Date of Stay: July 29 through 30, 2010.
Weather During Stay: Mostly sunny and very pleasant - highs in the low to mid 70’s, lows in the 50’s.
Site Description: The city of Grand Marais operates this park, with 144 RV sites. A separate, somewhat secluded area has 19 primitive sites (tents only). The large, grassy campground is on a bluff above Lake Superior, with some view spaces and plenty of trees to provide some shade to most of the sites. We are in site 31, a large “lakefront” site with a view through a gap in the trees to the blue water and sandy beach of Lake Superior.
109 sites have 20/30/50 amps, water, and cable TV; the 16 remaining RV sites have no services. Most of the sites are spacious - not particularly deep, but wide – but there are a few narrow, awkward sites that were last to be claimed. Most (not all) sites look reasonably level, but frequently are lumpy. All sites are back-ins, with a heavy-duty picnic table and a fire ring.
Roads are dirt/gravel, and sites are mostly grass with patches of dirt. The campground includes two bathhouses (coin op showers, heavily used), a dump station, and access to the Lake Superior shoreline and beach. A recreation area, including a softball diamond, is adjacent to the park.
Rate: $25/night for “lakefront” sites (the view of the lake is mostly obscured by trees, but is definitely the best view); $24/night for the remaining RV sites with W/E. Tent sites and non-electric sites are $18/night. Weekly and monthly rates are available. No reservations taken - it is all first come, first served.
Phone/radio/TV: Strong Verizon signal. Our roof-mounted satellite TV worked, but this would not be true in all the sites. No problem, cable TV is included. Not sure about WiFi, but I don’t believe it is available in the campground. Computer access is available in the office for $3/half hour (yikes!). No NPR station.
Elevation/landscape/terrain: This is a flat, grassy, partly shaded campground at 800 ft. elevation on a bluff above Lake Superior. Views are of other rigs, trees, and - if you have a lake front site - a bit of the beautiful blue lake and sandy beach.
Lighting/noise: Reasonably dark and very quiet at night. Lots of noise during the day from all the campers, dogs and kids.
Favorite Sites: Because the park was very close to full when we were here, the lakefront sites were the most appealing. Most campsites were crammed with tents, clotheslines, small trailers, boats, cars and ATV’s, so sites without the open view to the front looked mighty crowded. Sites on the eastern end of the lakefront row seemed to have the best views of the lake.
Hiking/Walking: Excellent! Stairways lead down to the beach, good for strolling (and swimming) or walking the short distance to town. If you don’t want to walk on sand, take the sidewalk into town for sightseeing. Beautiful hiking trails are a short drive away in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
Comments: This large park would be a gem during the off season, but was crowded with vacationing families when we visited. Lots of activity, lots of daytime noise, lots of dogs, and lots of kids and adults cutting through campsites (what’s up with that??), the usual perils of summertime camping. We both had to ask kids camped nearby to quit throwing their softball towards (and into) our site, and Odel eventually had to give ‘em heck when the ball hit our motorhome. Where were their parents? You get the picture! On the plus side, NO bugs – amazing! It made a good base camp for exploring Pictured Rocks and we enjoyed the little town of Grand Marais. Don’t be afraid to drive to the “end of the road” for a visit.