Mt. Baldy Beach

A lone cottonwood tree with deep green leaves emerge from the yellow sand along the shoreline.
A lone cottonwood tree emerges from the sand at Mt. Baldy.

NPS Photo / Jeff Manuszak

Quick Facts

Baby Changing Station, Beach/Water Access, Benches/Seating, Information Kiosk/Bulletin Board, Parking - Auto, Picnic Shelter/Pavilion, Picnic Table, Restroom - Seasonal, Scenic View/Photo Spot, Toilet - Flush, Trailhead, Trash/Litter Receptacles, Water - Bottle-Filling Station, Water - Drinking/Potable

The beach is open but the dune is closed for public safety and dune protection.

Getting There

Mount Baldy Parking Lot
101 Rice Street (U.S. Highway 12), Michigan City, IN 46360

GPS Coordinates
41.706852, -86.929907 (Decimal Degrees)

Need to Know

  • Hours – Open daily from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm.
  • Free – No entrance or parking fee.
  • Facilities – Year-round restrooms and potable water.
  • Pets – Permitted on a leash (6' or shorter).
  • Prohibited – Glass and fires on the beach, littering.
  • Prohibited – Removing plants, rocks, shells, and fossils.
  • Parking lot is paved.
  • There is a picnic shelter and two additional picnic tables at the parking lot. First come, first served. No advance reservations.
  • Please stay on the trail and respect closed area signs. Going off trail damages fragile habitat.
  • Ticks are present year-round. Take precautionary measures to prevent bites.
  • Poison ivy can be present on the edges of the parking lot and on the trails to the beach.
  • In case of an emergency or to report a crime, call 1-800-PARK-TIP.
  • The beach and picnic shelter are not wheelchair accessible. The picnic tables and restrooms are wheelchair accessible.

Visitor Activities

  • Swimming. No lifeguards. Swim at your own risk; rip currents and waves can make swimming hazardous.
  • Hiking. Mount Baldy Summit Trail. Restricted Access. Access to the Mount Baldy Summit Trail requires accompaniment by authorized staff. There are ranger-led daytime and sunset hikes on weekends in the summer. Hike dates and times are listed in the park's newspaper The Singing Sands, on the park's website calendar, and the park's Facebook page.

Nearby Beaches

Interesting Facts

  • Mount Baldy is 126 above the water level of Lake Michigan.
  • Mount Baldy is moving 5-10 feet a year. Beach sand moves when the prevailing northwest wind exceeds 7 mph.
  • Mount Baldy is 'starving'. Beach erosion is taking away more sand than the waves are bringing in due to the breakwall that was built for the Michigan City Harbor. To try and correct the effect of the breakwall the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began feeding the beach in 1974. Thus far they have given it four meals:
  • 1974 fine sand trucked in.
  • 1983 coarse sand trucked in.
  • 1996 early summer 35,000 cubic yards slurried in by pipe from the harbor.
  • 1996 late summer 50,000 cubic yards trucked in.

Last updated: September 24, 2020