Fees & Passes

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 separate and unique fees and passes. None of the passes and fees work between the two parks.

  • Indiana Dunes National Park does not have an entrance fee. You do not need to purchase an America the Beautiful Annual Pass, Senior Pass, etc. to enter this national park. Indiana Dunes National Park does sell all federal passes for use at other federal areas that do have entrance fees.
  • 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.
  • 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. Indiana Dunes National Park does not have an entrance fee.
  • 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. 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 passes do not work at the state park campgound.
  • Indiana Dunes National Park's West Beach does have a $6 per car parking fee which is collected from the Friday of Memorial Day weekend through the Monday of Labor Day weekend. The America the Beautiful Senior and Access Passes do provide a 50% discount. All other federal passes do not provide a discount. The state park's annual pass does not provide a discount.
If you have any further questions regarding national park and state park passes, please stop by or call the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center.

Fees

The fees you pay when visiting Indiana Dunes National Park at West Beach or when staying at the Dunewood Campground make a difference. Fees charged at West Beach 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.
 
Dunewood Campground

Dunewood Campground

  • Campground open from April 1 through November 1.
  • $25.00 per night camping fee (expanded amenity fee).
  • All 67 sites are reservable in advance at www.recreation.gov starting six months in before the check-in date. Sites are reservable beginning on November 15 for the following camping season.
  • 50% discount for the following America the Beautiful - The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands passes: Senior Annual, Senior Lifetime, and Access Passes.
  • No discount for the following America the Beautiful - The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands passes: Annual (non-senior), Military, Volunteer, and 4th Grade.
  • No electrical or water hook-ups at individual sites. Potable water is available at several locations. There is an RV dump station.
  • Shower and restroom facilities are located at the center of each loop.
  • Allowed to stay 14 nights per 30 day period.
  • GPS Coordinates: 41.671786, -86.983985 (Decimal Degrees).

Learn more...

 
West Beach Fee

West Beach

  • Expanded amenity fee collected daily for every vehicle from the Friday of Memorial Day weekend through the Monday of Labor Day weekend from 8:00 am to as late as 7:00 pm Central Time.
  • $6.00 per vehicle or motorcycle per day, $30.00 per bus per day.
  • 50% discount for the following America the Beautiful - The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands passes: Senior Annual, Senior Lifetime, and Access Passes.
  • No discount for the following America the Beautiful - The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands passes: Annual (non-senior), Military, Volunteer, and 4th Grade.
  • Cash, U.S. checks, credit, debit and gift cards (MasterCard, Visa and Discover) are accepted.
  • 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 Central Time. The shelter reservation does not waive the West Beach car entrance fee collected during the summer months.
  • This is a summer beach area with a bathhouse and lifeguards.
  • There are year round hiking trails. Click here for more information.

Learn more...

 
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...

 

Park Passes
America the Beautiful - The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes

The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act established a new pass program to replace the National Park Pass, Golden Eagle, Golden Age, and Golden Access Passports. This new pass program began January 1, 2007. America the Beautiful - The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass program provides a number of options including Annual, Senior Annual, Senior Lifetime, Access, Military, 4th Grade Annual, and Volunteer passes for the public to use at federal recreation sites where entrance, standard amenity, and expanded amenity fees are charged.

A pass is your ticket to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. Each pass has different benefits that can differ by location. All passes cover entrance fees at national parks and national wildlife refuges as well as standard amenity fees (day use fees) at national forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A pass covers entrance, standard amenity fees, and day use fees for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle at per vehicle fee areas (or up to four adults at sites that charge per person). Children age 15 or under are admitted free. Some passes such as the Access, Senior Annual, and Senior Lifetime may also offer reduced expanded amenity fees at certain parks and locations.

 
Annual Pass

Annual Pass

  • $80. Cash, credit cards, and debit cards accepted. No personal checks.
  • Valid for one full year from the month of purchase (through last day of that month).
  • Replaces the National Park Pass and Golden Eagle Passport.
  • Available to the general public and provides access to, and use of, Federal recreation sites that charge an Entrance or Standard Amenity Fee.
  • This pass does not offer a discount on Expanded Amenity Fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, parking, swimming, boat launch, and specialized interpretive services.
  • Admits the pass holder and three accompanying adult passengers, age 16 and older, in a non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas and per person fee areas. Children under 16 are admitted free without a pass.
  • Pass can be obtained in person at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center or by calling 1-888-ASK USGS, Ext. 1 or via the Internet at the USGS store.
 
LifetimeSenPass

Senior Lifetime Pass

  • $80 (effective August 28, 2017). Cash, credit cards, and debit cards accepted. No personal checks.
  • The Senior Pass replaces the Golden Age Passport.
  • Lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over.
  • Provides access to, and use of, federal recreation sites that charge an entrance or standard amenity fee.
  • Admits the pass holder and three accompanying adult passengers, age 16 and older, in a non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas and per person fee areas. Children under 16 are admitted free without a pass.
  • Provides a 50% discount on some Expanded Amenity Fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, parking, swimming, boat launch, and specialized interpretive services. These fees are park specific.
  • In some cases where Expanded Amenity Fees are charged, only the pass holder will be given the 50% price reduction (typically guided tour fees).
  • Non-transferable and generally does NOT cover or reduce special recreation permit fees or fees charged by concessionaires.
  • Pass can be obtained in person at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center or by calling 1-888-ASK USGS, Ext. 1 or via the Internet at the USGS store.
 
AnnualSenPass

Senior Annual Pass

  • $20. Cash, credit cards, and debit cards accepted. No personal checks.
  • Valid for one full year from the month of purchase (through last day of that month).
  • The annual senior pass can be upgraded to a lifetime senior pass by exchanging up to four annual passes and paying the difference between the combined value of the annual passes ($20 each) and the $80 purchase price of the lifetime senior pass. For example, two annual senior passes ($40 value) plus $40 cash could be used to obtain a lifetime senior pass. All exchanged annual senior pass signatures must match (all passes must be from the same person).
  • The Senior Pass replaces the Golden Age Passport.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, age 62 or over.
  • Provides access to, and use of, federal recreation sites that charge an entrance or standard amenity fee.
  • Admits the pass holder and three accompanying adult passengers, age 16 and older, in a non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas and per person fee areas. Children under 16 are admitted free without a pass.
  • Provides a 50% discount on some Expanded Amenity Fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, parking, swimming, boat launch, and specialized interpretive services. These fees are park specific.
  • In some cases where Expanded Amenity Fees are charged, only the pass holder will be given the 50% price reduction (typically guided tour fees).
  • Non-transferable and generally does NOT cover or reduce special recreation permit fees or fees charged by concessionaires.
  • Pass can be obtained in person at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center or by calling 1-888-ASK USGS, Ext. 1 or via the Internet at the USGS store.
 
Access Pass

Access Pass

  • Free.
  • The Access Pass replaces the Golden Access Passport.
  • Lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities.
  • Documentation is requested, but not required, to obtain the pass.
  • The applicant declares with their written signature that the following statement is applicable. "I hearby affirm that I am a citizen of or domiciled in the United States, and that I have been medically determined to have a permanent phyical, mental, or sensory impairment that severly limits one or moremajor life activities, and that I have or could obtain written documentation of that disability. Major life activities include functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, etc. (Section 504 of the Rehibilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 USC § 705(20)."
  • Provides access to, and use of, Federal recreation sites that charge an Entrance or Standard Amenity.
  • Admits the pass holder and three adult passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas and per person fee areas.
  • Children under 16 are admitted free without a pass.
  • Provides a 50% discount on some Expanded Amenity Fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, parking, swimming, boat launching, and specialized interpretive services. Fees are park specific.
  • In some cases where Expanded Amenity Fees are charged, only the pass holder will be given the 50% price reduction (typically guided tours).
  • Non-transferable and generally does NOT cover or reduce special recreation permit fees or fees charged by concessionaires.
  • Pass can be obtained in person at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center.
 
Active Military Pass

Active Military Pass

  • Free.
  • Good for one year form the date of issue.
  • Available to US military members and the dependents of deployed military in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard, as well as most members of the US Reserves and National Guard. Proper military ID is required (CAC Card or DoD Form 1173).
  • Obtained in person at Federal recreation sites that charge entrance or standard amenity fees.
  • Covers entrance to Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service sites that charge Entrance Fees, and Standard Amenity Fees at Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation sites.
  • Admits the pass owners and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas, or the pass owner and up to additional 3 adults at sites that charge per person.
  • Non-transferable.
  • Pass can be obtained in person at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center.
 
4th Grade Pass

4th Grade Annual Pass

  • Free.
  • Available to U.S. 4th graders (including home-schooled and free-choice learners 10 years of age) with a valid Every Kid in a Park paper voucher.
  • The pass is valid for the duration of the 4th grade school year through the following summer (September - August).
  • Paper vouchers can be obtained by visiting the Every Kid in a Park website and can be exchanged for the Annual 4th Grade Pass at Federal recreation sites that charge Entrance or Standard Amenity fees.
  • Digital versions of the voucher (such as on smart phones or tablets) will not be accepted to exchange for an Annual 4th Grade Pass.
  • The pass is non-transferable.
  • Educators can also be involved! Learn more at the Every Kid in a Park website.
  • Additional Details about the Annual 4th Grade Pass.
 
Volunteer Pass

Volunteer Pass

  • Free.
  • Good for one year from the date of issue.
  • Volunteers acquiring 250 service hours on a cumulative basis.
  • Provides access to, and use of, Federal recreation sites that charge an Entrance or Standard Amenity Fee.
  • Admits the pass holder and three adult passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas and per person fee areas.
  • Children under 16 are admitted free.
  • Find out more about volunteer opportunities at Indiana Dunes National Park.
 

All National Parks Passes, Golden Eagle, Golden Eagle Hologram, Golden Access and Golden Age Passports will continue to be honored according to the provisions of the pass. Only paper Golden Age and Access Passports may be exchanged free of charge for new plastic passes.

Additional resources:

Last updated: April 8, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1100 North Mineral Springs Road
Porter , IN 46304

Phone:

219 395-1882
Indiana Dunes Visitor Center phone number.

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