Guide to Sleeping Bear Dunes

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore encompasses 35 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, North Manitou Island, and South Manitou Island. It has been part of the national park system since 1970. It's primary natural features include massive sand dunes, majestic forests, and quiet beaches. Cultural features include a historic rural farm district, an 1871 lighthouse, and three retired U.S. Life-Saving Service Stations.

Activities you can enjoy at the park include dune climbing, swimming along the beach, touring Port Oneida, and hiking any of the scenic trails in the area. Below we've listed a few of our favorite locations and activities associated with Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. For more information, give us a call. We look forward to hearing from you.

General Information

When is Sleeping Bear Dunes Open?
Open 24 hours a day

How much does Sleeping Bear Dunes Cost?
Vehicle Entrance Pass: @25.00
Motorcycle Entrance Pass: $20.00
Personal Entrance Pass: $15.00

Are pets allowed at Sleeping Bear Dunes?
Leashed pets are allowed in designated areas.

Address: 9922 Front Street, Empire, MI 49630
Phone: 231-326-4700
More info:

The Dune Climb

The Dune Climb at Sleeping Bear Dunes is one of the most popular activities at the park. The dunes top out at 460 feet above the surrounding shoreline, and is the one place in the park where dune climbing is encouraged. On any given day, you might see hundreds of adults and kids enjoying climbing and playing in the sand.

If you want a specific trail to hike, the Dune Climb Trail is what you're looking for. This is a strenuous 3.6-mile out-and-back hike near Glen Arbor Township, Michigan. The overall hike can take several hours and a lot of energy. The best time to hike this trail is from March until October. It's also a great hike for bird watching and nature trips.

Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail

Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail is a hard-surface, 22-mile trail that runs from Empire, Michigan to Bohemian Road in the Port Oneida Rural Historic District. Most of the trail is made of asphalt, but some boardwalks are used over wetland areas. Around Port Oneida, the trial is made up of crushed stone.

The trail is designed for hikers, bikers, and runners. In fact, it is the only bicycle trail in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. In the winter, some of the trail is groomed for cross-country skiing. Most of the trail is also wheelchair accessible. Motorized vehicles are not allowed. The trail has a number of trailheads, including Crystal River, Dune Climb, Pierce Stocking, Glen Haven, Bar Lake Road, Alligator Hill, and Port Oneida.

Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail also gives you a great opportunity to view local wildlife, especially in the areas around Port Oneida.