NEAREST CITY = Empire / Glen Arbor
Sleeping Bear dunes are part of the Michigan National Shoreline stretching along Lake Michigans shore on the west coast of Michigan state. Sandboarding or sleding are not allowed on these dunes. Oddly enough, just about every thing else is. We watched as people played football on the very slopes we hoped to ride. Anyone care to write your congressman about it? Please do.
The entire area is, of course, very beautiful plus the sand is clean and fine. The slope and angle are all good and with parking just 100 feet away with a full view of "The Dune Climb" as the park is called. There are restrooms, vending machines and a small book/gift store duing the summer season. It's a good hour hike from the parking lot of the Dune Climb across the dunes to the lake shore but many people make the journey each year for the spectacular view of Lake Michigan from on top steep 200ft dunes. Sunsets over the fresh water lake or even Chicago's glow at night await visitors from all over the world at the top of the dunes.
The park service charges $8 for a day pass and there's plenty of good parking. It's easy to just spend the day at the Dune Climb and have plenty to see and do. A designated sandboard area would make Sleeping Bear a "must ride" location. It also has a couple very steep chutes on the far side that the advanced rider could really appreciate.
It's a bit of a drive to get back to the dunes from the highway. Once again the view is excellent with healthy forest all around and a lake or two on the way. The visitors center is located in Empire, which is kind of the gate way to the park, so stop there first and get your map. You'll learn much about the dunes and history as you wander the center.
To contact the Visitors Bureau
Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitors Bureau
P.O. Box 517
12 Wood Ridge Road
Glen Arbor, MI 49636
Click the links below for more information:
Great Photos of Sleeping Bear