1.1 Miles / 1.8 km
Time to Hike:
~33 minutes
Surface Type:
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Glen Arbor, Michigan
44.883086, -86.042039
September 25, 2022
October 06, 2022
250 '

Total Change
287 '

277 '


The Dune Climb at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Glen Arbor, Michigan is a moderate 1.1 loop hike that follows a portion of the blazed trail, includes "off-trail" dune walks, and features views of Lake Michigan and the turquoise waters of Little Glen Lake.

This hike follows one name trail: Dune Climb (blue blazes). Note that the Dune Climb is well-marked, but only if you notice the first couple of blaze posts. There are wooden posts with blue blazes painted on the top, but once hikers reach the "top" of the Dune Climb, these posts are not obvious. Due to this, on our hike, we decided to follow other "off-trail" paths that twist and wind their way around the dunes. Note that you can blaze your own trail here, there are no signs saying you cannot, which is likely why it's a maze of paths once in the dunes.

Hike Description
This hike begins at the main parking lot and heads up the big hill that's presented to hikers, the Dune Climb. The climb doesn't last for very long, but is not very easy since hiking in sand tends to be a bit counter-productive when taking each step. Once at the top of the hill, hikers will get a decent view of Little Glen Lake with its turquoise waters and surrounding hills. From here, hikers can scour the land to find the blaze posts to follow the exact path for the Dune Climb or they can meander around the top, like the track provided.

Little Glen Lake & Farm Views - Mile 0.25
If following this track, there are nice views when you first head north - both of Little Glen Lake and a neighboring farm. Both Little Glen Lake and the farm seem very out of place when standing on the Dunes - or maybe it's the other way around - regardless, some of the best views can be found here.

Lake Michigan Views - Mile 0.5
After exploring some of the northern views, hiking northwest a bit more provides views of Lake Michigan in the distance as well, around mile 0.5. Hikers do not need to reach the very end of the Dune Climb trail to get views of Lake Michigan. After getting views of Lake Michigan, if you've enjoyed your time on the Dune Climb and want to call it quits, you can follow meandering paths south to reach the middle of the dunes, which leads back to the Dune Climb's blue blazed path.

Little Glen Lake Views - Mile 0.9
On the hike down the official Dune Climb trail to reach the parking lot, hikers will get several more views of the turquoise waters of Little Glen Lake which is a nice way to end this hike.

Parking & Fees
Hikers will find parking at the coordinates provided. The lot is large enough to fit many dozen vehicles (massive lot). As of September 2022, there was a $25 entry fee which is also good for the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, which provides more hiking and vista opportunities at the park.

Dogs are not allowed on the Dune Climb.

Explore 4 trails near Glen Arbor, MI
  1. Parking

    44.883086, -86.042039
  2. Main Trailhead

    44.883086, -86.042039
  3. Views of a nearby farm from the Dune Climb

    44.884681, -86.044031
    Views of a nearby farm from the Dune Climb
  4. Views of Little Glen Lake from the Dune Climb

    44.884942, -86.043961
    Views of Little Glen Lake from the Dune Climb
  5. View of Lake Michigan

    44.886631, -86.045197
    View of Lake Michigan
  6. View of Little Glen Lakes turquoise waters from the Dune Climb

    44.88375, -86.046142
    View of Little Glen Lakes turquoise waters from the Dune Climb
No community routes found. To add your own hike as a Community Route for this Trail guide, leave a Trip Report with an attached GPX file.


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Trail Guide By:
Admin user profile picture
1.1 miles / 1.8 km
Trail added
September 25, 2022
Hiked on
September 22, 2022
Updated on
October 06, 2022
1.1 miles / 1.8 km
September 22, 2022

Weather Forecast

In Glen Arbor, MI

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