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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore encompasses a 60 km (35 mi.) stretch of Lake Michigan's eastern coastline, as well as North and South Manitou Islands. The park was established primarily for its outstanding natural features, including forests, beaches, dune formations, and ancient glacial phenomena. The Lakeshore also contains many cultural features including a 1871 lighthouse, three former Life-Saving Service/Coast Guard Stations and an extensive rural historic farm district. Authorized: October 21, 1970. Acreage: 56,993 federal, 14,194 non-federal.

   

CONTACTS

Email - SLBE_Interpretation@nps.gov

Fax- 231-326-5382

Write to
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
9922 Front Street
Empire, MI 49630-9797

Phone
Headquarters - 231-326-5134
Visitor Information - 231-326-5134
Visitor Information(TDD) - 231-326-5134

TRAVEL BASICS

Operating Hours, Seasons
The park operates on a year-round basis. The Philip A. Hart Visitor Center is open seven days a week with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day. Summer hours are 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.; the remainder of year the Center is open 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. The Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive is open from late April through early November from 9:00 a.m. to one-half hour after sunset. The Dune Climb is open 24-hours, year-round. The Maritime Museum is open seasonally from, 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; the grounds are open year-round.

Getting There
PLANE - The Traverse City Airport (30 miles/51 km from Lakeshore) has connections with Detroit, Chicago and Minneapolis. The Traverse City Airport (TVC) is serviced by Northwest, United and American.

CAR - Motor vehicle access from Michigan's Upper Peninsula: cross the Mackinac Bridge, southbound on I- 75; exit I-75 on US-31 (Petoskey/Charlevoix) to the west side of Traverse City; turn left on M-72 to Empire (25 miles/43 km). Alternatively, you could stay on I-75 South to M-72 at Grayling. Travel M-72 westward through Kalkaska to Traverse City and onward to Empire. Access from points south by US 31, US 131, US 27, or I- 75, through Traverse City and onward to Empire as above. Also from the south by M-22 from Ludington/Manistee/Frankfort.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION - Traverse City has a Greyhound bus station with local buses (BATA) connecting to the Lakeshore.

Weather & Climate
Northern Michigan always demands the best in preparedness from its visitors. You want to come equipped for any condition that may present itself as lake-borne weather patterns can change swiftly. The well-advised visitor dresses in layers, prepared for anything from cool incoming fog banks to sweltering sun to biting insects to absolutely perfect Michigan weather, which happens more often than one would be led to believe!

Sturdy footgear is always a must when traversing wooded trails. Sandals and bare feet do not hold up well to the rigors of the forest floor! Keep those handy for The Dune Climb and the beach - otherwise, always go sensible when it comes to shoes/boots.

Accessibility
Each of the major sites are largely accessible. A standard wheelchair as well as a 'sand chair' is available for use - inquire at the Empire Visitor Center. A tape recorder with recorded tours of the Duneside Accessible Trail is also available at the Visitor Center. The Visitor Center slide program is captioned upon request. The park dispatch office is equipped with TDD service.

The park is now equipped with assistive listening devices at the Visitor Center. Interpreters also have mobile 'tour guide' systems available for field programs.

Getting Around
Visitors explore the park in their private vehicles and via 13 hiking trails located throughout.

FEES/PERMITS

Entrance Fee
ANNUAL PASS
The Annual Park Pass to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will admit the permittee and passangers in a single, private, noncommercial vehicle, or alternatively, the permittee, accompanying spouse, children and parents where entry is made by any means other than private, noncommercial vehicle, for 12 months beginning the month of issue. The Annual Pass is nontransferable, nonrefundable (except for the purchase of a National Park Pass, purchased at Sleeping Bear Dunes) and does not cover camping fees. The Pass expires on the last day of the issue month in the expiration year.

PARK PASS
Sleeping Bear Dunes' Park Pass provides unlimited use of the park for all of the occupants of a non-commercial vehicle for up to seven days.

CAMPING

D.H.Day Campground
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore's rustic campground... beautifully wooded, peacefully quiet ... if you and your family enjoy a slightly more rugged camping experience, then D.H. Day Campground is probably for you! With 88 private sites and easy access to Lake Michigan's beach from the north end of the campground, D.H. Day provides an excellent setting. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, there are nightly ranger-led Campfire Programs at the amphitheater! Campsites at D.H. Day Campground are available only on a first-come-first-served basis (NO RESERVATIONS. Obviously, the earlier you arrive the better your chances are at obtaining a campsite. In addition to the Park Pass, there is also a camping fee. Campers must re-register by 8:00 pm the night before their permit expires if they wish to extend their stay. There is a sanitation station available near the campground entrance for the convenience of self-contained camping units. Generator-use is restricted to sites #1 thru 31 (the first loop) and then only from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Quiet hours at the campground are from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am, although noise levels must be controlled at all times to avoid disturbing other campers. Fires are allowed ONLY in the metal fire rings provided at each site. There is a firewood concession operated right in the campground. PLEASE REVIEW ALL CAMPGROUND REGULATIONS UPON ARRIVAL - IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO BE AWARE OF AND COMPLY WITH ALL RULES.
For More Information on this campground please call 231-334-4634

Platte River Campground
Make Reservations by Phone at 1-800-365-CAMP
Open All Year
The Platte River Campground offers many different styles of camping - enough options to please any camper. Yes, it does offer pull-in and pull-through sites for RV's, including electrical hookups; but it also offers beautiful tent sites, walk-in sites for the slightly more adventurous, and group sites accommodating up to 25 people. Potable water and a sanitation (dump) station is available at the entrance. Water spigots are also located throughout the campground with several serving each loop. Camp sinks are located at the restrooms for washing dishes, hands, etc. Did we forget to mention that there are Hot Showers at the Platte River Campground?? (2, 3-minute tokens for a buck...) Of the 179 sites, 48 are reservable through the National Park Reservation Service.
For More Information on this campground please call 231-325-5881

FACILITIES

THE DUNECENTER
Phone - 231-334-2010
Location - At the base of the Dune Climb off of M-109.
Available Facilities - Accessible Eastern National bookstore. Less formal setting than at the Visitor Center. T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, nature games, animal puppets, puzzles, videos, etc. Vending and restrooms located adjacent to building.

Museums
SLEEPING BEAR POINT MARITIME MUSEUM
Phone - 231-326-5134 (park info)
Location - At the end of Sleeping Bear Point, off of M-109/M-209.
Special Programs - Daily re-enactment of the U.S. Life-Saving Service rescue techniques throughout the summer. This program is directed especially for kids. A Lyle Gun firing demonstration occurs every Thursday afternoon. Impromptu interpretive talks are given throughout the day by park and volunteer staff.
Exhibits - Exhibits cover the U.S. Life-Saving Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, and Great Lakes shipping history. A room on the second floor is outfitted as a steamer wheelhouse with a panorama of the Manitou Passage shipping channel - very effective!
Available Facilities - A sand-accessible wheelchair is available by contacting the staff at the boathouse. Public restrooms.

THE CANNERY (HISTORIC BOAT COLLECTION)
Location - At the bend in the road in the historic village of Glen Haven, off of M-109/M-209.
Special Programs - Volunteer staff available for impromptu interpretive talks.
Exhibits - Historic boat collection including vessels, motors and equipment.
Available Facilities - Vault toilets, picnic tables

Ranger Stations
D.H.DAY CAMPGROUND RANGER STATION
Open May thru September 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Phone - 231-334-4634
Location - M-109, 2 miles northeast of the Dune Climb.

PLATTE RIVER CAMPGROUND RANGER STATION
Open All Year
Memorial Day to Labor Day (Summer) 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Spring & Fall 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
November thru April 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. for registration and fees
Phone - 231-325-5881
Location - At the entrance to the Platte River Campground, Lake Michigan Road, 1/4 mi. off M-22, southern end of the park.
Special Programs - Amphitheater located adjacent to the Ranger Station provides Evening Camfire Programs every day during the summer.

Visitor Centers
PHILIP A. HART VISITOR CENTER
Open All Year
Memorial Day to Labor Day (Summer) 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Labor Day to Memorial Day (Fall, Winter & Spring) 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Phone - 231-326-5135, ext. 328
Location - On highway M-72, 500' east of M-22 in Empire.
Closures - The Visitor Center is open year round, except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.
Special Programs - An outstanding slide presentation, 'Dreams of the Sleeping Bear,' offers a beautiful mix of photography, music and narration, while providing an initial orientation to the park.
Exhibits - Video and tactile exhibits explore the geological story of the Sleeping Bear Dunes area. Human history and natural history exhibits fill out the remainder of the Exhibit Room.
Available Facilities - Eastern National Bookstore/sales area. Public restrooms, water fountain, pay phone (portable TTY available), assistive listening device at the information desk, closed captioning for the slide show.

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Contact Info
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Campgrounds Nearby
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List of Nearby Campgrounds


Weather
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OUTDOORS
These outdoors activities are available near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
 Campgrounds Near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore:
Sleepy Bear Campgrounds, Empire, 3 miles away
Sleeping Bear Dunes National ParkS - D.H. Day, Empire, 3 miles away
Indigo Bluffs RV Park, Empire, 3 miles away
Indigo Bluffs RV Resort, Empire, 3 miles away
Empire Township Campground, Empire, 3 miles away
Garey Lake State Forest Trail Camp, Lake Ann, 7 miles away
Sleeping Bear Dunes National ParkS - Platte River, Honor, 9 miles away
 Marinas Near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore:
Glen Craft Marina & Resort, Glen Arbor , 4 miles away
Crystal Lake Marina, Beulah , 10 miles away
East Shore Marina, Frankfort , 17 miles away
Betsie Bay Marina, Elberta , 17 miles away
Jacobson Marina Resort, Frankfort , 18 miles away
 Hotels Near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore:
Best Western Scenic Hill Resort, Beulah , 10 miles away
Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville , 16 miles away
Courtyard Traverse City, Traverse City , 27 miles away
Fairfield Inn & Suites Traverse City, Traverse City , 27 miles away
Econo Lodge Traverse City, Traverse City , 27 miles away
Baymont Inn & Suites Traverse City, Traverse City , 27 miles away
Hotel Indigo TRAVERSE CITY, Traverse City , 28 miles away
 Beaches Near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore:
Beulah Beach, Benzie County , 11 miles away
Onkeonwe Beach, Benzie County , 14 miles away
Crystal Beach, Benzie County , 14 miles away
 Ski Areas Near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore:
Homestead, Michigan , 6 miles away, 320 foot drop, 5 lifts, 15 runs
Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa, Michigan , 16 miles away, 375 foot drop, 9 lifts, 45 runs
Caberfae Peaks, Michigan , 36 miles away, 485 foot drop, 6 lifts, 34 runs
Shanty Creek, Michigan , 59 miles away, 450 foot drop, 10 lifts, 49 runs
Boyne Mountain, Michigan , 78 miles away, 500 foot drop, 14 lifts, 60 runs
Boyne Highlands, Michigan , 82 miles away, 552 foot drop, 10 lifts, 54 runs
Nubs Nob, Michigan , 84 miles away, 427 foot drop, 10 lifts, 53 runs
Gladstone Ski Park, Michigan , 86 miles away, 200 foot drop, 5 lifts, 6 runs
Hanson Hills, Michigan , 89 miles away, 225 foot drop, 5 lifts, 11 runs
Skyline Ski Slide, Michigan , 93 miles away, 210 foot drop, 5 lifts, 14 runs
 Whitewater Near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore:
Boardman River, Grand Traverse County , 29 miles away, Class I-II - 0.5 miles long (6 miles South of Traverse City)
 Public Lands Near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore:
Interlochen State Park, Michigan , 21 miles away
Traverse City State Park, Michigan , 33 miles away
Orchard Beach State Park, Michigan , 34 miles away
Leelanau State Park, Michigan , 36 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore:
Dunes' Golf Club, Empire , 3 miles away
Pinecroft Golf Course, Beulah , 10 miles away
Crystal Lake Golf Club, Beulah , 10 miles away
Champion Hill Golf Course, Beulah , 10 miles away
Mistwood Golf Course, Lake Ann , 12 miles away
 Lakes Near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Garey Lake, Benzie County , 7 miles away
Loon Lake, Benzie County , 9 miles away
Tarnwood Lake, Benzie County , 12 miles away
Crystal Lake, Benzie County , 12 miles away
Turtle Lake, Benzie County , 14 miles away

Copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. - Pictures of park and text about park by the US National Park Service. Operating hours and fees are valid at the date of publishing and are subject to change, please contact park directly for current information.