Lac Vieux Desert Recreation Area

Area Status: Closed

Camp here and you'll be at the headwaters of the Wisconsin River! You'll also be on a lake that has been "home" to Chippewa (Ojibwa) American Indians for centuries. This 4,017-acre lake is one of the largest lake on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and is shared with the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

If you are planning to fish, please review the border lake fishing regulations. The lake is known for its musky, walleye, bass, and northern pike.

The campground is located on the west shore of the lake and features a boat landing and picnic shelter.

At a Glance

Fees: Individual campsite fee is $15, or $7.50 with the use of an Interagency pass (access or senior). The interagency pass applies only to the fee for the campsite physically occupied by the pass holder, not to any additional fees or campsite(s) occupied by members of the pass holder's party.
Open Season: May 5 - October 11
Closest Towns:  Phelps
Information Center: Eagle River - Florence Ranger District

General Information


From Eagle River travel 16 miles north on Highway 45/32 to County Road E. Turn right (east) on E and continue 2.8 miles to FR 2205 (West Shore Road). Turn left (north) and drive 1.3 miles to the campground entrance.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

Lac Vieux Desert has often been translated as Lake of the Desert. However, in Canadian-French it means an old clearing and refers to cultivation of land by native people on the islands of the lake. Lac Vieux Desert is the headwaters of the Wisconsin River. The campground has 31 campsites equipped with fire rings, drinking water and vault toilets. The campground, which is located on the west shore of the lake, is popular with anglers and recreationists alike.

RV Camping

No. of Sites 31
Reservation Info There are no reservable sites at the Lac Vieux Desert Campground.  All sites are available on a first-come basis.
Size Restrictions

Maximum RV/Trailer Length of Campsites at Lac Vieux Desert Campground:
(Back-in sites unless indicated below)
35 Foot: 15, 22, 24, 31
40 Foot: 1-14, 16-21, 23, 25-30

Pavement Type of Parking Asphalt

Lake and Pond Fishing

Fishing for musky, walleye, northern pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass, perch, and panfish

Fish Species musky, walleye, bass, and northern pike

Ice Fishing

Fishing for musky, walleye, northern pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass, perch, and panfish


Enjoy the shade while having your lunch at the picnic shelter.

Scenic Driving

The Natural History Auto Tour was created to highlight the variety of scenic and historic points of interest in the Eagle River Ranger District area. You'll experience a varied, forested landscape and a number of historic spots with informational signs along the way. Click here for more information.

Boating - Motorized

Lac Vieux Desert Recreation Area features a paved boat launch.

Boating - Non-Motorized

Kayaking, canoeing, and paddling are some of the popular water activities on Lac Vieux Desert.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Featured Events


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