FAQs and How to Comment on Proposed Entrance Fees and Suggested Campsites

Possible New Park Fees and Proposed Campsites

The National Park Service is seeking public comment on a proposed entrance fee for Indiana Dunes National Park. Comments are also being sought on two new proposed services in the park; six backcountry campsites and a group campsite located near the beach. Comments are due by October 1, 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the park considering with this public process?

We are seeking public input on a proposal to add an entrance fee to the park and to add a group campsite and 6-10 back county campsites

What is the new fee?

We are considering an Entrance Fee for Indiana Dunes National Park. It would be:

$25, per carload, for a 1–7-day pass.

$45 for a yearly pass specific to this park.

$100 for a commercial bus.

Will my Federal Pass work for this fee?

The following passes will work:

America the Beautiful




4th Grade


How will people pay it?

Most fees will be able to be paid at the visitor center, west beach and on-line. We are not planning to have multiple points of entry with stations built throughout the park

Do you have to pay an entrance fee every day?

The $25 vehicle pass is actually good for 7 days and you can buy an annual pass and only have to pay once.

There are also the five National Park Fee Free Days each year as well as one or two other days that the superintendent could get approved by Region for major special events like festivals.

There would be no fee required to enter the Park Visitor Center or the Paul H. Douglas Center.

There would be no fee required to drive through the park on US Highway 12 or on any public road or for delivery trucks or other commercial vehicles that enter the park to provide a work service.

Educational groups coming to the park can receive an Educational Fee Waiver.

Why do we need this new fee?

We are looking ahead anticipating what our park needs to tune up existing facilities as well as considering future enhancements and new amenities to better serve our visitors. Our visitation has increased dramatically in the past couple of years. Specific changes on the horizon include intelligent transportation technology to provide visitors with trip planning tools including real-time parking availability at many or all the National Park Service parking lots.

We’d also like to be a partner in completing the missing segments of the Marquette Greenway that will connect Michigan and Illinois via a multi-use trail. The new fee program will provide additional and needed financial resources to address our maintenance, public safety, and programming needs.

What else is in this proposal?

In addition to an entrance fee, we are proposing two new camping opportunities in the park.

Dunbar Group Campsite – This would be the first group campsite in the park and would be located approximately 150 yards south of Dunbar Beach. The only development involved would be some minimal mowing of the former house site, a fire ring and a few picnic tables. Campers would use the Dunbar Beach bathrooms (located about 50 yards away) and could get potable water from a water faucet located on the outside of the bathroom building. A small number of cars could be parked in the Dunbar Beach lot and other cars or vans would have to be parked remotely. The site would hold a maximum of 30 people and cost $100 per night.

Backcountry Campsites – These would be the first “backcountry” campsites located in the park. Between 6-10 sites would be designated on former house sites located approximately ¼ mile to ½ mile east of the Central Avenue Beach parking lot. Unlike true backcountry sites, visitors would be required to camp at designated locations to reduce impact to park resources. The only services provided would be a porta-potty that would be located at the northern end of Carolina Avenue. The sites would require mowing and a fire ring and picnic table may be provided. These sites would cost $25 per night and have a limit of eight campers.

How to comment:
You can provide your comments online at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/ or e-mail us. Comments submitted by phone or social media will not be accepted. Comments submitted by individuals or organizations on behalf of other individuals or organizations also will not be accepted. All comments are due by October 1, 2021.

For more detail see our news release.

Last updated: August 25, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1100 North Mineral Springs Road
Porter, IN 46304


(219) 395-1882
Indiana Dunes Visitor Center phone number.

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