The Guide to Torch Lake Camping

Looking for a perfect getaway with your family and friends in the Michigan area. There are more budget-friendly tourist spots that can fit your budget than you might expect for the Midwest area. One example is Torch Lake, a popular destination known for giving a tropical experience to every visitor.

What is Torch Lake known for?

Torch Lake is famous for its crystal-clear waters and the famous Torch Lake Sandbar. It is the biggest lake situated in the Traverse City area in Antrim County, Michigan. Near this lake are Lake Michigan and Grand Traverse Bay. People call this place the “Carribean of the North” because of its amazing sandbar and clear blue waters. It’s a hidden treasure for locals and a gem for tourists. In recent years, party hubs in the area become a thing. Boats float everyone and cross the sandbar of the lake especially during the summer season.

If sandbars and parties don’t attract you, go to the southern part of the lake and discover trailing tracks there. Some tourists want to separate from the crowd and they explore the nature side of the place more.

Torch Lake has outstanding fishing too. The big lake trout is a famous marine species you don’t want to miss catching. Don’t worry if you don’t get one at the end of your trip, there is still a large population of fish such as panfish, Atlantic salmon, smallmouth bass, and muskie. The lake recognized a 50-pounder muskie, which was caught in 2009, as the biggest catch in its history.

Torch Lake isn’t just a beach and a fishing spot. People go here for camping too. There are different campsite in the area ideal for tourists who want a more engaging experience with nature. Whether you are a group of adults who are fond of camping or a batch of teens looking for a unique thing to do other than partying, camping is the best alternative you have.


What is the best time of the year to go to Torch Lake?

The best season to go to Torch Lake is during the summer months. This is the time of the year when days are longer and sunsets are brighter. Although this is the busiest season for this tourist spot, you don’t need to worry about the area as the location is big enough to cater to hundreds of people. Because of its space, it never gets too crowded.

If you go during the winter, know that the water might be iced over. In that case, you’ll want to go snowshoeing, ice fishing, or snowmobiling.


What campsites are there at Torch Lake?

Ready to for Torch Lake camping? You will find a lot of campsites in Torch Lake. What’s located in the south end of its sandbar and the nearest is Torch Grove Campground. The fees for this site can go around $75 every night during the peak season and the Fourth of July. You will find the price reduced to up to $40 on weeknights when it’s not busy season. Since this site is very accessible, you can use public transportation to get here directly. There are a few roads that go right to the campground.

If you go farther, you will find Chain O’Lakes Campground situated 10 miles to the north of Torch Lake. Unline the grove campground, camping fees here are less. You will only need to pay about $28 per night if you set up a tent. For other alternatives, you can rent an RV for $35-40 a night.

Another budget-friendly campsite is the Barnes Park Campground which is managed by the county itself. The charge can go around $27-31 a night depending on the type of site you want to rent. Picnic tables are allowed here.

Things to know before going to Torch Lake

Before you travel to Torch Lake, there are a couple of exciting things you might want to know. First and foremost, the place is a huge lake. It never gets too crowded during the peak season, unless you are on the famous sandbar, so there’s no think about whether you are going to enjoy it with the crowd or not. The area stretches up to 19 miles and has 18,770 acres.

Next, Torch Lake remains untouched. It hasn’t been fully commercialized despite the expensive and large houses surrounding one particular bay. Going to this tourist destination still feels like a nature trip. With this information, you can expect that there are limited stores and restaurants on the site.

Boating and camping are the best activities you can do here in this spot. You can opt for boat parties and beach swimming but if you want an upgraded tourist experience, you shouldn’t miss out on your chance to get a glimpse of the scenic views while sailing the Torch waters.

Should you go camping in Torch Lake?

With all the campsite alternatives you have, you should definitely go camping in Torch Lake for an unforgettable experience. It’s not every day that you get an opportunity to set up a tent or an RV and have a splendid time with your family and friends. If you are into camping and nature tripping, this is the best choice you’ve got. However, if the party scene is also what you are looking for, then you can find it on the sandbar.

Camping in Torch Lake doesn’t cost too much. It’s an ideal alternative for tourists who have a tight budget but still want a tropical experience. You don’t need to reserve plane tickets just to get here. There are plenty of affordable ways to access campsites.

Finally, Torch Lake isn’t just a lake nor a campground. It’s a beautiful place. If you go camping here, you will get the chance to take a good photo of its sandbar, to swim in its crystal-clear waters, and go fishing for your camping food. This is where you can do everything in one place–camping, hiking, swimming, and partying. You get to mingle and make friends with people from different states and if that’s not a better idea to spend your summer break, what else is?

Perfect camping doesn’t to be expensive. You don’t need to spend a significant amount of your budget to have a memorable tourist experience. You just have to choose the right place where you can be as free as you want while enjoying what nature has to offer. Torch Lake is a Michigan wonder you will never regret visiting.

We’ll see you there!

Article Author
Sean's an avid camper, kayaker, and RVer. He loves spending time finding new trails and campsites to take his family and friends.