electric-only sites and full-hookup sits. Tents are welcome as well.

Burlington Bay Campground

Burlington Bay Campground is a municipal campground operated by the city of Two Harbors. They have 66 sites with water and electric hookups, 36 sites with full hookups, and 34 sites with full hookups and 50 amp electrical hookups.

In addition, there are 10 primitive tent sites.

Grand Marais Campground and Marina

Grand Marais Campground and RV Park is located right next to downtown Grand Marais and is operated by the city. They have almost 300 sites that can host everything from large RVs to tents. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring.

Grand Marais Marina also has boat slips and a boat ramp with direct access to the lake.

Spirit Mountain Campground

Spirit Mountain Campground is located at the famous Spirit Mountain ski area. It is currently owned by the City of Duluth and has 73 campsites with fire pits, picnic tables, and electricity. In addition, there are 39 sites with water hookups and two shower buildings.

Best part, you are right next to Spirit Mountain Adventure Park.

National & State Forest Campgrounds

Our favorite north shore campground for when we enter into the BWCA: Kawishwi Lake Rustic Campground
A snapping turtle nesting at our campground at Kawishiwi Lake Rustic Campground

Much of northern Minnesota is part of either by the Superior National Forest or Finland State Forest. Both have a tone of north shore campgrounds, but be forewarned, all are rustic and available on a first-come first-served basis. None are electric sites with full hookups.

Read More: Walk Up Camping – 8 Tips for Securing the Best Site

Baker Lake Rustic Campground

Baker Lake Rustic Campground is located in a beautiful stand of red pine on the shores of Baker Lake. This campground has 5 sites, two of which can accommodate an RV over 21 feet. It is one of few National Forest campgrounds with a solar-powered drinking water pump.

Clara Lake Rustic Campground

Clara Lake Rustic Campground is located in a large stand of pine trees on Clara Lake. It is a small campground with only three sites, none of which are great for RVs.

Crescent Lake Campground

Crescent Lake Campground offers a variety of camping options, including drive-in sties, walk-in sites, a group site, and a handicap accessible site.

There are 33 sites and one backcountry site that is only accessible by boat (our favorite!). There is also a boat launch.

Read More: The Best Boundary Waters Packing List for Canoe Trips

Cascade River Rustic Campground

Cascade River Rustic Campground is a small campground that is perfect for people fishing the Cascade River. There are 4 pull-in sites that are small and are not great for RVs.

Devil Track Lake Campground

Devil Track Lake Campground is a nicely wooded campground on the shores of Devil Track Lake. There are 16 pull-in sites that are small and are not great for RVs.

East Bearskin Lake Campground

East Bearskin Lake Campground is located on East Bearskin Lake on the edge of the BWCA and serves as a great base camp. It is a great chance to experience the Boundary Waters without planning a long trip.

There are 32 pull-in sites that are small and are not great for RVs and a couple of ADA compliant rental cabins.

Read More: 52 BWCA Permit Pick Up Locations – Complete List with Map

Eckbeck Campground

Eckbeck Campground is actually located in Finland State Forest, not Superior National Forest. The campground is adjacent to the Baptism River. There are 31 campsites, two of which are handicap accessible.

Finland MN Campground

Finland Campground is located at the confluence of the east and west branches of the Baptism River by the village of Finland. There are 39 campsites, one of which is handicap accessible.

Flour Lake Campground

Flour Lake Campground is located on the shore of Flour Lake on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. It is linked to East Bearskin Lake and Moon Lake via portage. There are 37 campsites, some of which can accommodate an RV.

Read More: 70+ BWCA Entry Points – The Complete List

Iron Lake Campground

Iron Lake Campground is unique doe to its small size and remote location. The area was burned in the 2007 Ham Lake fire, signs of which are still visible. There are only 7 campsites.

Kawishiwi Lake Rustic Campground

We have stayed at this campground many times going into our exiting the Boundary Waters. There are 5 small campsites. Kawishiwi Lake access requires a BWCA permit.

Read More: The Best Beginner Trip to the Boundary Waters with Kids

Kimball Lake Campground

Kimball Lake Campground is a small campground on a state-managed trout lake that is stocked with rainbow trout. There are 10 campsites.

Ninemile Lake Campground

Ninemile Lake Campground provides access to Ninemile Lake and its islands and hidden bays. There are 24 campsites.

Read More: Camping Survival Kit for Kids – 13 Essential Items

Sawbill Lake Campground

Sawbill Lake Campground is an excellent campground. We often stay there with larger groups in the fall. It provides access to the BWCA via Sawbill Lake and is adjacent to Sawbill Canoe Outfitters. It is a larger campground with 52 sites and an RV dump station on site.

Read More: How to Clean Camping Water Containers – 3 Simple Methods

Sullivan Lake Campground

Sullivan Lake Campground is located in Finland State Forest. There are four day-use only picnic sites on Sullivan Lake that are fun to explore. There are 11 drive-in sites and one handicap accessible site.

Temperance River Campground

You will drive by Temperance River Campground on your way to Sawbill and Kawishiwi Lakes above. There are 9 campsites.

Read More: How to Dispose of Camping Gas Canisters – 6 Easy Methods

Trails End Campground

As the name suggests, Trails End Campground is at the very end of the Gunflint Trail. It is a lovely area! It has 32 campsites, many of which are walk-in only and have lake access.

Two Island Campground

Two Island Campground is located well off the beaten path near Grand Marais. It is near the Eagle Mountain Hiking Trail and the Twin Lakes Canoe Route. There are 38 campsites.

Read More: Canoecopia 2023 – The Ultimate Paddling Expo

White Pine Lake Rustic Campground

White Pine Lake Rustic Campground is located on the beautiful White Pine Lake that is surrounded by white pines. It is a tiny campground with only 3 sites.

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