Backpack to the Mirror Lake Cabins in the Porkies

Rate this Adventure Summit Peak Scenic Area

A wonderful hidden gem within the Porcupine Mountains. Take a day-hike or overnight into these fantastic cabins along the lake in the heart of Upper Peninsula Michigan. 

The trip to Mirror Lake begins at the Summit Peak Scenic Area. To extend your hike, start at the Lily Pond trail-head farther south on Summit Peak Road (5.3 miles to cabin). The initial trail towards the lake is the Beaver Creek trail (1.2 miles). The trail climbs down the peak slope into some lower valley and towards the Little Carp River. The trail was well managed and fairly dry, with select spots for mud and muck. The trail shortly connects to the Little Carp River Trail. To head to the lake, head north (take a right 1.5 miles). When you reach the signs for Mirror Lake campgrounds, continue straight. The signage designates the cabin locations on the other side of the sign, even though the signage says "No Camping for 5 miles". The first cabin, Mirror Lake 2, can be seen on the left farther into the woods. The second cabin (see photos) is Mirror Lake 4, and the final cabin is Mirror Lake 8. All cabins are along the Little Carp Trail north of the lake. 

The cabins are absolutely wonderful. Upon arrival, the cabin had a cast iron stove, mattresses in the bunks, a large table indoors, benches, a chair, drying lines, dry firewood, axes, saws, rakes, brooms, candles, pots, pans, coffee mugs, and a coffee kettle. Outside of the cabin, previous renters left even more firewood, and the cabin had a firering and another bench. Each cabin appeared to come with a rowing boat and orrs as well. The cabin stayed extremely warm at night with a fire going in the stove. While the lake is close by, check out the stream just north of Mirror Lake 8 for a cleaner water source (tastes fantastic!). The real secrets of the place were listed in the guest book. Apparently mosquitoes are a problem in the summer, along with mice if you're not careful with your food. 

When returning from the cabin, hike back towards the signage before the lake to get to the South Mirror Lake Trail (1.5 miles). If you took the previously-mentioned longer route in, take this trail all the way to its trailhead (an additional 1.0 mile) instead of turning onto the Summit Peak (1.0 mile) trail for easier access to your vehicle. The climb up the Summit Trail is a little steep, and slightly slippery in wet conditions. Upon arrival to the tower, you can see the slopes above Lake of the Clouds, the mouth of the Big Carp River, and Mirror Lake. 

Pack List

Overnight Backpacking Gear (no need for sleeping pad)

For Summer: 

  • Swim suit (there are leeches in the lake)
  • Fishing gear (bass and trout)

For Spring/Autumn:

  • Warm gear (cabins are still cold without a fire going in the stove)

The Mirror Lake Cabins are closed Dec. 1st through March 31st

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RT Distance 5.2 Miles
Activities Canoeing, Camping, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop
Swimming Hole


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