• Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

    Indiana Dunes

    National Lakeshore Indiana

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Mount Baldy Area is Closed

    The Mount Baldy area is closed due to hazardous conditions until further notice.

Fees & Reservations

Camping Fee - Dunewood Campground
$18.00 per day

Automated registration system requires a credit or debit card ONLY. No cash or checks accepted. Reservations are not accepted; this is a first-come, first-served campground. During most summer weekends, the campground is full by Friday afternoon. There are 66 sites: 53 drive-in and (walk-in sites temporarily closed), 3 sites are fully accessible. The campground is open last Friday in April through third Sunday in October. Discounts available for holders of the Senior Pass and Access Pass and the old Golden Age and Golden Access passes.

more...

 

User Fee - West Beach
$6.00 per car per day
$30.00 per bus per day
Now accepting Mastercard, Visa, and Discover cards.

This is a summer beach area with a bathhouse and hiking trails. Trails are open all year. The user fee for this area is collected Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass is not accepted at West Beach.

more...

 

Picnic Shelter Reservations

All Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore picnic shelters are on a first come first serve basis.

 
America the Beautiful - the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass

The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act established a new pass program to replace the National Park Pass, Golden Eagle, Golden Age, and Golden Access Passports. Beginning January 1, 2007, the America the Beautiful - the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass program will provide a number of pass options for the public to use at Federal recreation sites where entrance or standard amenity fees are charged.

There are four passes in the interagency program are:

 
Annual Pass

Annual Pass

America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass– Annual Pass - $80
The Annual Pass replaces the National Park Pass and Golden Eagle Passport. It is available to the general public and provides access to, and use of, Federal recreation sites that charge an Entrance or Standard Amenity Fee for a year, beginning from the date of sale. The pass admits the pass holder(s) and three accompanying adult passengers, age 16 and older, in a non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas and per person fee areas. Children under 16 are admitted free. The pass can be obtained in person at the Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center, by calling 1-888-ASK USGS, Ext. 1, or via the Internet at http://store.usgs.gov/pass.

 
NPS_Senior_Pass

Senior Pass

America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass– Senior Pass - $10
The Senior Pass replaces the Golden Age Passport. This is a lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over. The pass provides access to, and use of, Federal recreation sites that charge an Entrance or Standard Amenity. The pass admits the pass holder and three adult passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas and per person fee areas. Children under 16 are admitted free. The pass can only be obtained in person at the park.
The Senior Pass provides a 50 percent discount on some Expanded Amenity Fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, swimming, boat launch, and specialized interpretive services. In some cases where Expanded Amenity Fees are charged, only the pass holder will be given the 50 percent price reduction. The pass is non-transferable and generally does NOT cover or reduce special recreation permit fees or fees charged by concessionaires.

 
NPS_Access_Pass

Access Pass

America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass– Access Pass - Free
This pass replaces the Golden Access Passport. This is a lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities. Documentation is required to obtain the pass. Acceptable documentation includes: statement by a licensed physician; document issued by Federal agency such as the Veteran’s Administration, Social Security Disability Income or Supplemental Security Income; or document issued by a State agency such as a vocational rehabilitation agency. The pass provides access to, and use of, Federal recreation sites that charge an Entrance or Standard Amenity. The pass admits the pass holder and three adult passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas and per person fee areas. Children under 16 are admitted free. The pass can only be obtained in person at the park.

The Access Pass provides a 50 percent discount on some Expanded Amenity Fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, swimming, boat launching, and specialized interpretive services. In some cases where Expanded Amenity Fees are charged, only the pass holder will be given the 50 percent price reduction. The pass is non-transferable and generally does NOT cover or reduce special recreation permit fees or fees charged by concessionaires.

 
NPS Volunteer pass

Volunteer Pass

America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass- Volunteer Pass - Free
This pass is for volunteers acquiring 500 service hours on a cumulative basis. It provides access to, and use of, Federal recreation sites that charge an Entrance or Standard Amenity Fee for a year, beginning from the date of award. The pass admits the pass holder and three adult passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas and per person fee areas. Children under 16 are admitted free. Find out more about volunteer opportunities at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

All National Parks Passes, Golden Eagle, Golden Eagle Hologram, Golden Access, and Golden Age Passports will continue to be honored according to the provisions of the pass. Only paper Golden Age and Access Passports may be exchanged free of charge for new plastic passes.

Here are some additional information sources:

 
Fees

With the signing of the FY 2005 Appropriations Act, the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act replaced the Recreational Fee Demonstration and National Park Pass authorities.

The Recreational Fee Demonstration Program was instituted in 1997 by the FY 1996 Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions and Appropriations Act. Subsequent appropriations language extended this authority to collect through December 31 2004, with all funds expended by September 30, 2008. This “demonstration” program authorized 100% of the revenue generated by charging fees to be returned to the National Park Service, with 80% remaining at the site where it is collected and 20% to be used Servicewide at the Director's discretion.

Indiana Dunes benefits from fees in a variety of ways. Fees charged at West Beach are used to provide custodial and lifeguard services. Additionally, the national lakeshore have used funds generated by the fee program to:

  • Expand the Mt. Baldy parking lot;
  • Provide access to West Beach for people with disabilities;
  • Replace the current Pinhook Bog parking lot with a safer, larger parking lot (2006); and
  • Restore natural habitats. Funds from fees have been used to hire students through the Public Land Corp program. These students have helped preserve the Karner Blue Butterfly habitat and restore the Mnoké Prairie and Great Marsh. Their work has included: propagation of native plants, construction of a park greenhouse, and construction of water retention structures.

Did You Know?

picture of visitors asking a park ranger a question over a counter

On November 29, 2006, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, dedicated the new Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center. The facility is be shared with the Porter County Visitor Convention, Recreation, and Visitor Commission. More...