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.
Annual Park Pass Makes a Great Gift!
Contact: Paul Purifoy, 231-326-5134
If you are looking for a long-lasting, fun-filled holiday gift for someone who loves to regularly visit Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (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 the date of purchase and is good for everyone in the vehicle. Whether it is 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, an annual pass allows the owner an opportunity to visit anytime throughout the different seasons.
Passes may be purchased over the telephone by credit card or at the front desk of the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire from 8:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day. Also available at the Visitor Center is a wide selection of items based on the Ken Burns documentary, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” including the 12-hour PBS documentary on DVD, a book with beautiful photographs, the series soundtrack, and even Scrabble and Uno! From games to fascinating history, to stunning vistas, these gifts can help share the wonder of America’s national parks with all ages.
“We are so fortunate 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 also 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.
Please note that the Visitor Center will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, and that the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, which closes mid-November, will reopen in April. In the meantime, visitors may use the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive for skiing, walking, and snowshoeing.
For more information on Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, please call Park Headquarters at 231-326-5134.
Did You Know?
You can enjoy the warm water of a small inland lake and walk a few steps across the pristine sand dunes to Lake Michigan and experience the refreshing cool waves of the big lake at North Bar Lake in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. More...