Sylvania Wilderness Backcountry Camping

Ottawa National Forest



Visitors to the Sylvania Wilderness in Michigan's Upper Peninsula can enjoy 50 designated campsites along eight lakes offering endless boating, fishing, hiking, and wildlife viewing opportunities. Campsites are primitively equipped with campfire rings and wilderness latrines. There is an abundance of old-growth forests, pristine lakes, and rolling tree-covered hills to explore in this beautiful landscape.


Planning a trip to the Sylvania Wilderness? Watch for Alerts at the top of the page for any Alerts regarding this facility.  

The Sylvania Wilderness encompasses 18,327 acres of primitive lands and is part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Visitors can camp in 50 designated campsites within the Sylvania Wilderness. Visitors enjoy endless canoeing, fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities.


Sylvania's abundant lakes provide plentiful non-motorized boating, canoeing, kayaking and fishing opportunities. Other popular activities include hiking and viewing wildlife.


Sylvania Wilderness Backcountry Camp is not a physical campground located at one location. The 50 individual sites are located along eight lakes within the Sylvania Wilderness. Camping is allowed only at designated sites. Campsites are primitive, but each is equipped with a campfire ring and a wilderness latrine.

Natural Features

The old-growth forests and pristine lakes in the region provide habitat for a wide range of animal and plant life, including rare orchids, bald eagles, loons and osprey. The wilderness contains 34 named lakes, some with sandy beaches and others surrounded by record-size red and white pines. The Ottawa National Forest is comprised of nearly 1 million acres and is located in the western reaches of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The forest's rolling, tree covered hills extend from the south shore of Lake Superior to the Wisconsin border. Lakes, rivers and waterfalls are found throughout this beautiful landscape.

Charges & Cancellations


  • If you cancel reservation at least 14 days prior to check in date, all recreation fees, minus a $10 cancellation fee and the reservation fee ($8 if made online or $9 if made through the call center) will be refunded.
  • If you cancel reservation less than 14 days prior to check in date, all recreation fees, minus $10 cancellation fee, reservation fee ($8 if made online or $9 if made through the call center), and first night’s use fee will be refunded.
  • The reservation fee ($8 if made online or $9 if made through the call center) is non-refundable.

No Show

Staff will hold a campsite until check-out time on the day following the arrival date. 

For more information about rules and reservation policies, visit the Rules and Reservations Policy page.  

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Campground Matrix

Set alerts at more campgrounds to increase your odds of getting a place to stay! Below is a list of the closest campgrounds supported on Campflare. Or, view all campgrounds in Ottawa National Forest.

Nearby Campgrounds Distance Notification Rate
Clark Lake Pavilion
Ottawa National Forest
Sylvania (Clark Lake)
Ottawa National Forest
Marion Lake Group Site
Ottawa National Forest
Pomeroy Lake Camp
Ottawa National Forest
Moosehead Lake Camp
Ottawa National Forest
Bobcat Lake Camp
Ottawa National Forest
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