The best camping near Pukaskwa National Park

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Pukaskwa National Park adventure.

Adventure along Lake Superior’s remote canoe routes and backpacking trails.  

Popular ways to camp

The best camping near Pukaskwa National Park guide



Vast Pukaskwa National Park extends along the rocky shores of Lake Superior in Northern Ontario, a 3.5-hour drive east of Thunder Bay and five hours west of Sault Ste. Marie. The park is known for wilderness backpacking routes (like the 60-kilometre-long Coastal Hiking Trail) and serious canoe excursions, with scenic, isolated camping spots along the lake en route. Along with these remote options, simpler adventures can be found on many of the park’s boreal forest and rock-lined coastal trails, as well as at Hattie Cove Campground, popular among roadtrippers on the Trans-Canada Highway.

Notable campgrounds

  • Best for families: Hattie Cove Campground features wifi, hot showers, and interpretive programs.
  • Best for weekend hikers: Picture Rock Harbour South is a great spot on the Mdaabii Miikna backcountry trail—spend one night here, then move on to Playter Harbour South for night two before ending back at Hattie Cove.
  • Best for suspension bridge lovers: Chigaamiwinigum Falls, with just two campsites, requires a scenic 7.8-kilometre hike over suspension bridges and the White River.

Tips for snagging a campsite

  1. Pukaskwa National Park’s 67-site Hattie Cove Campground operates on a first-come, first-served basis. Arrive early, particularly in July and August, since there are few other accommodations options close to the park.
  2. While Pukaskwa isn’t as busy as some other Canadian national parks, reservations are essential for Pukaskwa’s backcountry campgrounds, each of which has between one and five sites and are reached by backpacking, paddling, or canoeing in.
  3. Parks Canada’s online reservations service for Pukaskwa National Park opens for the season in mid-January.

When to go

Pukaskwa is open from mid-May to mid-October, with most visitors coming in July, August, and early September. Fall is a lovely season to explore the park, with crisp temperatures, fewer bugs, and brilliant foliage. Note that although the front-country Hattie Cove Campground stays open in autumn from early September until the park’s October closure, the water is shut off in the area during that time—campers can use pit toilets but neither flush toilets nor showers are available in autumn.

Know before you go

  • How do you pronounce Pukaskwa? It’s PUCK-a-saw.
  • To go backcountry camping, you must get a permit and contact the park office to schedule a mandatory orientation session before heading out.
  • Supplies in and around the park are limited. You can purchase essentials in the nearby First Nations community of Biigtigong Nishnaabeg (Pic River), or, for a broader selection, head for the town of Marathon, 25 kilometres from the park visitor center.
  • Protect yourself from mosquitoes, black flies, and other annoying insects, particularly in spring and early summer. Bring repellent, long pants, and long-sleeved tops, and keep tents zipped up tight.
  • Swimmers and paddlers: Lake Superior is cold! The average water temperature year-round is barely 4° C (40° F).

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