|Address:||Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, 6748 S Dune Hwy, Empire, MI 49630, USA|
No one should have to pay $15 to go to a PUBLIC NATIONAL FEDERAL PARK! This experience was outrageous! My family and I have been visiting for generations and even grew up in this area as we were all students at Interlochen as well as The Interlochen Arts Academy. My boyfriend and I drove 7 hours to come here and we were shocked when this fat, entitled woman at the entrance took our money. I asked her what the money goes to since money has nothing to do with nature, it maintains itself. I just wanted to show my boyfriend lake Michigan from the dunes, THAT WAS IT. She replied, " The money goes to parks in the Upper Peninsula." So Michigan, why are you taxes not paying for basic toilets and water fountains at a public park?! Why are you screwing visitors?! Upon being basically forced to pay since we could not turn around due to the amount of annoying stupid tourists behind us, we were then given this ticket which was good for six days ( oh gee, thanks) and pamphlet that was not very informative...we learned this when we climbed half way through the dunes, suffering from heat exhaustion and had little water as we did not know the distance we would have to climb! WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SIGNS ALONG THE PATH STATING THE DISTANCE TO THE LAKE?! This death climb is dangerous and visitors need to be warned before trekking on this path in 90 degree weather! The stupid blue stakes are only good for referring to this large pamphlet, pain in the ass when you are carrying supplies! NEVER AGAIN...worst northwest MI experience of my life!!!
I cant say in words how beautiful this place is! I grew up visiting here every summer as a child and quickly fell in love! I am surprised how many people dont even know about it! If you like to be outdoors go there, if you arent one for outdoors then you might not enjoy it as much. There are trails, kayaking, scenic drives, beautiful sunsets, beautiful beaches & so much more! The trails are great, there are so many different trails offering different parts of nature (dunes, parries, etc.) & beautiful views. I grew up visiting during the summer but as I got older I started making trips in the fall. Both seasons are beautiful in their own ways! I am sure that spring and winter would also be lovely times to visit! I could go on and on about how much I love it here but instead I encourage you to go and visit it yourself!
Sleeping Bear Dunes is a great place and well worth the travel time to visit. We liked the different variety of areas to explore, from the huge sand dunes, the lake shore, the pine and beech and birch forests, then driving around on the Pierce Stocking Scenic Trail. The whole park is so huge you cant explore it all in a day and just walking along the high dunes could take all day. The surrounding area is also very pretty and the local wildlife is fun to watch, the squirrels and many different birds you see while exploring are interesting too. There is a lot of hills to climb and the wind along the shoreline coming from Lake Michigan is very refreshing after a long day exploring the isolated dunes.
What can you say about a national park? This one offers a few unique things. Athletes will love the races astound the area, the M22 challenge will have you running up the fine, biking both pristine lakes, and kayaking the smaller one. The Michigan Adventure race will have you heading into the woods, exploring more of the shores, and orienteering yourself through the less traveled trails of the park. Id youre just here to sight see be prepared for a little exertion to get to those pretty views. If youre a camper, be prepared for lots of company. Most of all, be prepared to be infected by the M22 spirit, the closest thing to the Hawaiian laid back attitude north of the equator.
Beautiful area of National Lakeshore. It is straightforward, not much "hidden" , it is a big set of sand dunes. It is a great place for a picnic with the family and summer afternoon. We were there in the middle of summer, so the weather was nice and views were good. However, from the visitors center they were saying the Sleeping Bear has different moods, which you can definitely see it happening in different seasons. Would like to consider more time to go out to the Little Bear islands. The Great Dune area is really good for just running around.
Dont let the pictures fool you, this is not a tourist destination. As a matter of fact, the whole of northern michigan really isnt that great to visit. If youre considering a visit here, maybe some place more remote and beautiful would suit you? Im thinking perhaps the great state of Wyoming! They love tourism, but not Jackson Hole, stay away from there, thats not beautiful either. Actually, maybe you can just stay within a 4 county radius of your home town? Go explore your own area. Find the beauty in your town. We got this handled up here.
I have had such a great experience here. I thought Id hate the dunes because I dislike sand. However, I really enjoyed climbing up and down them and jumping off the crests. The vistas at the tops of the dunes are remarkable and make the climb so worth it. The beach is very close and I had a great time swimming in Lake Michigan. Also, there is a bucolic town nearby called Glen Arbor. It has a decent grocery store, a few good cafés, and plenty delicious restaurants. I sincerely think anyone who makes a trio here will have a great time.
Beautiful view at the top of any dune. It was a lot of work just to go up to the top of one dune, so we hopped in our car and drove through the 2 mile scenic route to get to #9. Great stop. At the top of this dune, you can see all around, including Lake Michigan, the islands, Glen Haven Lake, and the tops of the dunes. Breathtaking. You only need to bring water if you plan on hanging around or climbing the dunes. A Flat price of $15.00 will get you in the parking lot and through the scenic route, good for 5 days.
The Dune Climb will take about 2-3 hours roundtrip, maybe 4 for those taking a lot of breaks. There are 2-3 steep climbs, but overall its not too bad. Bring a bottle of water per person. I recommend folks not wear shoes, as the trail is sandy, up until the end where there are more roots and sticks jutting out. If youre going to do the climb, the end view is totally worth it. Lake Michigan is beautiful this far north. The water is crystal clear, and during the late summer, the water is warm enough to swim in.
Beautiful spot, the whole place. Very impressive. Lots of families and kids. We went Wednesday afternoon in the summer, and there were tons of people. About a 45 minute drive from Traverse City -- very scenic. Bring a blanket and a picnic lunch - theres a beautiful little spot near the dunes overlook on the Pierce Stocking Scenic Trail, halfway between the trail entrance and the observation deck where theres shelter amongst a small grove of trees and a beautiful view of the lake.
Whats with all the sand? Gets everywhere. Car, bed, hair... And the kids got all wet in the water. Looked for a spot to go whale watching. Locals werent helpful at all. Sunset was nice at the beach, I guess; if you like sunsets. People even clap when it goes down, which I think is so cool! Walked the beach a little but its difficult in white new balances and socks (I dont like sand on my feet.) my wife kept handing me rocks and asking if I thought it was pretty... Its a rock.