Guided Tours

Bus Tour Guides

The Lakeshore offers a park volunteer as a step-on guide for bus tour groups.   Our volunteer guide will join your group on the bus, providing you with a custom experience through the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive.  Guides will provide insight on Sleeping Bear Dune’s history and point out geological features.  If time allows, visitors will have the opportunity to get off the bus at select overlooks. A typical tour is approximately 2.5 hours, which includes the Visitor Center in Empire and viewing the park video prior to the guided tour.   

To make a reservation, please email with the following information.  

  • Your name  
  • Company name  
  • How can we get in contact with your company the day of the tour if there is an emergency or change?
  • Number of buses  
  • Approximate number of visitors on each bus 
  • Date of tour  
  • Time requesting tour  
  • Does this timing include watching the park video?  

* Your volunteer guide will meet you at the Visitor Center. They will board your bus and will need to be dropped off at the Visitor Center after the tour. If you will not be going back towards the Visitor Center, other arrangements can be made. Please note that here. 

9 am: arrival at Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire 

  • Restrooms 

  • View exhibits 

  • Eastern National bookstore/gift shop 

9:30 am: View park film: Water, Sand, and Sky (30 minutes) 

Explore the stunning landscapes, rich biodiversity, and captivating history of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore 

10 am: Board bus and travel to Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive.  

10:15-11:30 am: Tour of the drive 

Learn about the history of Sleeping Bear Dunes, Pierce Stocking, the formations of the dunes, and cultural history. If time permits, visitors will have the opportunity to get off the bus at the following overlooks: Glen Lake (#2), Dune overlook (#3), Lake Michigan overlook (#9), and North Bar Lake overlook (#11). 

11:30: Drop the volunteer tour guide off at the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center. 

Passes for motorcoach busses (26+ Person Capacity) is $100.00.  Payment must be made at the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center or the kiosk station at Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. 

Checks can be made out to NPS and MUST include a tax id number. 

Credit Cards are also accepted.

Please visit the fees and passes page of the Sleeping Bear Dunes website for additional fee information. 

The National Park Service strives to make Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as universally accessible as possible. On the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, accessible parking and toilets are at four locations: the entrance trailer parking area, #2 Picnic Mountain, #9 Lake Michigan Overlook, and #11 North Bar Lake Overlook and picnic area.   

The #3 Dunes Overlook has a ramped deck with two levels lined with benches. The stunning panorama of dunes and lake views may also be seen from the circle drive. The #9 Lake Michigan Overlook and #10 Sleeping Bear Dune Overlook are not handicap accessible and require following a steep asphalt trail and boardwalk.  Number 11 North Bar Lake Overlook picnic area is fairly flat with tables and raised grills located near accessible parking. Accessible vault toilets are provided, but there is no running water at this location. 

For more information visit Accessibility - Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (U.S. National Park Service) ( and Physical / Mobility Needs - Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (U.S. National Park Service) ( 


Ranger-led Programs

Programs are listed on the Lakeshore's calendar.

We encourage visitors to also take advantage of our self-guided activities:
Play Your Way
Explore the Shore
Self-guided tours on the app, NPS Sleeping Bear Dunes, available on Android or Apple.

Heritage Tours

Our partner Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear offers tours of historic properties in the park.

Authorized Commercial Services

The following businesses and organizations are authorized to provide visitor activities in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. They provide a variety of ways to see and enjoy the Lakeshore through unique and specialized trips, tours, adventures etc.

Guided Biking & Hiking

Carolina Tailwinds (Multi-Day Biking Tours):
Discovery Bicycle Tours (Multi-Day Biking Tours):
Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear (Port Oneida Bike Tours): 231-334-6103,
Sierra Club Outings (Hiking and Biking): 415-977-5690,
Sleeping Bear Tour Co (Hiking):
Vacation Bicycling (Multi-Day Biking Tours): 706-363-0341,
Wilderness Voyageurs Outfitters: 800-272-4141,

Guided Camping (Manitou Islands)

True North Counseling: 231-342-5232,
Crystal Aire Adventures: 419-672-1036,

Guided Fishing

Manitou Passages LLC: 231-218-5853,
Walleye King: 231-557-2755,

Guided Horse and Wagon Tours

Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear: 231-334-6103,

Outdoor Fitness Classes

Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes: Yoga on the Beach,
Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear: 231-334-6103, Hike and Yoga,

Photography Workshops

Neil Weaver Photography: 517-743-1442,

Recreation Equipment Rental (Bike, Canoe, Kayak)

Crystal River Outfitters (Glen Arbor, MI): 231-334-3808
The Honor Trading Post (Honor, MI): 231-325-2202,

Sightseeing – Road-Based Tours

Up North Tours: 231-624-3485,

Transportation to South Manitou Island and North Manitou Island

Manitou Island Transit: 231-256-9061,
Manitou Fishing Charters: 231-218-5853,

Wilderness Hikes

Sleeping Bear Tour Co:

Last updated: October 31, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

9922 Front Street
Empire, MI 49630


231 326-4700

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