Ice Caves No Longer Safe
The ice formations in Leelanau Township, north of the park, are no longer safe to visit. High winds have fractured the ice, moving it to the west. Huge cracks have formed in the cave arches, making them very unsafe and open water is now visible.
Gift of the Lakeshore
Contact: Lisa Myers, 231-326-5134
If you are looking for a long lasting, fun-filled holiday gift for someone who loves to go to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, why not wrap up an annual park pass for them? For just $20, a pass covers the entrance fee for one year from date of purchase and is good for everyone in one vehicle. Whether it’s the National Lakeshore beaches from Platte Point to Good Harbor Bay, the Dune Climb, Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, the historic village of Glen Haven, 100+ miles of trails on the mainland, or the Manitou Islands that are favorite places, an annual pass allows the owner to visit anytime and throughout all the seasons.
Passes are available over the phone with a credit card or by stopping in the Philip Hart Visitor Center in Empire, open daily from 8:15 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Please note that the Visitor Center will be closed on Christmas and New Year’s Days and the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, which closes mid-November, will reopen in April. In the meantime, the Scenic Drive is used for skiing, walking and snowshoeing.
“We are so lucky to have this national park site in Northwest Lower Michigan,” said Dusty Shultz, Superintendent of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. “Recreational opportunities, incredible vistas, forests and farmlands, history and nature abound throughout these 71,000+ protected acres.” Visitors may be rewarded with a new perspective on the landscape if they come in the winter. Beaches, with strange ice formations, are shaped before your eyes by storms that have been known to uncover long buried treasures. The dunes are easier to hike in the winter and sometimes, there is even enough snow to sled down the Dune Climb! Fresh snows are also great for discovering animal tracks while you are out exploring.
For more information on Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, please call park headquarters at 231-326-5134.
Did You Know?
Where can you find 35 miles of pristine Lake Michigan Beaches? Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore also includes North Manitou Island (20 miles of shoreline) and South Manitou Island (14 miles of shoreline). More...