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The Best Time to Visit the Upper Peninsula in 2023

The Best Time to Visit the Upper Peninsula in 2023

Planning a trip to the Upper Peninsula soon? Get excited to go! This actually happens to be one of our favorite destinations; I fell in love with this area during a 2018 trip to Marquette.

Also called the “U.P.” by locals, the Upper Peninsula is a remarkable area to visit at all times of the year, and guests can witness the gorgeous shoreline of the Great Lakes firsthand.

We know you’re doing your research to make this trip one to remember; maybe you’re planning out each day and have plans to see Tahquamenon River falls. In any case, let us be your guide!

Why You Should Visit the Upper Peninsula

The Upper Peninsula has a distinct beauty, unlike any other place in the world. Plenty of precious wildlife populate the forests, and there are many trails to walk along to immerse yourself in nature.

There are also the Great Lakes to see! Why wouldn’t you want to take a dip or walk along the shores of Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake Superior?

There are also many inland lakes and streams for fishing fans to cast a line in and waterfalls. The Upper Peninsula is a natural oasis to consider for visitors and also has its fair share of restaurants and fun museums to tour.

Overall Best time to Visit the Upper Peninsula

Kayaker on Lake Superior by the caves during sunset, pictured during the best time to visit the Upper Peninsula

John McCormick/Shutterstock

The best time to visit the Upper Peninsula is undeniably the summer months. Starting in late May to August, the Upper Peninsula is your vacation playground for untold adventure and sights to see.

The temperature reigns at an average of 78.4 degrees Fahrenheit and never sinks lower than 57 degrees Fahrenheit during these summer months.

So visitors can enjoy trekking around during the day and can sit by a well-kept campfire at night. One of the best parts of the Upper Peninsula is the nature and wildlife involved, and the best time to explore is in a world full of green.

See waterfalls and take hikes to inhale nature all around; from late May to August, there’s no better place to be than the U.P. The temperature is perfect and is warmest during June, July, and August.

Anyone who lives in Michigan knows what the weather can be like, and if you’re visiting out of state, it’s important to remember how uncertain the temperatures can be in early spring or fall.

So if you’re looking to have some hiking and explore some beaches, summertime is the best time to go.

Cheapest time to Visit the Upper Peninsula

The Tahquamenon Falls on the Mississippi River pictured during the best time to visit the Upper Peninsula in Michigan

Weidman Photography/Shutterstock

While you can always manage to find a deal for your rooms if you book early enough in advance for any time of year, the cheapest time is during November.

Though visitors save a few dollars at this time of the year, the frigid weather can disrupt outdoor activities unless you enjoy snow skiing and snowmobiling.

Visitors can spot the Northern Lights too, which is an attractive feature of booking a stay during November. So if you’re okay with a heavily-indoor vacation, booking in November for the Upper Peninsula might make a memorable trip for you and your wallet.

Least Busy Time to Visit the Upper Peninsula

Historical Crisp Point Lighthouse as pictured during the least busy time to visit the Upper Peninsula

Kenneth Keifer/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit the Upper Peninsula is during the winter. Not a lot of people usually want to visit a place that’s cold when everything is already cold around them.

As a result, the winter has less traffic and fewer people visiting. This is because there isn’t much to do if you aren’t a winter sports fanatic. The Upper Peninsula hosts some spectacular tracks for snowmobiling that winter sports fans can enjoy.

If not, you might schedule your trip for a different time unless being snug in a cottage during the snow is your ideal vacation.

With the average temperatures ranging from 27.3 degrees Fahrenheit (-2.6 degrees Celsius) to 20.2 degrees Fahrenheit (-6.6 degrees Celsius), it can be very bitter cold out during these winter months.

The least busy and ideal time for visiting the Upper Peninsula is during September or October. Since children will be back in school, you can count on the place to be less crowded and more peaceful in general, with more agreeable weather.

The Worst Time to Visit the Upper Peninsula

Frozen Lake Michigan pictured during the worst busy time to visit the Upper Peninsula with snow-capped rocks and ice on the coast of the water

John McCormick/Shutterstock

One of the worst times to visit the Upper Peninsula is in the winter months. While there are some winter activities to face the cold (snowmobiling, downhill skiing and snowboarding, and the spectacular Northern Lights), visitors miss out on the beauty you could see in the summer.

Another time of year to avoid is April and October because, during these two months, insect activity is at its highest. Even though the Upper Peninsula is known for its beautiful wilderness, this nature includes plenty of pesty and annoying critters.

If you decide to attempt an April or October trip, bring bug spray and embrace long sleeves and layers that will make your skin inaccessible to pesky mosquitoes, ticks, and other flying vermin.

Visitors usually visit between this window since April is still a little icy, and following September, the temperatures tend to plummet too far past comfort.

Things to Consider

As one should for any trip, there are a few things you should think about as you book your reservation or as you start packing for your trip to visit the Upper Peninsula:

  • What are you hoping to get out of your trip? While ‘rest and relaxation’ is an obvious point, make sure you think about what you hope to do on this trip. Do you hope to spend a lot of time outdoors? Are you looking for an overly active vacation? Or do you just want something simple? Considering those desires will help you navigate the best time to make this trip.
  • Be sure to pack accordingly. No matter what time of year you decide to visit, the best way to enjoy the trip is to pack accordingly. Bring your sunscreen, bug spray, and aloe for the summer. If you’re embarking on a winter trip, pack extra layers and make sure your snow pants and snow boots are in perfect condition before you dive into the snow.
  • Keep an eye out for the holidays. A weekend trip to the U.P. for Labor Day or Memorial Day could be a great way to spend some time without taking extra time off. Just make sure you plan these trips ahead of time to secure a room (weekend trips can be popular) and at a price that isn’t astronomical.
  • Heed posted warnings on trails. On certain trails there will be warning signs; pay attention to them as they keep you and the wildlife around the trail safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Kayaker on Lake Superior by the caves during sunset, pictured during the best time to visit the Upper Peninsula

John McCormick/Shutterstock

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about visiting the Upper Peninsula:

What is the Upper Peninsula in Michigan?

The Upper Peninsula in Michigan is the landmass connected by crossing the Mackinac Bridge and also shares a border with the top of the Wisconsin state.

The Upper Peninsula is home to plenty of amazing wildlife. With many streams and forests, it’s almost as if the land has been untouched by humanity. Those who enjoy many outdoor activities involved with camping would enjoy visiting the U.P.

What is the weather like in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan?

The weather in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan has recorded a high of 84 degrees Fahrenheit during its summer months, which is from June through September.

The winter months are much colder and frigid than in other places; it can additionally be harder to predict when colder temperatures will arrive because of how temperamental the weather can be in Michigan.

What is the cheapest flight to the Upper Peninsula?

If you’re planning to fly to the Upper Peninsula, the cheapest flight would be dependent on where you’re flying from, the airline flying with, as well as the time of year you purchase the tickets, as well as the time of year that the tickets are for. If flying, it’s best to research and compare prices across airlines for your flight.

How long should I book my trip to the Upper Peninsula?

One exciting thing about the Upper Peninsula in summer is that there’s so much to do that you’ll never get bored, so no matter how long you have to spend on your trip, you’ll be able to fill it with lots of adventure or with rest and relaxation.

Why visit the Upper Peninsula?

In case you’re still in doubt, the Upper Peninsula is a great vacation spot! There is plenty of nature to offer and sights you can’t see anywhere else.

There are also many great restaurants and fun museums where you can learn about the land’s history. Visiting the Upper Peninsula is a unique vacation, and you’ll bring home memories you’ll treasure long after you unpack.

So, When Should You Visit the Upper Peninsula?

Taking a trip to any destination is always exciting and fun! If you’re looking to cross the Upper Peninsula off your traveling bucket list sometime soon, make sure you start by paying attention to the activities you want to do most on your vacation.

While booking during some times of the year can be cheaper, they might not have everything you were hoping to do. It all depends on you and what you want to get out of during the trip!

  • The best time to visit the Upper Peninsula without a doubt is during the summer months. The world is green, the wilderness is accessible, and there are plenty of things to do outside as you enjoy the woods, the animals, and endless bodies of water.
  • The cheapest time to visit the Upper Peninsula is in November but the weather can be somewhat unpredictable, so a visit during that month requires visitors to prepare for any weather.
  • The least busy time to visit the Upper Peninsula is during early fall, between late September and October. The temperatures then range from about 68- 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • One of the worst times to visit the Upper Peninsula, aside from harsh winter conditions, is in April and October when pesky bug activity is at an all-time high. While you can pack longer sleeves and invest in a hat and a bug net, you might find it more convenient to visit at a different time of year.

So, with so much to see and do, and countless opportunities to explore the serene beauty of Michigan, what are you waiting for — book your trip to the U.P. today!