Explore Sleeping Bear Dunes - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Sleeping Bear Dunes Map
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12 hours ago

Easy, neat walk to see the views of the lake.

Right off the trailhead you can either go left or right. If you go to the right, it’s just a short walk to an incredible and secluded beach where you will be one of a few people occupying the beach. We ended up staying there and swimming for hours!
However, the left side of the trail at the Y has “okay” views and tons of dunes. It was alright, maybe 2/5 stars.
But that beach was soooooo amazing! So clear!

Short and amazing views! Worth your stop!

backpacking
13 hours ago

This trip was as good as it gets. Trail was well maintained, getting water is very easy being that your on a island. Did this loop ten days ago and didnt pull out the bug spray once. Gorgeous views every night at camp, the best part is once you are off the boat and on the trail you dont run into anyone. I would highly recommend backpacking the NMI loop.

Great shaded trail. Dogs are not allowed on the spur to Lake Michigan.

If you are looking to spend time in the sleeping bear dunes area with some degree of seclusion, this is the place for you! Four days was just enough time to hike the trail and enjoy all there is to offer from the island. The other reviews stand true and cover most of the bases. I highly recommend NMI!

Due to time and others we just went out and back, was a nice short hike the incline might be a little more strenuous for some people.

Very challenging and fun day hike! Beautiful views from multiple dune peaks.

hiking
4 days ago

great trail to take the kids on.

hiking
6 days ago

Great challenging hike. The icy water of Lake Michigan is a wonderful mid-hike treat.

on Dune Climb Trail

hiking
7 days ago

We went at sunrise for our Dune Climb. I highly recommend it as this place gets crowded fast & early! Only drawback, a few of the restrooms were not yet open and/or clean. It took us just under 2 hours to complete the hike all the way to the Lake Michigan shoreline and back. There was a good variety of dunes, native grasses and trees. If you are able, we recommend running down the dunes as it's just plain fun!!

The trail and dune run/walk are the same until the trail veers to the left at post 4, there are 27 in all very straight forward to follow. Must bring a bottle of water and sandals or shoes if the sand is hot. Best to do the trail in the morning, we did it in 2 hours, allow for 3 to be on the safe side. beautiful trail.

This is a great trail for all ability levels. There are many opportunities for photography traveling through the woods.

best views, after the boardwalk overlook it continues on a narrow sand trail. the best trail i’ve ever done

backpacking
10 days ago

Awesome trip! We stayed 2 nights. Our favorite part was hiking to the west Side of the island near crescent dock and camping there the first night. The sunset was unbelievably beautiful and being on the beach was awesome. You won’t be alone though. There were about 14 others around. The night sky was filled with stars.

Other things to note:
- Black flies were biting on the beach.
- trip cost about $100 for Park and ferry passes and parking.
- ferry took about 90min one way

hiking
11 days ago

This is a great, short hike through the woods to a scenic overlook. We were able to take a stroller up most of the way. Once you reach the top, there are some more challenging, hilly trails in the sand (not technically part of the Empire Bluff trail) that we continued on for about a mile before turning back. You can’t reach the beach from this trail FYI.

hiking
12 days ago

Beautiful, a wonderful challenge, a lot of fun, and rewarding. Wonderful views!

hiking
13 days ago

The trail shown here is not the NPS marked and maintained trail. The left (west) leg of the attached map is the right (east) leg of the actual NPS Good Harbor Bay Trail. The NPS Trail is accessed at a well identified Trailhead on E Lake Michigan Rd.

trail running
14 days ago

Great way to start the day, awesome views, good ascent/descent (approx 670ft of ascent from trailhead following the advanced loop, minus the 0.8 mile “scenic overlook” of Big Glen). Thought the island view was lights-out.

hiking
15 days ago

When the sun is blazing it gets hot! The climb is strenuous and there is very little shade. Water, a snack, and footwear is a must. The views are beautiful and water is gorgeous once you arrive to the lakeshore. There is little beach and it’s quite rocky.

Great dune CLIMB! Strenuous, water is a must. Also can do in varied footwear. The lake is a little rocky when you get there. NO shady areas to rest.

The best views

trail running
23 days ago

Beautiful forest walk with periodic forays into colorful meadows.

Beautiful views and the informational signs were very helpful to understand the landscape and history of the area.

Nice easy climb up to the point, absolutely spectacular view, sat a while, then confused by the complete lack of signage decided just to double-back rather than descend a narrow, seemingly risky, unmarked path. Could use some better info there. Otherwise still well worth the single route up and back.

walking
25 days ago

An easy an beautiful hike. The trees are peaceful and provide shade and once you get to the top the view of Lake Michigan is superb. I would recommend this hike for anyone going to Sleeping Bear.

hiking
27 days ago

It is a no joke good time but it is not easy. If you think you will take your family to the lake for a quick swim this is not the route. It is the best view in Michigan hands down. Warning bring sandals, the sand was very hot. Everyone in our group got blisters on their feet. We only made it two thirds of the way to the lake but it was worth it. The run down is always fun for the kids(and adults). Picnic tables and bathrooms are available at the bottom. Parking is plentiful.

hiking
28 days ago

Beautiful throughout the entire 3+ miles. Amazing views at the point. The entire hike was awesome!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail trying out a toddler backpack carrier and had no problems! Perfect amount of sun and shade and a clear path to walk along. The views at the top are amazing!

Beautiful scenery-well worth it!

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