Dunes

Discover the Silver Lake Sand Dunes

Seeing the Silver Lake Sand Dunes for the first time. Walking barefoot along their peaks of warm sand. Feeling your hair whip back as your ORV takes you up and over one of their towering mountains!

You land! And there’s Lake Michigan as far as the eye can see before you.

The Sand Dunes of Silver Lake are for everyone. You neither have to be an expert dune buggy driver nor a veteran hiker to experience them close-up. No matter your age or physical ability, there’s a way to take in the amazing beauty and majesty that these dunes have to offer.

About the Dunes

Formed some 1,800,000 years ago after a unique combination of outstanding events, the Silver Lake Sand Dunes are one of the largest deposits of living dunes on the shores of Lake Michigan. Most of the area they cover is part of the Silver Lake State Park and is open to the public from the beginning of April through October.

Bordering both Lake Michigan and Silver Lake, the remarkable dunes consist of nearly 2,000 acres of rolling sand hills that are 1.5 miles wide and 3 miles long. Even now, they still grow, change, and move on a daily basis.

 

ORV, Hiking, or Toured Dune Rides: What’s Your Pleasure?

The Silver Lake Sand Dunes are especially unique as they are divided into three sections for different recreational activities:

Northern Section

Scramble area reserved for off-road vehicles (ORVs)
If you have an ORV of your own, feel free to take it out for a drive at your leisure. Required documentation is needed for all motor vehicles entering the area. You can also rent ORVs in downtown Silver Lake.

Center Section

Allocated for pedestrians, with access to both Lake Michigan and Silver Lake.
Feel free to fill a small backpack with necessities and head up onto the Dunes for walking, hiking, and beautiful views all around. If you can make it out to Lake Michigan, go for a swim! Or you might take a picnic lunch down to the waters of inland Silver Lake.

Southern Section

Leased by and reserved for Mac Woods Dune Rides.
Want to see the Dunes but not interested in hiking or taking your own vehicle out? Mac Woods Dune Rides are the way to go! It’s the ideal way for visitors of all ages to enjoy the Dunes close-up.

 

Time for a #ThinkDunes Vacation

Intrigued by our magnificent mountains of sand? Come see what all the hype is about! We’re also known for our other great attractions, historic lighthouse, prime camping, and unique foods and drink.

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