Trailspotters & Upper Peninsula Outfitters is owned by Thomas Funke, Author of 50 Hikes in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and 50 Hikes on the North Country Trail.
Receive a free, complimentary signed copy with any shuttle service!
Trailspotters & Upper Peninsula Outfitters is a FULL SERVICE outfitting company. We know the trail. We’ve hiked the trail. Heck, we wrote the book on the trail. (Actually, two books. But whose counting?). If you want someone to have your back, to help you plan your trip, give you accurate and correct answers about the area, we are the company to hire.
We offer regularly scheduled daily shuttles
May 1 – October 20th, 2018
Depart 700AM from Munising Falls Visitor Center
Depart 900AM from Grand Sable Visitor Center
Cost: $25 first person (receives copy of 50 Hikes in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula)
Each Additional Person: $12.95 (through April 1..that’s cheaper than ALTRAN! AND you get a book! Who does that? We Do!)
We pick up at all trailheads on the North Country Trail.
We will resume operations no sooner than May 1, 2018 or when H58 & feeder roads into park are clear of snow for vehicle travel.
We will accept reservations when Recreation.gov goes live for back country camping reservations.
Reservations must be made and paid for no later than noon the day before service.
Other products and services
Lodging at our Hiker Hostel in Germfask the night before your adventure $10 a person.
Killer Map of Pictured Rocks $5
Trip Insurance $5
DeLorme Inreach Rental: $36 for 4 days, includes trip insurance
And all the FREE ADVICE you’d ever need!
Cannot conform to our schedule and/or route? We can arrange a LYFT for your group!
Click HERE to make an online reservation
Or call us 386.227.7768 x 3
Commonly Asked Questions
Q. Why don’t you start before May 1?
A. One word: SNOW.
2018 Season will start May 1 or when the snow pack allows foot travel, whichever comes second.
Current Snow Situation in the US
Interactive Map showing snow depth in the UP
(Make sure to change the date to TODAY and then click “refresh map”)
Pictured Rocks Winter Road Closures map
Q. Do you pick up at ____________________ Trailhead?
A. The only trailhead we do not pick up at is Beaver Basin Overlook. We also do not pick up at the Interagency Visitor Center, which isn’t even in the park but we get asked this question A LOT.
Q. I don’t want your book. I don’t want any frills, can’t I just get a ride?
A. If all you need is a ride, you are welcome to use our heavily subsidized, tax supported competitor, Alger County Transit. Don’t be surprised if they cannot answer your questions (in fact, they frequently tell you to call us!). Don’t expect us to help you with a resuce, advice, etc. I’m not in the business to help my competitor.
Q. How does this LYFT thing work?
A. We have an account with UZURV, which brokers rides between LYFT users and LYFT drivers. You tell us when & where to pick you up, we will arrange for a LYFT driver to meet you at the trailhead. You will pay LYFT fees plus brokerage fees. You may find this is less expensive that using our regularly scheduled shuttle. However, we guarantee our shuttle, we cannot guarantee we can find you a LYFT. The more notice you give us, the more likely we can arrange a ride. AND, you’ll receive the full benefit of being a Trailspotters customer!
Q. Why do I need you? I can just order up a LYFT myslef.
A. Good luck with that. Most of the LYFT drivers work for me through UZURV. If you can get a LYFT, great! But, keep in mind, we offer no support for your trip nor are obligated to help you.
Q. You used to offer YOOPER OOPER, and Uber type service. I just rolled into town an need a ride RIGHT NOW. Can you help?
A. Due to changes in Michigan Law, our company vehicles can only operate on fixed routes at fixed times. Your first option it to conform to our schedule. If you cannot, we will attempt to arrange a LYFT, but, unless I have a LYFT driver who has agreed to be “on call”, it is unlikely. Our suggestion is to schedule a ride to be shuttled back to your car AFTER your hike. Bring Frebreze.
Q. What is this “hiker hostel”?
A. We own rental properties, one of which is set up hostel-style. It is community housing, we provide the cot, you provide a sleeping bag. Don’t worry, it is indoors, with hot water showers, flush toilet, and running water. It is getting pretty old for us looking for hikers sleeping in their cars at trailheads. So, we offer this dirt-cheap lodging so you can get a good night’s sleep and we know where to find you in the morning.
Q. How does your trip insurance work?
A. For $5 for your group, if you have a non-medical emergency (bugs, blisters, bad weather, death in family, ran out of booze), we will come and get you, no questions asked.
Q. Didn’t you offer free rescues?
A. We still do! However, the way it works is if you DO NOT have insurance, we do bill you for our services, but, it ends up as a credit on your account. That way, you can return and finish the trip and you’ll have funds to apply towards it. Sometimes, there is no cost because you are able to catch an already running shuttle. Trips in the middle of the night, yeah, they can be costly. Most rescues are in the $25-95 range.
Q. I have questions about bears, trail conditions, campsite options, permits, where to eat, etc. Can we chat before I make a reservation?
A. Yes, but, please understand A LOT of Altran customers call us and pry us for information. We prefer that you purchase a book and then, even if you do use Altran, I’ll still help you plan your trip.
We are a private company that receives no tax support. In fact, the taxes we pay support our competitor.
We appreciate you supporting a local, tax paying business.
We support our local trail community.