• Looking out at the lake

    Sleeping Bear Dunes

    National Lakeshore Michigan

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  • No water at Weather Station Campground until further notice.

    The well at the Weather Station Campground is down for repair. Water is not available at the campground at this time.

  • Changes in compendium

    The Superintendent's Compendium for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was updated on August 19, 2014. Changes were related to designated wilderness, mushroom collecting, and the use of unmanned aircraft. More »

Beaches

Esch Road Beach and Bluffs
The sandy beaches of the Lakeshore are some of the best swimming and picnicking beaches in the U.S. Some get crowded during the busy summer season, but with 65 miles of shoreline along Lake Michigan, a short hike can almost always bring a visitor to their own quiet little swimming area. Lake Michigan’s water can be a bit chilly in June, but is a welcome relief during the hot parts of July and August. The water clarity has greatly increased over the past 10 years, probably due to the incredible filtering capabilities of the zebra mussel which have invaded the Great Lakes. You will find their shells on most beaches now, and care should be taken as these can cause a nasty cut to the bare feet of swimmers. The zebra mussel has benefited the Cladaphora algae, which can now be seen growing out into the deeper water and which often piles up along the shore due to wave action. At times, this algae can be a nuisance right at the beach edge, but is not a problem out in most of the swimming areas. This small distraction is soon overcome by the sound of the waves, the building of sand castles, the great breezes for kite flying, and the warmth of the sand after a swim.

Did You Know?

Floating the River

Float the river! There is more to do at Sleeping Bear Dunes than just climb sand dunes. A hot summer day is ideal for floating the Platte or Crystal River. More...