Sleeping Bear Dunes

Muskegon SP to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was a two and a half hour drive, which we miraculously did without stopping.

When entering the park you pay $15 per vehicle to travel around the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. There are twelve or so different stops along the way but the majority of our, and most everyone else’s, time was spent at the Lake Michigan Overlook.

I had read reviews, seen pictures and watched videos about this place but nothing can compare to standing atop the 450 foot high dunes looking down on Lake Michigan.

Definitely one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places we have ever been!!

From the top of the overlook you aren’t able to see where the dunes and Lake Michigan connect because the slope of the dunes is so steep.

no bottom
View from the top

If ever there were a place (and there are a few) where pictures fall woefully short of capturing the magnitude of something, this is surely one of them.

You MUST go see Sleeping Bear for yourself!

I decided to walk down the dunes until the bottom became visible. We have heard it can take some people around two hours to climb back up the dunes that only took them 10 minutes to get down.

me
That’s how far I had to walk down to see the bottom!

As we were leaving, we saw a younger, in-shape looking man sitting on a bench, sweating profusely and gasping for air. The look on his face said it all. He wasn’t trying to get attention from others like, “Check it out guys. I just climbed the dunes! Boo-yah!!” He was more like “Somebody get the defibrillator ready!!”

We assume he had just made the climb back up the dunes.

We have also heard some people literally aren’t able to make it back up and have to be rescued by the Coast Guard. While that might be a cool story to tell your family, it surely isn’t easy on the pocket book!

They have signs encouraging people to enjoy the view from the top of the dunes.

Nevertheless, I ventured down a short ways until I could see the bottom for myself. Grown men and women turned into small specks when compared to the enormous dunes and the Great Lake Michigan!

little specks
Yep, those little dots are people!!

On our way to a boarded overlook we found a place for the boys to unleash some of their energy climbing the dunes as well!

boys climb

The boarded overlook, which was a short walk away, provided a different perspective that brought the North and South Manitou Islands (10 miles away) into view.

Manitous
South Manitou on the left and North Manitou on the right

The boys don’t usually like to just stand and look at the scenery but even they were fascinated by what was in front of us.

boys overlook

We felt fortunate to have great weather. I’m sure the sunshine only enhanced the multitude of blues we could see in the water.

If a normal picture is worth a thousand words, I’m sure some of these might be worth a few more!!

family of 5

We would recommend Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore for people of all ages. The overlooks are just a short walk from the parking lots and the views are indescribable!

us

Quote of the day:

Jackson: “Why is this place called Sleeping Bear Dunes if there aren’t any sleeping bears around?”

9 thoughts on “Sleeping Bear Dunes

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