• Looking out at the lake

    Sleeping Bear Dunes

    National Lakeshore Michigan

Climbing the Dunes

Everybody wants to climb the Sleeping Bear Dunes, so come to the Dune Climb located north of Empire on M-109. You will find pure, wind-blown sand to climb, then run or roll down the dunes to the picnic area for a break and some refreshments and then head up the dune again.

Climbing the dunes is great exercise and there is a beautiful view of Glen Lake from the top. With the parking lot and picnic area at the base of the dune, you can stop climbing when you get tired and let gravity bring you back down.

This is a great playground for kids of all ages. The memories created here draw us to bring our children and grandchildren here to share the fun and create their own memories.

 
Dune Center at the Dune Climb

The Dune Center at the Dune Climb

Terry Phipps 2005

The Dune Center is the visitor center at the Dune Climb. It contains a park store and modern restrooms are nearby. A large picnic area is also available at the foot of the dunes.
 
View of Glen Lake from the Dune Climb

View of Glen Lake from the top of the Dune Climb

Kerry Kelly 2005

Those who have a lot of energy can take a hike on the Dunes Trail to Lake Michigan. This is the most strenuous trail in the park. While only 3.5 miles round trip, it is all sand and you will find climbing the dunes all along the trail to be a challenge. This is especially true on hot, sunny days. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes and take lots of water. The hike is worth the effort, because you will see a variety of wildflowers and the sight of Lake Michigan is outstanding. Don’t forget, you have to walk back.

You can also hike, pedal, or roll along the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. You can catch the trail at the trailhead is located in the northwest corner of the Dune Climb parking lot.

Did You Know?

Night Sky

The night sky is vital to many plants and animals that call Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore home and it holds a variety of meanings for many cultures. An unpolluted night sky is especially valuable to humans wishing to experience natural darkness, shooting stars, or the Milky Way.