Everything You Need to Know About Dune Parking
New ORV Lot by Welcome Center – New Entrance
Beginning with the 2022 season the DNR is trying an entrance experiment for dune ready vehicles to help develop a more permanent dune ready express lane for properly prepared vehicles to enter more efficiently.
The traffic flow will be to streamline completely dune ready vehicles straight to the Safety Checkpoint by allowing access through the gate opening on your right side near the parking lot vault toilets in the ORV parking lot.
The solid red line/arrows are the pathway to be used by ONLY DUNE READY VEHICLES WHICH ARE COMPLETELY READY TO ENTER DIRECTLY INTO THE DUNES.
If the vehicle is not dune ready, it will be sent in the traditional way (dotted red line/arrows).
The orange line/arrows are the traditional clockwise travel direction of the parking lot
Download map at link below:
Silver Lake State Park Parking Lot Voucher System
The voucher system was developed as a way to manage the long lines waiting to enter the park on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
Parking lot vouchers are for those who require a staging or parking area for their tow vehicle and/or trailer. Vouchers are free to park visitors and are distributed from the Off-Road Vehicle Welcome Center located at the corner of Fox and Ridge roads, about 1/4 mile east of the ORV Area entrance. The purpose of the voucher is to “hold a place in line,” while staggering arrival times.
Voucher system season
Vouchers will be handed out beginning in mid-May (two weeks prior to the Memorial Day weekend) and then continuously through the summer on weekends and holidays until the Sunday following Labor Day weekend.
Voucher distribution times
The Fox Road voucher distribution point is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Voucher distribution begins at 8 a.m. on Friday when guests may acquire vouchers for Saturday and Sunday. The welcome center will be open as traffic and use require until at least 10 p.m. Fridays and re-open at 7 a.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. You can also purchase your Recreation Passport at the same location and ORV license and permits at the same location or at several DNR license agents and dealers, which will help speed up entry into the ORV Area.
Voucher time periods
Parking Lot Vouchers will be for two periods: 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. or 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Parking Lot Stand-by Vouchers will be distributed once parking spaces for those periods are exhausted. In order to give people the opportunity for the limited parking spaces, Parking Lot Vouchers will be available at 8 a.m. the day before they are to be used.
Once the days Parking Lot Vouchers are all given out, visitors may choose to be placed on the Parking Lot Stand-by Vouche list for the following day.
Parking Lot Voucher holders are guaranteed entry for either the 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. or the 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. time frame, but not both. If you arrive after your voucher entry time frame, you will need to secure a Parking Lot Stand-by Voucher for later in the day. No parking lot spaces will be guaranteed after 9 a.m. nor can space be held for someone to arrive later. Persons may not use their validated/punched Parking Lot Voucher to trailer-in additional or new off-road vehicles after they originally gain entry at the ORV Area Entrance Gate unless prior arrangements are made with Park Officials and noted on the validated Voucher.
Leaving and re-entering
Once you have entered the park, you may stay as long as you like until the normal closing time. The vouchers only specify the arrival time. Parking Lot Voucher holders that leave the sand dunes and/or the State Park will be required to go to the end of the waiting line to re-enter. Those attempting to “cut” in ahead of other visitors waiting to enter will be turned away. Vehicles leaving the parking lot will not be guaranteed space upon returning. Be sure your voucher slip is validated (HOLE-TYPE PUNCHED) when you arrive at the ORV Area Entrance Gate for the first time, on any particular day.
Number of daily vouchers
The number of available spaces in the lot controls the number of Parking Lot Vouchers. Inclement weather, no-shows, early or unplanned departures, space sharing, and similar actions allow for additional room on occasion. Parking Lot Stand-by Vouchers are used for these unexpected events.
Picking up a voucher for someone else
One parking lot voucher can be obtained by an individual adult park visitor. You may pick up a voucher for someone else but an individual cannot pick up vouchers for multiple people/vehicles. Only one voucher will be issued to an adult, whether picking up the voucher for yourself or for someone else. The voucher will require the addition of the user’s name and main vehicle license number, in ink, prior to validation and must be completed and validated at the time of pickup. The person picking up the voucher will need to know the name, license plate number and the intended time frame for entry. The voucher form must be completed, in ink, prior to embossed or stamped validation at the time of application at the Welcome Center Office. The voucher slip will again be validated with a distinctive hole-type punch upon arrival at the ORV Area entrance gate. This hole-type punch will be required if re-entry is requested later during the day.
Voucher center parking lot
The Voucher Center Parking Lot will be used for Parking Lot Stand-by Voucher stacking or cueing line purposes during regular business hours. There will still be a wait with a Parking Lot Stand-by Voucher, since there is no guarantee when parking spaces may occur, but the visitor will be better able to make the best use of their time. Dune-ready vehicles will need to check back during the day for the possibility of entry prior to 7 p.m. Owners of vehicles in the Voucher Center Parking Lot must be in attendance, trailers or extra vehicles may not be stored or parked there, and there is no overnight parking allowed.
ORV area parking lot
Parking lot spaces are approximately 12 feet x 60 feet in size. Park visitors use of side awnings on trailers, motorhomes, etc., takes up space that others may be waiting to use. No side awnings are allowed on voucher days. Please make efficient use of the limited space and keep your vehicles and gear within your parking spot.
Use of trailers
Trailers are not allowed into the ORV Area beyond the Safety Check Station. Check with Park Rangers regarding use of trailers to remove disabled vehicles or for emergency situations. Within the ORV Parking Lot, semi trailers with tractor/trucks that are over 60 feet in length, will need to unhook trailers and use a small portion of the adjacent space on weekends and busy days. The spaces on the ends of the parking-bays afford this opportunity and semi users are encouraged to use these spaces in which to park their tractor/truck. After 9 a.m. on voucher days, no vehicles may be trailered past the ORV Area Entrance Gate unless prior arrangements are made with Park Officials and noted on the validated Voucher.
For the latest information on parking vouchers, visit the Silver Lake State Park Facebook page, or click the link below to be taken to the State of Michigan website:
Alternate Parking – New in 2022
Silver Lake Parking, located at 8144 West Hazel Road, Mears. Between old Wild Bill’s and Marathon Gas Station across from Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park on the north side of Hazel Road (B-15). Daily, overnight, and weekly rates available. Reservations are not required.