Backpack in Pigeon River​

Hear the Elks Bugling

Camp in the Wilderness

Learn to Forage

See Elks & Backpack in the Wild

Join us this fall to experience one of nature’s most mystical sounds — the elk’s mating bugle. On this northern Michigan tour, we’ll camp under the stars, learn to forage, gather around a campfire, and see the majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Combine a seasonal event with learning the basics of backpacking and wild camping with an expert guide.


Hear the mating call of the majestic elk & see them in the wild.

Camp in the wilderness and sleep under the stars.

Learn backpacking essentials and how to survive in the wild.

Disconnect from the hectic city lifestyle and delve into nature.

Spot snapping turtles in impressive and rare sinkhole lakes.

Click the Tabs to Find out More

Trip Details

Trip Details


$575 per person (2 people per tent)

Departure time

Guests can arrive mid-day on the first day for orientation — our hike begins on the morning of day 2.

Meeting point

Pigeon River Ranger Station


  • September 22-25,
  • September 26-28,
  • September 29 – October 1


3 days, 2 nights

Group size

Maximum 6 people

Participation requirements

  • Age restriction: not suitable for ages 14 and younger.
  • Please know that this is a rustic wilderness camping experience. No modern facilities are easily accessible. This tour is off the beaten path.


  • Guide
  • LNT (leave no trace) education
  • All meals — 2 dinners, 2 breakfasts, 3 trail snack-based lunches
  • Packs
  • Tent
  • Sleeping pad
  • Sleeping bag

Not included

  • Transportation
  • Suitable outdoor clothing (an extensive gear list will be provided after booking)

What to bring

  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Hiking boots
  • Non-cotton clothing such as polypropylene
  • Long underwear
  • Fleece mid-layers or wool
  • Waterproof/breathable jacket/shell.

Full packing lists will be forwarded to you after booking the tour.

About your guide

1-2 wilderness guides depending on group needs

Get to know our team

What You'll Do

Arrive at the Pigeon River State Forest ranger station for a history lesson on the region’s legacy. After our rendezvous, we will proceed to the campsite and enjoy meeting fellow hikers and the guides. We’ll convene around a campfire and relax as we prepare for the next day. We’ll be camping tonight so come prepared with warm clothes.

Today we’ll be up early and head out on our hike through the Pigeon River State Forest. Along the way, as we meander through spectacular fall scenery, your expert wilderness guide will teach you about natural edibles, medicinal plants, and the history of this special region.

We’ll come across the majestic elks bugling and their sounds will echo through the forest. Learn about these beautiful creatures who make these sounds at this time of year as part of their mating ritual. We’ll also get the chance to see the sinkhole lakes unique to these glacial landscapes. If we’re lucky, we may spot snapping turtles and wildlife playing in the pristine forests and water.

Tonight we’ll spend the night under the stars, we’ll enjoy a meal cooked over the campfire (fire bans may be in effect) and learn more wilderness wisdom from the guide. Get to know your fellow hikers, enjoy star gazing, and disconnect from city life.

Today we’ll make our way back to the starting point of the tour. Once we are back, we will separate all the equipment and you will head home or continue with your trip, inspired by your night in the wilderness. Company-issued equipment is rentable for an extended self-guided tour.

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