Indiana Dunes National Park

Indiana •

Lake Michigan’s might has influenced Indiana Dunes for millennia. Wind and waves have shaped the land, leaving a rich mosaic of habitats along these 15 miles of Indiana coast. Over 50 miles of trails lead through shifting sand dunes, quiet woodlands, sunny prairies and lush wetlands. Known for its striking plant and bird diversity, it’s easy to find inspiration throughout the park’s 15,000 acres.

Information & Tips:
  • Cost to enter the park is $25 for a private vehicle which is good for 7-days. Save money in the long run by purchasing an America the Beautiful Pass.
  • There is no gatehouse to enter the park. Stop by the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center for purchasing your pass and getting additional information about the park
  • Bring lots of water with you in the summer months as the dunes can get hot and are exposed
  • Most of the interesting things to see are located on the shore side of RT-12
  • West Beach can get very crowded in the summer months so get there early if you’re looking to swim. They do have lifeguards, bathrooms and food during the summer
  • This park can be fully experienced in a single, full-day
  • The parking lot at Cowles Bog Trail will fill up fast as it’s the most popular trail in the park. Recommend getting to this trail first thing in the morning
Recommended Trails:
  • Cowles Bog Trail: 4.7 mile loop with 216′ elevation gain. Winding through marshes & black oak savannas to the shores of Lake Michigan.
  • Dune Succession Trail: 0.9 mile loop with 75′ elevation gain. Hike up an over a dune to great views of lake Michigan and West Beach.
  • 3 Dune Challenge*: 1.5 mile loop with 552′ of elevation gain. Challenge yourself to climb up and over 3 of the tallest dunes in the Indiana Dunes State Park (adjacent to the National Park).

(50+ miles of trails)

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