Backpacking, Backpacking Bootcamp, Multi-Day Trips

Backpacking Bootcamp Pictured Rocks Michigan

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Date(s) - 09/23/2019 - 09/26/2019

Pictured Rocks National Seashore, Munising Michigan

Pictured Rocks National Seashore


This is one of our favorite trails to take new backpackers on. It offers a great training ground to gain experience on longer hikes. The scenic 38 miles of the Lakeshore Trail runs right through and on Pictured Rocks National Seashore. From sand dunes to deep forest, to hiking on the Pictured Rocks Cliffs themselves, this will be a amazing experience for you. But there is so much more…

The boot camp combines hiking and camping in a backcountry setting. Our primary goal is to help members become self sufficient and confident with their gear and gain the skills required to be safe while hiking..

Inspiring cliffs, miles of pristine beaches, waterfalls and Grand Sable Banks, which extend for five miles and rise 300 feet above the lake. We’ll also hike through the 12,000-acre Beaver Basin, one of the nation’s newest wilderness areas.

We’ll cover over 30 miles of moderate terrain at a relaxed pace that allows everyone to really soak in this beautiful trail We’ll be hiking along the south shore of Lake Superior on the spectacular North Country Scenic Trail. When completed, this trail will be the longest National Scenic trail in the U.S., extending 4,600 miles through America’s northern heartlands.

Course Highlights:

Pack Shakedown before we hike

Leave no Trace Principles review

Multi Using your Gear

Gear selection

Starting a Fire in wet conditions

Water Filtration techniques

Meal Preparation/Food storage/Cookware

Foot care and Hygiene on the trail

The trip begins at 9:00 a.m. Monday, in Munising, at a the Munising Falls Parking Lot. (very large parking aria where we will leave our cars). This is where we will board a shuttle for the ride to the trailhead.

During our hike we will cover 30 miles as we backpack along Lake Superior. We will take a slower but steady approach to backpacking. Our goal is not to set any speed records; rather, it is to appreciate the views in our time together. A typical day begins with coffee (and hot water) around 7:30 a.m. and breakfast at 8:00 a.m

Day One: 8:00 AM - We will shuttle to our Trail Head where there will be bathrooms and water opportunities. Pack shake down at Trail Head and have a quick Leave No Trace Class. We will begin hiking on the Lakeshore Trail and make our way to our campsite right along a creek and Lake Superior. There is a amazing beach where you can soak your feet in a roaring waterfall that empties right on the beach. 

We will hike approximately 9.4 miles and have a few short breaks. On the way to camp we will filter water and assess our packs. The views and scenery along this portion of the trail will blow you away. It's the most scenic and beautiful part of the trail. Epic cliffs and views of the Pictured Rocks.

We'll stop for lunch at a rock crop cliff and view Spray Falls, which pours over a 70-foot cliff into Lake Superior.

By 3:00 PM we will setup our campsites and prep for dinner

Learn setting up a good camp

Go through Filtering Water on the trail

Learn how to Hang a Bear Bag PCT method (there are bear vaults provided on this trip)

Collect Fire Wood and go through Fire Starting techniques (what is good fire wood)?

Talk about Food on the trail

5:30-6:00 PM We will go through Cookware and take out Cooking stoves. Eat dinner.

Get fire going and tell tall stories around the campfire.

Day Two:

Eat Breakfast and go through "How to Pack your Pack". Make sure our camp is clean and nothing left behind. 

We will hike approximately 6 miles to our next campsite. Beaver lakes, home to eagles, loons, and other denizens of the North Woods will be on this part of the trail. Again viewing the cliffs of Pictured Rocks.

At camp we'll have a Q&A session about what gear is working and what gear is not. 

Day Three: 

We hike 8.9 miles to our final destination to Twelvemile Beach, which connects Grand Sable Banks with rocky cliffs farther west. This is a beautiful section of the trail where we have some great beach lunch opportunities.  What makes this a great day of hiking, is that when we get to Twelvemile Beach we'll have a huge dinner waiting for you. This will be base camp for us where we will all camp for the night. 

We'll have a nice campfire and share what you learned on the trail. 

Day Four: 

A day hiking opportunity to the Au Sable Lighthouse.  This is a 4 mile hike on the Lakeshore Trail. This lighthouse is still used today and people still live in it. Built in 1873-1874, the light tower's base diameter is 16 feet with a height of 87 feet. The lens focal plane is 107 feet above lake level. A brick oil building and fog signal building were built in the 1890s. All of the buildings on site, along with the tower and keepers quarters, make up the light station

You will be picked up at the Lighthouse Parking area with you packs already in the shuttle and return to your cars at the Munising Falls Parking Area in Mid Afternoon.

  • Backpack
  • Backpack Cover (Optional)
  • 1 or 2 person tent
  • Ground Cloth (can be just painters tarp)
  • Sleeping bag (at least 30 degree EN Rating)
  • sleeping pad
  • Backpacking stove /cookware
  • Food for 2 full days of backpacking
  • water filter
  • headlamp
  • trekking poles
  • trowel
  • dry bag/Ursack for food storage
  • 50 foot cord rope to hang food
  • Proper clothing that fit's the weather conditions. NO COTTON
  • Beanie (keep your head warm)
  • Gloves or Mittens if it's going to get down to 32 degrees
  • Always bring a extra pair of socks. (no more than one extra pair)
  • Rain Jacket
  • Small First Aid Kit

If you have any questions about gear, e-mail us at: BEFORE you buy. 

Here are some of our docs that will assist you in taking our bootcamp class. Please feel free to ask us any questions you may have.  As always, you can e-mail us at:

Trust The Trail Backpacking Bootcamp

Scott's and Ariane's Gear List

Our Refund Policy for Bootcamp


Only options are: Sawyer International Airport in Marquette Michigan. Marquette is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Marquette County. The population was 21,355 at the 2010 census, making it the largest city of the state's Upper Peninsula.

Rental Cars:

Each airport has it's own rental car services. Your car will be parked at the Munising Falls parking lot. This is the end or beginning of the Lakeshore Trail Head. Many cars are left there overnight.


 Munising Motel - The Munising Motel is located in downtown Munising and within walking distance to many of the local Upper Michigan attractions. It is Pet Friendly. WiFi Internet, At Door Parking. Lot's of Shops right across the street. Great walking opportunities.

Sunset on the Bay Motel - Sunset Motel on the Bay in Munising, MI.  Our unique Munising, MI lodging is located directly on the Lake Superior shoreline and is extremely accommodating for groups of all sizes. We have over 500 feet of private Lake Superior shoreline, picnic tables and grills for guest use.  Great place to watch the sunset

Superior Motel & Suites -  Superior Motel & Suites is centrally located in downtown Munising. We are located in close proximate to the Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore, Grand Island, and 17 Alger County Waterfalls. Our Upper Peninsula Lodging has 15 rooms and 3 suites that provide our guests with a variety of room types to best suit your needs. We also have free wireless internet service available.

Camping and RV

Bay Furnace Campground - At Bay Furnace Campground you can enjoy the scenic view of Lake Superior with its spectacular sunrises, sunsets, and occasional northern light displays. This convenient location makes it a perfect site for the traveler who would like to camp overnight. It is also a perfect place to stay while enjoying the recreational opportunities available in the Munising area. 

Pictured Rocks RV Park - A place you can experience the beauty of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with all the modern amenities of camping in your own backyard. Explore all the beauty of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Grand Island while sleeping under the stars. Featuring full service hookups at ALL sites. Sewer, water, and electrical hookups so you can have everything you need in the comfort of your own tent, camper, or RV. Located in Christmas, MI!

Google Search Lots of camping opportunities 



Bookings are closed for this event.

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In 2003 I completed a Thru-Hike on the Appalachian Trail. Since then I have over 12,000 miles underfoot and 20 years of backpacking, and camping experience. Certifications include WFA, WFR, LNT Trainer, and belong to AORE. Have been guiding backpacking trips for over 10 years. The outdoors has taught me one thing. Trusting the Trail! really does provide everything a person needs.

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