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Dunes Trail

  4.9 ( 9 ) Favorite


3.7 mile 6.0 kilometer loop


Ascent: 454' 138 m
Descent: -453' -138 m
High: 830' 253 m
Low: 594' 181 m


Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 15% (9°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by Jeff Menaker


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A strenuous route over sandy terrain includes cresting 9 sand dunes to reach Lake Michigan.

Jeff Menaker

Features Lake · Swimming · Views

Family Friendly Ther is a large parking area, visitor center, restrooms available in the parking lot. Many families focus on the initial dune climb rather than the entire trail, as it's a great goal for youngsters.


Take a strenuous hike up and up and down and up and down (a few more times) over sand dunes on your way to a refreshing dip in Lake Michigan. Along the way, enjoy multiple views of Glen Lake and Lake Michigan, as well as the spare dune ecology. This is an out and back trail. Be prepared for hot sand and no escape from the sun.

Need to Know

TAKE WATER. It's easy to be deceived by the shorter distance, but the trail is entirely on sand and there's almost no overhead cover. Pack plenty of water and wear or carry shoes as the sand will get hot.


From the Dune Climb parking area, head up the large sand dune. Focus on the center section. As the dune levels out the first time, look for a series of blue tipped wooden posts marking the path. The trail will climb and descend several dunes over approximately 1.8 miles on the way to Lake Michigan.

After cresting the last dune, the trail reaches a small sandy beach where visitors will be rewarded with the ability to swim in the cool waters of Lake Michigan.

Once you've had your fill of the lake, return the same way that you came. As the trail approaches the initial climb, Glen Lake becomes visible. Hike down the initial climb to return to the parking lot.

Flora & Fauna

You'll mostly see dune ecology here, which can be sparse in comparison to other areas in Michigan.

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Aug 3, 2019
Alex Johnston
Jul 11, 2019
Natalie Cole
3.7mi — 8h 02m
Apr 1, 2019
Emily Goergen
Nov 3, 2018
Rachel Harden
Oct 21, 2018
Perrie Howes
Gorgeous viewa
Oct 17, 2018
Oct 14, 2017
Shang Shi
Great sand dune 7mi
Sep 26, 2017
Aaron Lucius

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 9 votes


  4.9 from 9 votes
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in Michigan


32 Views Last Month
1,404 Since Jul 20, 2016



Wide shot from the highest point after the dune climb.
Aug 12, 2016 near Beulah, MI
The beach at the end of the trail is sandy and seemingly endless. Very easy to get your own private section.
Aug 12, 2016 near Beulah, MI
Hiking over sand to Lake Michigan
Jul 20, 2016 near Beulah, MI
Visitors take a rewarding swim in Lake Michigan.
Jul 20, 2016 near Beulah, MI
The dunes are perfect either to climb, or to run down.
Jul 20, 2016 near Beulah, MI
Glen Lake, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Jul 20, 2016 near Beulah, MI


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