Because you probably already misspelled or mispronounced this Michigan hot spot, make sure you don’t miss out on it. Kitch iti kipi is one of the most visited places in Michigan but don’t let the name or crowds scare you. This attraction should be put at the top of your Michigan bucket list, especially if you are in the UP.

kitch iti kipi

Where is Kitchitikipi?

Kitchitikipi is situated in the southern middle section of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The closest major city to it is Manistique but not much else is happening in the area besides Kitchitikipi. Most visitors are venturing for a day trip or passing through on their Northern Michigan adventure.

What is Kitch iti kipi?

kitch iti kipi springs

With a tongue twisting name, there is surely some mystique behind the name. Kitchitikipi aka “the Big Spring” is Michigan’s largest freshwater spring and is one of the most mesmerizing bodies of waters in the states. The turquoise waters are majestic and the surrounding scenery stunning.

Legend of Kitchitikipi

“Kitch-iti-kipi was supposedly a young chieftain whose girlfriend got the best of him. He told her he loved her far above the other dark-haired maidens dancing near his birchbark wigwam. “Prove it,” she insisted. As a test of his devotion, she declared that he must set sail in his canoe on the pool deep in the conifer swamp. He was to catch her from his canoe as she leaped from an overhanging bough. His canoe tipped over as he was looking for her, while she was back at her village laughing with the other indian maidens about his silly quest.

According to legend the Spring was named Kitch-iti-kipi in memory of the young chieftain who went to his death in the icy waters in an attempt to satisfy the vain caprice of his ladylove”

When should I visit KitchitiKipi?

kitchitikipi raft

Because the spring is a tourist hot spot, be conscious of your travel dates. Spring and summer can be packed while the cooler months can be empty. Luckily enough our visit was well timed where there were only a few people and we had the place to ourselves for more than 30 minutes. All you photographers know what it’s like.

What can I do at Kitchitikipi?


Embrace the majestic beauty of the spring and take some photos. Aside from photos, the spring has a self operated raft that transports visitors into the center of the tranquil pond. This is a must so you can witness the large trout and underwater fissures releasing water into the pond below.


Parking at Kitchitikipi?

kitch iti kipi

The parking situation is large but it’s easy to see how busy the lot can fill up during peak hours. Because people don’t stay that long, the flow of cars coming and going is consistent.

How Much does it Cost to enter Kitchitikipi?

The cost of entry is $9 for single day use and for Michigan registered residents, free. Bathrooms are available and food vendors are present during warmers months.

Can I camp at Kitchitikipi?

Not at the Big Springs itself but in the surrounding areas you will find campsites! Book in advance in summer as campgrounds can fill up fast. If you can’t find one in the surrounding area, there will most definitely be one within 30 minutes! Or you can stay at the Moose Manor. More info below!

Where to go after Kitchitikipi?

upper peninsula

If you are heading west or north from the eastern UP, head over to Marquette and Munising. If you need ideas for the rest of the trip check out these guides here:

Sugarloaf Hiking Guide

Marquette Hiking

More about Me – Eric

If you are going to be photographing this majestic gem, I highly recommend you go during the winter months. As gorgeous as it is in any other season, the snow makes for a dramatic effect on the Big Springs that you will be so glad you made the trip for.

If you’re heading to Marquette and want to book a photo tour with me, follow this link and we can make your memories last forever!

Thanks for reading and hope to hear from you guys! If you have any recommendations about where to go or who too see, drop it in the comments!

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