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Indiana Dunes National Park

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Overview

Indiana Dunes National Park was established in 1966 to preserve certain portions of the Indiana Dunes and other areas of historic, scientific and scenic interest and recreational value in the state of Indiana. Established for the educational, inspirational, and recreational use of the public, the park annually hosts about two million visitors. The park's 15 miles of freshwater beach hugs the southern shore of Lake Michigan from Gary to Michigan City. Come and enjoy the park's 15,000 acres of prairies, sand dunes, wetlands, forests, oak savannas, and historic sites.

To learn more about Indiana Dunes National Park, visit the Indiana Dunes NPS website.

Local Info

Visitor Centers:
Unless otherwise posted, all public use areas are open from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm. Check the park's website for current operating hours and alerts.

Indiana Dunes National Park Visitor Center:
Open daily, except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.
8:00 am to 6:00 pm Central Time, from the Friday of Memorial Day weekend through the Monday of Labor Day weekend.
8:30 am to 4:30 pm Central Time, for the remainder of the year.

Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education:
Open daily, except for federal holidays.
8:00 am to 5:00 pm Central Time, from the Friday of Memorial Day weekend through the Monday of Labor Day weekend.
8:00 am to 4:00 pm Central Time, for the remainder of the year.

Visiting Tips

Indiana Dunes National Park is open year round. Unless otherwise posted, all public use areas are open from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm. The national park's weather is greatly affected by Lake Michigan and can change quickly. Summers are warm and humid with abundant sunshine. Winters tend to be cloudy except for periods of extreme cold when skies are clear.

Fees & Passes:
All areas in the park are free with the following exceptions:

West Beach collects an expanded amenity fee daily for every vehicle from the Friday of Memorial Day weekend through the Monday of Labor Day weekend from 8:00 am to as late as 7:00 pm Central Time. $6.00 per vehicle or motorcycle per day, $30.00 per bus per day. 50% discount for Senior Lifetime, Senior Annual and Access Passes.

Dunewood Campground is open from April 1 through November 1. $25.00 per night camping fee (expanded amenity fee). Sites 1 - 34 are reservable at recreation.gov starting six months in advance of the check-in date. Sites 35 - 67 are first come, first served. No advance registration. Sites are paid for at the campground entrance automated kiosk. 50% discount for Senior and Access Passes.

To learn more about the park fees, click here.
Purchase an annual pass for all national park service sites and federal lands, $80

Camping & Lodging

- Campground open from April 1 through November 1.
- $25.00 per night camping fee (expanded amenity fee).
- Sites 1 - 34 are reservable at recreation.gov starting six months in advance of the check-in date.
- Sites 35 - 67 are first come, first served. No advance registration. Sites are paid for at the campground entrance automated kiosk.
- 50% discount for Senior and Access Passes.
- Credit, debit and gift cards (MasterCard, Visa and Discover) accepted.
- No electrical or water hook-ups at individual sites. Potable water is available at several locations.
- Shower and restroom facilities are located at the center of each loop.
- Allowed to stay 14 nights per 30 day period.
- The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual (non-senior), Volunteer and Military Passes are not accepted.

Food & Drink

Indiana Dunes is located in a highly developed area with services and goods available at several locations. Nearby large shopping areas can be found in Michigan City along Highways 421 and 20 and in Chesterton just south of I-94 on Indiana 49.

Outfitters, Tours, & Shuttles

Guided Tours:
Indiana Dunes offers a large number of ranger-led walks and talks and interpretive programs in various locations throughout the summer. A limited number of programs are also offered throughout the rest of the year. To learn more about these ranger-led programs and to see the current events calendar, click here.

Other Activities

Enjoy the outdoors year round at Indiana Dunes National Park. From snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in winter, to swimming, sunbathing, camping, and fishing in the summer, every season offers visitors a unique way to experience the park. With the many trails in the area, hiking is a great year-round activity. Visit the National Park's website for more information on the park's many activities.

Maps & Guidebooks

To download a variety of free brochures to help plan your visit, click here.

Gems in Indiana Dunes National Park - 10

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Gems

gem Favorite Beach House Blowout panorama.

Beach House Blowout

(4) Beverly…, IN
gem Favorite Great day on Lake Michigan at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore! This photo was taken just east of the Lakeview parking lot.

Lake Michigan Beaches

(10) Beverly…, IN
gem Favorite The Dune Succession Trail.

Dunes Succession Trail Overlook

(9) Ogden D…, IN
gem Favorite Sweeping views of Lake Michigan from the top of Mt. Baldy during a ranger-led tour.

Mt. Baldy

(6) Michiga…, IN
gem Favorite Pink Lady's Slipper Orchids at Pinhook Bog.

Pinhook Bog

(4) Trail C…, IN
gem Favorite View of the Great Marsh.

Great Marsh Overlook

(4) Beverly…, IN

Recommended Routes in Indiana Dunes National Park - 17

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Recommended Routes

Favorite Beach House Blowout panorama.
Intermediate/Difficult

Trail 9

3.6 mi 5.8 km 99' Up 30.27 m Up 100' Down 30.52 m Down

Chesterton, IN
Favorite Marram grass along Lake Michigan as seen from the Cowles Bog Trail.
Intermediate/Difficult

Cowles Bog Trail

4.7 mi 7.5 km 202' Up 61.6 m Up 202' Down 61.56 m Down

Porter, IN
Favorite Climbing up Mt. Jackson on the 3 Dunes Challenge.
Intermediate/Difficult

Trail 8 - 3 Dunes Challenge

2.2 mi 3.6 km 238' Up 72.43 m Up 237' Down 72.31 m Down

Chesterton, IN
Favorite The Dune Succession Trail.
Intermediate/Difficult

West Beach 3-Loop

3.5 mi 5.7 km 223' Up 67.94 m Up 220' Down 66.94 m Down

Ogden D…, IN
Favorite The hike is so worth it!
Intermediate

Paul H. Douglas Trail

3.4 mi 5.5 km 46' Up 14.12 m Up 46' Down 14.03 m Down

New Chi…, IN
Favorite Eastern prickly pear cactus can be found on the Tolleston Dunes Trail!
Intermediate

Tolleston Dunes Trail

2.9 mi 4.7 km 127' Up 38.71 m Up 127' Down 38.7 m Down

Ogden D…, IN
Favorite Sweeping views of Lake Michigan from the top of Mt. Baldy during a ranger-led tour.
Intermediate/Difficult

Mt. Baldy Summit Trail

0.8 mi 1.3 km 55' Up 16.66 m Up 55' Down 16.62 m Down

Michiga…, IN
Favorite View of the Lake Michigan dune covered in marram grass.
Intermediate

Dune Ridge Trail

0.7 mi 1.1 km 73' Up 22.26 m Up 73' Down 22.28 m Down

Beverly…, IN
Favorite Winter at the Chellberg Farm.
Easy/Intermediate

Bailly Chellberg - Little Calumet Loop

3.5 mi 5.6 km 115' Up 35.03 m Up 118' Down 35.89 m Down

Porter, IN

Indiana Dunes National Park Hiking

  • 114 Miles 184 Kilometers of Trail
  • 17 Recommended Routes
  • 10 Gems Gems
  • 32 Easy Trails Easy Trails
  • 11 Intermediate Trails Intermediate Trails
  • 0 Difficult Trails Difficult Trails
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Weather Averages


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Trails in Indiana Dunes National Park - 26

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0.6 mi 1.0 km #1Dune Succession Trail
Intermediate
Ogden Dunes, IN
Intermediate
Ogden Dunes, IN 12 
5.8 mi 9.4 km #2Trail 10
Intermediate
Chesterton, IN
Intermediate
Chesterton, IN 18 
4.5 mi 7.2 km #3Singing Sands Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Michigan City, IN
Easy/Intermediate
Michigan City, IN
1.6 mi 2.6 km #4Long Lake Loop Trail
Intermediate
Ogden Dunes, IN
Intermediate
Ogden Dunes, IN
0.5 mi 0.9 km #5Trail 4
Difficult
Chesterton, IN
Difficult
Chesterton, IN
8.9 mi 14.3 km #6Oak Savannah Trail
Easy
Hobart, IN
Easy
Hobart, IN
1.1 mi 1.8 km #7Bailly Homestead / Chellberg Farm Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Porter, IN
Easy/Intermediate
Porter, IN
0.5 mi 0.8 km #8Calumet Dunes Paved Trail
Easy
Beverly Shores, IN
Easy
Beverly Shores, IN
2.5 mi 4.0 km #9Trail 2
Intermediate
Chesterton, IN
Intermediate
Chesterton, IN
0.9 mi 1.5 km #10Trail 3
Intermediate
Chesterton, IN
Intermediate
Chesterton, IN

Photos of Indiana Dunes National Park - 146

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Photos

Great day on Lake Michigan at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore! This photo was taken just east of the Lakeview parking lot.
Jan 25, 2016 near Beverly…, IN
A solitary person sitting on the washed up tree. An amazing Lake Michigan sunset mixed with an impending thunderstorm. Incredible colors. Photo taken in between the Dunbar and Lakeview parking lots at Derby Ditch.
Jan 25, 2016 near Beverly…, IN
A couple enjoying the incredible colors of the Lake Michigan sunset.
Jan 25, 2016 near Beverly…, IN
A rare, perfectly calm Lake Michigan at sunset. Killer colors.
Jan 25, 2016 near Beverly…, IN
Awesome sunset on Lake Michigan.
Jan 20, 2016 near Beverly…, IN
Marram grass along Lake Michigan as seen from the Cowles Bog Trail.
Jan 13, 2016 near Burns H…, IN
Beach House Blowout panorama.
Jan 29, 2016 near Beverly…, IN
The Dune Succession Trail.
Jan 11, 2016 near Ogden D…, IN