top of page

South Manitou Island

Sand dunes, shipwrecks, and summer sun! Live the island life on a 3-day basecamping exploration of South Manitou Island!

Trip Overview

Experience the best of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore on a 3-day trip to South Manitou Island with Crystalaire Adventures! This trip is designed as an "add-on adventure" to compliment your camper's one- or two-week session at Camp Carvela or Camp Lookout


South Manitou Island is one of our most popular trips--and with good reason! With mild summer temperatures and over 10 miles of lakeshore, South Manitou is the perfect destination for a Northern Michigan summer adventure!


Together, our group of adventure-seekers will explore the Island's most popular hiking trails and historic sites, all while learning about its unique history and ecology. Get ready to see a ghostly shipwreck, a towering lighthouse, a 500-year-old cedar forest, and more! 

Trip Type


Add-On Adventure

Group Size

10-12 Campers

2+ Guides



Years Old


Crystalaire HQ 

Traverse City, MI

Expedition Itinerary

Day 1

Participants will meet at Moose Hall, aka "Crystalaire Adventures HQ," located at Camp Carvela.* Together, we'll pack up our gear and then travel by van to Leland, MI where we will board a ferry to South Manitou Island. Once we arrive, we'll set up camp and celebrate the start of our trip with a welcome ceremony. 

*Note: Campers joining this trip from Camp Lookout will be shuttled to Moose Hall via van by Project Foxwood staff. 

Day 2

In keeping with our choice-based learning and leadership philosophy, participants will collectively plan our trip itinerary. Together as a group, we'll choose which trails we hike, which sites we visit, and which activities we try, creating a one-of-a-kind experience that reflects the unique interests and personalities of our group. With 10+ unique hiking trails, miles of shoreline, and acres of ancient forest land to explore, we'll have an adventure to remember! Throughout it all, we'll learn about the land, each other, and ourselves.  

Day 3

On the final day of our trip, we'll break down our campsite, pack up our gear, and take the ferry back to the mainland. before driving home to Moose Lodge. Once back at the Lodge, we'll unload and clean our group gear and then say our final goodbyes to our new adventure buddies.


Camper pick-up will take place at Moose Lodge between 2-4 PM. 

IMG_3679 (1).JPG

Trip Highlights

 Here's what you can look forward to on your South Manitou Island adventure:

  • Camper-led itinerary

  • Small group size

  • Beach backpacking

  • Shipwreck sightings

  • Dune climbing

  • And more!


Enrollment for our 2024 South Manitou trips opens on December 15th, 2023. Select your preferred trip date and then click "ENROLL" to complete your enrollment form.

Have questions? We'd love to chat! Please email us at info@crystalaireadventures for more information.


About South Manitou Island

South Manitou Island is located in Lake Michigan, about 16 miles west of Leland, MI. The Island is part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.


South Manitou Island has a rich maritime history. The Island's 100-foot-tall lighthouse and 50+ shipwreck sites draw thousands of visitors to South Manitou each year.

Known for its pebble beaches and old-growth cedar forests, South Manitou Island is a perfect outdoor escape for hikers and campers of all ages and abilities.

Learn more at

More Trips to Consider

Looking for an another adventure? Check out our lineup of upcoming trips and expeditions to find the one that's right for you!  

bottom of page