Fees & Passes

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Please Read This First

Indiana Dunes is home to both a national park and a state park. Both are incredible parks that offer countless recreation opportunities. However, Indiana Dunes National Park is owned by the federal government and Indiana Dunes State Park is owned by the State of Indiana. As such, each park has fees and passes that are separate and unique. None of the passes and fees work between the two parks.

  • Beginning March 31st, 2022 Indiana Dunes National Park will require an entrance pass. The entrance fee is $25 for a non-commercial family-sized passenger vehicle or $15 per-person for walk-in / bike-in / boat-in. The Indiana Dunes National Park Annual pass is $45 and is good for a family for one year. The America the Beautiful - Interagency Pass Program: Annual, Senior Annual, Senior Lifetime, Access, Military, Volunteer in the Park, and Every Kid Outdoors (4th grade) passes are also accepted. All passes are for sold at the Visitor Center, Paul H. Douglas Center, seasonally at the West Beach entrance,and online at www.recreation.gov.
  • The Indiana Dunes State Park's only entrance is at the northern terminus of State Road 49. The state park charges a daily entrance fee per car for almost the entire year ($7 for Indiana plates, $12 for out of state plates). The state park does sell a state park annual pass that is accepted at all Indiana State Parks. The pass is not available for purchase at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, but can be purchased at the state park office or fee booth.
  • The national park's America the Beautiful passes (Annual, Senior, Access, etc.) are not accepted at the Indiana Dunes State Park.
  • The state park's annual pass is not accepted at any national park or federal land.
  • Both parks have a campground. Both are separately managed and have different reservations systems (www.recreation.gov for the national park's Dunewood Campground and www.camp.IN.gov for the state park campground).
  • Indiana Dunes National Park's America the Beautiful Senior and Access passes do provide a 50% discount to the national park's Dunewood Campground and Central Beach Area Campground. All other federal passes do not provide a discount. The state park's annual pass does not work the national park campground. The America the Beautiful federal passes do not work at the state park campgound.
If you have any further questions regarding national park and state park passes, please stop by or call the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center.
 

1-7 Day Entrance Passes

Entrance passes can be purchased from the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, the Paul H. Douglas Center, seasonally at the West Beach kiosk, or online at recreation.gov.

7-Day Park Entrance Pass - Motorcycle Pass - $20.00

Per motorcycle (valid for 1-7 days from date of purchase)

7-Day Park Entrance Pass - Family-Size Vehicle Pass - $25.00

Per private family-sized vehicle (valid for 1-7 days from date of purchase).

7-Day Per Person Entrance Pass (Organized, non-commercial groups) - $15.00

Visitors 16 years of age or older who enter on foot, bicycle, boat, or as part of an organized group not involved in a commercial tour.

Commercial Tour Fee - Sedan (1-6 persons) - $25.00

Entry for commercial sedans with 6 or less people. Cost is $25.00 plus $15 per person (not to exceed next highest rate).

Commercial Tour Fee - Van (7-15 persons) - $40.00

Entry for commercial vans with 7-15 people.

Commercial Tour Fee - Mini Bus (16-25 persons) - $40.00

Entry for commercial mini bus with 16-25 people.

Commercial Tour Fee - Motor Coach (26+ persons) - $100.00

Entry for commercial motor coaches with 26+ persons.

 

Annual and Lifetime Passes

Annual and lifetime passes can be purchased from the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, the Paul H. Douglas Center, seasonally at the West Beach kiosk, or online at recreation.gov.
 

Places To Purchase A Pass

7-Day entrance passes, Indiana Dunes National Park Annual Pass, and Interagency Passes can be purchased from the following locations:
  • Indiana Dunes Visitor Center - 1215 N. State Road 49, Porter, IN 46304
  • Paul H. Douglas Center - 100 N. Lake Street, Gary, IN 46403
  • West Beach Kiosk (seasonally) - 376 N. County Line Road, Gary, IN 46403
  • Recreation.gov
7-Day entrance passes and Indiana Dunes National Park Annual Passes may also be purchased from:
  • Dig the Dunes Trail Stop at Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk Pavillion -
    100 Riverwalk Road, Portage, IN 46368
  • Virk's Dunes Mart - 2 E Dunes Hwy, Beverly Shores, IN 46301
  • Porter Quick Stop - 20 E US Highway 20, Chesterton, IN 46304
  • Marathon Gas Station - 5865 US-12, Ogden Dunes IN 46368
  • Schoolhouse Shop - 278 East CR-1500 North, Chesterton, IN 46304
  • 4411 Inn and Suites - 4411 US-12, Michigan City, IN 46360
    (7-Day entrance pass offered with stay only)
 
Image of Lorelei Weimer (Indiana Dunes Tourism) and Bruce Rowe (Park Ranger) sitting in chairs before a beach backdrop.
Lorelei Weimer (Indiana Dunes Tourism) and Bruce Rowe (Park Ranger) sit in beach chairs before a beach backdrop.  The words Indiana Dunes National park Entry Fee Q&A appear on the left.

Have Questions?

Follow this link to watch an informative video about the new entrance fees and passes available.

What is the new fee?

An Entrance Fee for Indiana Dunes National Park.

Why the new fee?

The new fee revenue will help fund a wide variety of deferred maintenance and new projects like the Marquette Greenway Bike Trail, parking and transportation improvements, and visitor services for a park that has seen its attendance increase from 1.7 million visitors to more than 3 million since its name change in February of 2019. At least 55% of this revenue must be used for maintenance while the rest can be used to supplement operations and fund improvements to visitor services.

When would the new fee begin?

March 31, 2022

Will this fee be accepted at Indiana Dunes State Park?

No, this new fee is only for the national park and does not cover the fee collected by the state for entrance into the Indiana Dunes State Park.

Will my Federal Lands Pass work for this fee?

Yes, the following federal passes will work:
America the Beautiful (Annual pass to Federal Lands, $80)
Senior (62 years old; $20 for Annual Senior Pass or $80 for Lifetime Senior Pass)
Military (Active Military, No cost)
Veterans & Gold Star Families (No cost)
4th Grade (No cost)
Access (Permanent Disability; No cost)

Will my Indiana State Parks Pass be a accepted for this fee?

No.

How will people pay the fee?

Fees will be paid at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, the Paul H. Douglas Center, the West Beach Entrance Station (seasonally) and on-line at Recreation.gov. We do not plan to build entrance stations at each parking lot.

Do you have to pay an entrance fee every day?

The $25 vehicle pass is good for 7 days or you can buy an annual pass for that is good for a year from when it is purchased.

Is it ever free to enter the National Park?

Yes, there are five days a year when all national parks are free to enter:

-Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 17th in 2022)
-First Day of National Park Week (April 16 in 2022)
-Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act (Always on August 4th)
-National Public Lands Day (September 24th in 2020)
-Veterans Day (always November 11th)

In addition, the park superintendent has the authority to designate a limited number of fee-free days at Indiana Dunes National Park. These days have not been determined.

There is no fee required to enter the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center or the Paul H. Douglas Center.

Do you have to pay the fee to drive, bike or kayak/boat though the park?

No, simply passing through the park on roads, bike trails or by water (Little Calumet River or Lake Michigan) does not require an entrance fee. However, if you stop in the park to walk a trail, use the beach, eat in a picnic shelter, or use other park facilities, an entrance fee should be paid.

Do delivery trucks or other commercial vehicles have to pay a fee?

No, vehicles entering the park to do work or deliver goods do not have to pay the fee.

Do School Groups have to pay the fee for field trips?

No, educational groups coming to the park can receive an Educational Fee Waiver. They need to contact the park at least three weeks in advance to request the waiver.

My question is not in this FAQ. How do I get it answered?

Call the park’s visitor information line at 219-395-1882.
 
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Dunewood Campground

Basic Information

Amenities

Fire/Stove Policy

Toilet Types

Shower Types

Description

Closures & Seasonal Exceptions


Weather

Phone number (Voice)

Mailing Address

Physical Address

Directions

Additional Information

Cell Phone Additional Information

Internet Additional Information

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Dunbar Group Site

Basic Information

Amenities

Fire/Stove Policy

Toilet Types

Shower Types

Description

Closures & Seasonal Exceptions


Weather

Phone number (Voice)

Mailing Address

Physical Address

Directions

Additional Information

Cell Phone Additional Information

Internet Additional Information

Regulations

Accessibility Information
 
Picnic Shelter

Picnic Shelter Reservations

There are picnic shelters located at many locations within Indiana Dunes National Park. Most are first come, first served, with the following exceptions:

  • West Beach. There are 8 covered picnic shelters near the West Beach parking lot that are wheelchair accessible. The shelters are reservable at recreation.gov starting six months in advance of the desired use date. The reservation is good for day use from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm. The shelter reservation does not waive the West Beach car entrance fee collected during the summer months.
  • Bailly / Chellberg. There are 3 covered picnic shelters near the parking lot that are wheelchair accessible. The shelters are reservable at recreation.gov starting six months in advance of the desired use date. The reservation is good for day use from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm.

Learn more...

 
Flyer displaying how fee dollars are used to support park projects.

Your Fee Dollars At Work

The fees you pay when visiting Indiana Dunes National Park or when staying in the campgrounds make a difference. Entrance Fees are used to provide custodial and lifeguard services. Without you, the visitor, these services would not be possible. Fees collected from the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act allowed us to complete projects like:

  • Road improvements and trail improvements.
  • Improving accessibility for people with disabilities.
  • Campground upgrades.
  • Restore natural habitats.

Last updated: April 26, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1100 North Mineral Springs Road
Porter , IN 46304

Phone:

219 395-1882
Indiana Dunes Visitor Center phone number.

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