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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

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

Mt. Baldy

(9) Michiga…, 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

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

Dunes Succession Trail Overlook

(12) Ogden D…, IN
gem Favorite Bailly Homestead building.

Bailly Homestead

(10) Porter, IN
gem Favorite View of the Great Marsh.

Great Marsh Overlook

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

Pinhook Bog

(6) Trail C…, IN
gem Favorite Towering sand dunes and interdunal ponds.

Indiana Sand Dunes

(10) New Chi…, IN
gem Favorite A couple enjoying the incredible colors of the Lake Michigan sunset.

1933 World's Fair Century of Progress Homes

(8) Beverly…, IN
gem Favorite Morning Light Along the Path

Chellberg Farm

(1) Porter, IN

Recommended Routes in Indiana Dunes National Park - 10

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

Favorite Marram grass along Lake Michigan as seen from the Cowles Bog Trail.
Intermediate/Difficult 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
Explore in 3D
Favorite The hike is so worth it!
Intermediate 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
Explore in 3D
Favorite The Dune Succession Trail.
Intermediate/Difficult 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
Explore in 3D
Favorite Eastern prickly pear cactus can be found on the Tolleston Dunes Trail!
Intermediate 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
Explore in 3D
Favorite Winter at the Chellberg Farm.
Intermediate Intermediate

Bailly Chellberg - Little Calumet Loop

3.5 mi 5.6 km 109' Up 33.36 m Up 111' Down 33.93 m Down

Porter, IN
Explore in 3D
Favorite Pink Lady's Slipper Orchids at Pinhook Bog.
Easy Easy

Pinhook Bog Trail

0.9 mi 1.4 km 43' Up 13.16 m Up 43' Down 13.2 m Down

Trail C…, IN
Explore in 3D
Favorite Portage Lakefront & Riverwalk Pavilion.
Easy Easy

Portage Lakefront & Riverwalk

1.5 mi 2.3 km 39' Up 12 m Up 42' Down 12.7 m Down

Ogden D…, IN
Explore in 3D
Favorite Taking a break along the Oak Savannah Trail.
Easy Easy

Hobart Prairie Grove (Oak Savannah Trail)

3.9 mi 6.3 km 30' Up 9.19 m Up 30' Down 9.22 m Down

Hobart, IN
Explore in 3D
Favorite Bur oak savanna along the Hobart Woodland Trail.
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate

Hobart Woodland Trail

2.2 mi 3.5 km 40' Up 12.18 m Up 40' Down 12.23 m Down

Hobart, IN
Explore in 3D
Favorite Pink Lady's Slipper Orchids at Pinhook Bog.
Intermediate Intermediate

Pinhook Upland Trail

2.1 mi 3.3 km 79' Up 23.98 m Up 79' Down 23.97 m Down

Trail C…, IN
Explore in 3D

Indiana Dunes National Park Hiking

  • 46 Miles 75 Kilometers of Trail
  • 10 Recommended Routes
  • 10 Gems Gems
  • 22 Easy Trails Easy Trails
  • 12 Intermediate Trails Intermediate Trails
  • 0 Difficult Trails Difficult Trails
Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Share what you know about this area!

Weather Averages


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Trails in Indiana Dunes National Park - 24

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

0.6 mi 1.0 km #1Dune Succession Trail
Intermediate Intermediate
Ogden Dunes, IN
Intermediate Intermediate
Ogden Dunes, IN 18 
1.6 mi 2.6 km #2Long Lake Loop Trail
Intermediate Intermediate
Ogden Dunes, IN
Intermediate Intermediate
Ogden Dunes, IN
1.1 mi 1.8 km #3Bailly Homestead / Chellberg Farm Trail
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Porter, IN
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Porter, IN
8.9 mi 14.3 km #4Oak Savannah Trail
Easy Easy
Hobart, IN
Easy Easy
Hobart, IN
3.0 mi 4.7 km #5Little Calumet River / Mnoké Prairie Trail
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Porter, IN
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Porter, IN
0.3 mi 0.5 km #6Bailly Cemetery Trail
Easy Easy
Porter, IN
Easy Easy
Porter, IN
11.2 mi 18.0 km #7Prairie Duneland Trail
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Hobart, IN
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Hobart, IN
1.4 mi 2.2 km #8West Beach Trail
Easy Easy
Ogden Dunes, IN
Easy Easy
Ogden Dunes, IN
3.5 mi 5.6 km #9Porter Brickyard Trail
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Porter, IN
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Porter, IN
2.3 mi 3.7 km #10Marquette Rail Trail
Easy Easy
Ogden Dunes, IN
Easy Easy
Ogden Dunes, IN

Photos of Indiana Dunes National Park - 158

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

The Dune Succession Trail.
Jan 11, 2016 near Ogden D…, IN
Marram grass along Lake Michigan as seen from the Cowles Bog Trail.
Jan 13, 2016 near Burns H…, IN
Awesome sunset on Lake Michigan.
Jan 20, 2016 near Beverly…, IN
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 couple enjoying the incredible colors of the Lake Michigan sunset.
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 rare, perfectly calm Lake Michigan at sunset. Killer colors.
Jan 25, 2016 near Beverly…, IN
Beach House Blowout panorama.
Jan 29, 2016 near Beverly…, IN

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