This trip is rated for beginners, but you must have all the gear needed for an overnight backpacking trip in the backcountry and prepared to be self-sufficient. Main gear needed includes a backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, stove, cookset, a way to treat water, raingear, appropriate clothing and footwear and other personal/miscellaneous items. For a complete list of gear you might want to take along with you, or to simply have a checklist, go to the “More” tab and click on “Files.” In that list is a file called “Fox Cities Backpackers Meetup Suggested Gear List (http://files.meetup.com/726779/Fox%20Cities%20Backpackers%20Meetup%20Suggested%20Gear%20List.pdf).” Look that over to be sure you will be adequately prepared.
Saturday miles: 9
Sunday miles: 8.6
The Porcupine Mountains is a great place to go backpacking, especially in the fall, and it’s a great opportunity for beginners to get a true backcountry experience.
Price for the trip is $10/person and includes the following:
- Backcountry camping permit for Saturday night
- Reservation fees, Meetup base trip price and taxes
You will be responsible for gas and parking fees (and food and gear, of course).
All vehicles will need a “Recreation Passport” for the State of Michigan to park. Prices are $8/day or $29 for an annual pass. You can purchase online, at the visitor’s center or a self-pay station once you arrive.
**Please note – the Porkies split times zones between Central and Eastern – WE WILL STAY ON CENTRAL TIME! All times listed in this description refer to central.
Friday night: We will all be on our own Friday night, but there are lots of places to camp on the way up or in the general area within the Porcupine Wilderness area. I suggest you head up Friday night because we’ll be meeting early Saturday to start hiking and it’s a 4+ hour drive from the Fox Valley.
Saturday: We will meet at the Lake of the Clouds parking lot at 8:30AM (CENTRAL TIME). At this time we will need to take care of a few things – mainly a list of the vehicles in our group that I can display for the rangers. Then we’ll all pile into a few vehicles and head down to the Government Peak Trailhead where the hike will begin. (The trip will end back at Lake of the Clouds where we’re meeting Saturday morning, so we’ll leave some cars here.)
We’ll hike about 9 miles to Mirror Lake where we’ll set up camp and enjoy our evening in the backcountry! Since this is a beginner’s trip, we will have a couple of spots along the trail where we will all plan to meet up and check in before moving on. We’ll discuss this before heading out Saturday morning.
Sunday: The plan is to hike out 8.6 miles back to Lake of the Clouds, or if your feet are asking for a shorter day, you can hike out about 4 miles. Both routes will take you to Lake of the Clouds where we will all meet up to get the other vehicles from the Gov't Peak TH, and we’ll decide on a place to grab a bite to eat as a group before heading home.
The map below is also available in a PDF format for you to print off if you'd like. You can find that file under the "More" tab, in "Files" and it's called Porkies Fall Trip 2012. (http://files.meetup.com/726779/Porkies%20Fall%20Trip%202012.pdf)