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Top Ten Tips for Visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes

Use these top ten tips to plan like a park ranger.

We look forward to welcoming you this summer. The 2022 season is expected to be very busy, so make sure to plan ahead, recreate responsibly, and help ensure this beautiful landscape may be enjoyed by future generations.

Explore these areas before 10 am or after 4 pm when there are less crowds, lower temperatures, and better parking spots. 

  • Dune Climb 
  • Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive 
  • Philip A. Hart Visitor Center 
  • Empire Bluff Trail 
  • Pyramid Point Trail
Step inside the Charles and Hattie Olsen Farmhouse for a journey into the historic life of the pioneers in the region. Port Oneida Heritage Center - Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear (phsb.org)  
Plan ahead and download the NPS mobile app before your visit. Search National Park Service in your app store. Be sure to select offline access for Sleeping Bear Dunes. This gives you access to self-guided tours and maps even if you don't have cell service.
Recreate responsibly. Watch this three-minute video to prepare for a visit to the beach or dunes. Be sure to select CC or AD for accessibility features of the video.
Become a good BARK ranger by familiarizing yourself with the park pet policies.  We want to protect the Piping Plover, an endangered species that are greatly impacted by the presence of dogs.
Protect yourself from ticks by staying on trails. Steer clear of tall grasses, shrubs, and tree leaves — where ticks like to "quest". Do a tick check on your body at the end of the day. Bonus if you shower when you get home! Check out our Tick webpage for more information.  
Sleeping Bear Dunes offers some great places to explore the night skies. View constellations you never knew existed, watch in awe the expanse of the Milky Way, and perhaps catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Discover the at Night Sky on our park webpage. 
The park is home to over 100 miles of trails! Get off the beaten path by visiting some of the lesser known trails in the park including Bay View TrailOld Indian Trail, and Shauger Hill.  
The North Country National Scenic Trail winds its way across eight northern states, including Michigan. Visit the Midwest National Parks page for a full list of all this area has to offer.
Evening programs are offered in both campgrounds and anyone can attend. Look for pop-up programs throughout the summer and chat with a park ranger at the mobile visitor center or green tent. 
Check out the calendar during your visit.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Last updated: May 25, 2022