Categories: ActivitiesCamping

Morel Mushroom Hunting Season: The 2024 Camping Guide

Spring is springing. And we all know what that means—the 2024 morel mushroom season is underway.

To increase your chances of hunting success, we put together a map of recent morel sightings and nearby camping options. The map updates weekly throughout the springtime morel season using data from The Great Morel. So book your campsite, grab a mesh bag (and maybe a bumper sticker), then head into the woods. Have fun and remember to practice Leave No Trace principles.

Your guide to morel mushroom hunting in 2024

  1. Where to find morels in 2024
  2. Tips for finding morels
  3. Our favorite mushroom field guides by region
  4. Safety while foraging
  5. The best way to cook morel mushrooms
  6. Camping inspiration: Handpicked Hipcamps for mushroom hunting
  7. Morels FAQ
Data source: The Great Morel

Where to find morels in 2024

Last Updated: May 13, 2024

Using data from The Great Morel, we can get a sense of where morels are most abundant. We’re breaking this down into 3 stages so you know what’s happening when:

  • Started poppin’: The first morel sighting was reported in the last week.
  • Still poppin’: Morel sightings have been reported prior to last week, and reported sightings are continuing.
  • Stopped poppin’: Morel sightings have been reported, but not in the past week.

Vermont is on the board! People in the Northeast are having luck searching in old apple orchards. The Upper Midwest, however, appears to be the best spot to find morels at the moment. The states with the most morel sightings this past week were:

  • Wisconsin [28]
  • Minnesota [20]
  • New York [11]
  • Ontario [5]
  • Vermont [5]
  • South Dakota [4]
  • Michigan [4]

In the last week, 36 counties reported their first morel sighting. The following counties reported three or more sightings in the last 7 days:

  • Dakota County, Minnesota [4]
  • Hennepin County, Minnesota [3]
  • Brown County, Wisconsin [3]
  • Renville County, Minnesota [3]
  • Hughes County, South Dakota [3]

Check out the map below for all morel sightings so far in 2024.

Tips for finding morels

Before heading out to forage morels, we recommend the following resources and hunting tips.

  1. Look to nature for cues. There are fun, fancy ways of finding morels—you can check out maps of tree species, soil temperatures, and disturbances such as recent wildfires to pinpoint likely locations for finding your fungi friends. For folks out west, Modern Forager put together a sweet looking map of likely burn morel locations. To access their map, you’ll need to pay $39, which is roughly the going rate for a pound of morels at a farmers market in Seattle.
  2. Use the Hipcamp morel map. Morel mushroom hunters can skip the guesswork with this map to see recent morel sightings and head out to nearby wooded areas.
  3. Join your local mushroom club or mycological society. It’s a great way to access local experts. They’ll often host guided forays which can help you build confidence. They’re also affordable, welcoming, and a fun way to build community.
  4. Join your local mushroom Facebook group. Knowledgable, local experts are often quick to respond. Even if you don’t plan to post your findings, following along is a great what to get a sense of what types of mushrooms you might find in your area based on the time of year.
  5. Understand rules and regulations around foraging. Some public lands and public parks will allow foraging. Others will require permits. And, in some cases, foraging for wild mushrooms may be forbidden. For example, in Maine, gathering is only allowed on Maine’s Public Lands. Maine State Parks and Historic Sites do not allow gathering or collecting of any kind. Before heading out to hunt for morels, you should make sure you know the rules or restrictions for your destination.
  6. Purchase a mushroom field guide that focuses on your region. These are very detailed, locally relevant, and a good first step for getting to know your local mushroom species and their look-a-likes. See our top picks below!
Photo by Hipcamp Host Holt M. at the McGovern Residence, Washington

Our favorite mushroom field guides by region

Morels are mostly mycorrhizal, which means that they have a symbiotic relationship with the roots of neighboring plants—so different species can be found in different environments. In the Rocky Mountains, you may find yellow morels (Morchella americana) fruiting in riparian areas near cottonwoods. Meanwhile, in the Northeast, they might be in old apple orchards, under white ash, or near standing dead elms. Other types, like the inconsiderate morel (Morchella importuna) or the aptly named woodchip morel (Morchella rufobrunnea), can be found in woodchips. Several burn morels, also known as black morels, are found in the western US at burn sites one to two years after wildfires. For more detail on your area, check out these books.

Northeast

Mushrooms of the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada by Timothy J. Baroni

As a resident of Maine, this is my go-to book. It covers Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin, and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Ontario, and most of Quebec.

Upper Midwest

Mushrooms of the Upper Midwest: A Simple Guide to Common Mushrooms by Teresa Marrone and Kathy Yerich 

A great resource for mushroom hunters and enthusiasts, this book covers edible and non-edible species in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

West Coast

Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast by Noah Siegel and Christian Schwarz

Extremely thorough. If you live in Northern California, this is a must-have mushroom book, though it’s too big to fit in your pocket. Unless you have giant pockets. Consider sewing a backpack to your favorite pair of cargo pants.

General fun

All That the Rain Promises and More by David Arora

How can you not love a field guide that features a trumpet-wielding man cradling a haul of chanterelles? Unlike Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast, this guide is perfectly pocket-sized. It covers western North America, including the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia, and Alaska), the West Coast (Pacific Ocean up to and including the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and Cascades), the Great Basin (eastern slope of Sierras and Cascades east to the Rockies), and the Southwest (Utah, southern Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona).

Photo by Ann Althouse

Safety while foraging

We’d be remiss if we didn’t cover safety while foraging. Mushroom hunters should keep these tips in mind.

  • If in doubt, throw it out. Never eat a mushroom unless you’re 100% certain of what it is. Many mushrooms have look-alikes, so you’ll need to make sure all identifying features are present. In a soft but confident voice, say the following out loud: “If in doubt, throw it out.” False morels (Gyromitra) share similar characteristics with true morels but can be deadly poisonous mushrooms. They contain a compound that is converted to monomethylhydrazine (MMH) when consumed—a compound that is used in rocket fuel.
  • Touching is fine. It’s okay to pick and handle mushrooms, even if they are poisonous. No mushroom can harm you from touch alone.
  • Cook thoroughly. Cook wild mushrooms thoroughly, and start with a small portion when eating a new mushroom for the first time. Even if you correctly identify an edible species, allergies or sensitivities to certain mushrooms are still possible. Plus, some people have adverse reactions even to thoroughly cooked mushrooms. Even worse, black morels and alcohol can also be a recipe for a stomach disaster.
  • Avoid eating mushrooms found in certain areas. Mushrooms tend to absorb and accumulate chemicals from the environment, so be aware of the mushroom’s habitat when deciding to consume it. If you find a mushroom right along a trail where dogs may be peeing, you probably don’t want to eat it.
Photo by Hipcamper Scott F. at OnTop.camp, North Carolina

The best way to cook morel mushrooms

You can find all sorts of morel recipes online, but in my humble opinion, the perfect morel mushroom recipe is simple.

  • Step 1: Trim ends and cut morels in half.
  • Step 2: Heat butter in skillet.
  • Step 3: Add morels.
  • Step 4: Cook thoroughly. This is the most important step!
  • Step 5: Optionally, add a splash of heavy cream, maybe a little bit of rosemary. Get creative—but not too creative.
  • Step 6: Gently toss cooked morels onto a slice of fresh, lightly toasted sourdough bread.

Camping inspiration: Handpicked Hipcamps for mushroom hunting

For the mycophilic and mycocurious campers out there, here are 5 handpicked Hipcamps located near recent morel sightings.

Laughing Goat Fiber Farm, New York. Photo taken by Hipcamp Photographer Ethan Abitz.

1. Laughing Goat Fiber Farm, New York

⛺🚐 3 tent/rv sites from $32
🍄 3 morel sightings nearby in the last week


Grateful Farms, Wisconsin. Photo taken by Hipcamp Photographer Brittany Stepp.

2. Grateful Farms, Wisconsin

⛺🚐 2 tent/rv sites from $75
🍄 3 morel sightings nearby in the last week


Healing Horses Hipcamp, New York. Photo taken by Hipcamp Photographer J Ciccarelli.

3. Healing Horses Hipcamp, New York

🏡 1 structure site from $75
⛺ 1 tent only site from $65
🍄 3 morel sightings nearby in the last week


Timbertrail Farm, Vermont. Photo taken by Hipcamp Photographer Peter Gierlach.

4. Timbertrail Farm, Vermont

🏡 2 structure sites from $65
⛺🚐 4 tent/rv sites from $45
⛺ 1 tent only site from $52
🍄 2 morel sightings nearby in the last week


DoggieCamp, New York. Photo uploaded by Hipcamper Tim S.

5. DoggieCamp, New York

⛺🚐 4 tent/rv sites from $37
🍄 3 morel sightings nearby in the last week


Frequently Asked Questions About Morels (FAQ)

When is morel mushroom season?

Morel mushroom season starts in early spring and typically spans from late March through early June. Exact dates depend on your destination, weather conditions, and the types of morels you’re looking to find. Black morels can be find as early as mid-March at lower elevations (below 2,000 feet), and you can expect to continue to find black morels until late June or early July at higher elevations (4,000 to 6,000 feet).

When is the best time to look for morels?

Morels fruit when conditions are right. Daytime air temperatures should be around 60°F, nighttime temperatures around 40°F, and soil temperatures should be in the 50- to 55-degree range.

Why do people love morels?

People love morels for a number of reasons. They are a choice edible mushroom prized for their culinary value. They are also harbingers of spring, and it’s good fun to get outside and find wild foods.

How much do morels cost to buy?

You can sometimes find morels at your local farmers market or at specialty grocery stores. They can cost up to $30 or $40 per pound.

Get a 🍄 bumper sticker

We’ve got some snazzy stickers so you can make your love for mushrooms known to all. Pick one up!


Interested in other fun nature alerts?

Check out these other natural phenomena worth planning a camping trip around.

Dan Tomko is a Lead Data Analyst at Hipcamp based out of Portland, Maine.

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