FAQs - Think Dunes - Silver Lake Sand Dunes


What parts of the Silver Lake Sand Dunes are designated for pedestrians? For vehicles?

The Dunes are divided into 3 areas: The Pedestrian Area (no vehicles permitted), The ORV Area (no pedestrians permitted), and the area leased by Mac Woods Dune Rides for tours. See a map.


When do the Dunes open for the season and what are the hours?

The Silver Lake Sand Dunes open season runs from April 1–October 31st. Early Season hours (April 1st–May 1st) are 9:00am–8:00pm daily; Peak Season hours (May 1st–September 15th)  are 9:ooam–10:00pm daily; and Late Season hours are (September 15th–Oct 31st ) 9:00am–8:00pm daily.


Can I bring a motorbike or ATV on the Dunes?

Yes, motorbikes and ATVs are permitted on the Dunes with a safety flag and spark arrestor. Goggles and helmets are also required.


Do I need a permit to be on the Dunes in a motor vehicle?

Yes. An ORV Permit and an ORV Trails Permit are required, along with a Recreation Passport. Learn more.


What are the requirements to take my vehicle on the Dunes?

To take your vehicle on the Dunes you must have all current permits including: ORV Permit, ORV Trails Permit, and Recreation Passport; a 4-wheel drive vehicle, tires with a max of 15PSI, and a safety flag.


Are there different flags required for the Dunes and how tall should it be?

There is only one type of flag required for the Dunes. All 4-wheel drive vehicles must display the 8 foot flag mounted to front bumper at 10ft off the ground. All motorbikes and ATVs must display the flag mounted to the rear at 10ft off the ground.


What should my tire pressure be while riding the Dunes?

12-15 lbs max PSI


Can I rent a dune buggy or ATV to take on the Dunes?

Yes. There are a few places in Silver Lake that rent dune buggies and ATVs. See the listings.


Are there safety tips I should be aware of?

Yes. Please review the Dune Safety Information before heading out.


Do I need a driver’s license to ride the Dunes on an ATV?

To operate an ATV on the Dunes you must either be 16 or older with a valid driver’s license or have an ORV Safety Training Certificate through the Michigan DNR. 12-16 years old must complete a DNR ORV education course and Safety Training Certificate can be obtained through the DNR’s website. Learn More. Children under 12 years old may not operate an ORV/ATV in Silver Lake State Park. Children under 12 may be passengers in ORV’s. Only one person is allowed to ride on an ATV-Quad wheel vehicle or dirt bike


Can I access Lake Michigan from the Dunes?

Yes. You can park within 50-100 yards of the water in the designated ORV Area and walk to the beach as designated by the Silver Lake State Park. Vehicles are not permitted on the water’s edge. You may also walk to the lake through the Pedestrian Area of the Dunes. Outside of the Dunes, there are several other parks with Lake Michigan beach access and convenient parking.

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