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Address: , Empire, MI
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Activities: Hiking
Description: This 4.5-mile challenging hiking trail is the most popular in Sleeping...
This 4.5-mile challenging hiking trail is the most popular in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
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We didn't make it all the way

Even though we didn't make it all the way, it was great fun and a lot of work. The dunes were beautiful and we made it far enough that we could see Lake Michigan in the... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed July 15, 2015
mamathoma
,
Grand Rapids, MI
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24 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Grand Rapids, MI
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2015

Even though we didn't make it all the way, it was great fun and a lot of work. The dunes were beautiful and we made it far enough that we could see Lake Michigan in the background. Bring water. Lots of it. I started in bare feet, but put on my tennis shoes later which I think was better to... More 

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Longview, Texas
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2015

This is so much fun but so much work!! Be sure and take water with you! There is a trail that will lead to Lake Michigan, but we were too tired to go that far. We went about a half mile past the sign that said 1.4 miles to go! We got to see the Lake even though we didn't... More 

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Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
Level Contributor
42 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2015

I've done this hike twice (fall 2014 and June 2015). Both times were great! It's actually "easier" if you do it in cold weather, and you need to bring less water with you. If you are planning on hiking all the way to the lake and back, be prepared that it will take around 3 hours. If you are really... More 

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usa
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2014

This is a 3 hour hike if you are in good shape. If not you will likely turn around but still have a good time climbing the first two dunes. Not for elderly people in weakened health. If time is limited do the pierce stockton drive there is an excellent overlooking dune that is much steeper than these but can... More 

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Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level Contributor
175 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2014

I'm so glad I did this, but I say this with a strong warning that this is a strenuous hike. It's 3.5 miles round trip, but could easily take you 3 hours plus however long you spend once you are at the lakeshore. Every time you reach the crest of a dune hill, you think you are there, but you... More 

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Indiana
Level Contributor
72 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

I didn't plan on hiking all the way to the lake, but my 14 year-old and 12 year-old really wanted to finish the climb. This trail takes some want-to. I've hiked in the Smokies and the Rockies and am fairly fit, but hiking over sand is a new experience. Plus, we were trying to hurry because we left my five... More 

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
32 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2014

A lot of variable terrain. Very sandy trails, so 1 step forward, then slide 1/2 step back. Very hot inland away from the shore breeze. Be sure to go out with plenty of water.

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Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level Contributor
117 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2013

When the ranger told me this was 110 feet I thought "no big deal." I expected it to be a little tougher because of the sand, but it was a lot tougher. It took me over 20 minutes to get to the top and I stopped to catch my breath about 8 times. I didn't realize that it would go... More 

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Nashville, TN
Level Contributor
697 reviews
459 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 685 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2013

Make the Dune Climb early in the day while you have fresh energy and the day is not so warm. We climbed the initial 110 foot dune -- beautiful golden sand set against a brillant blue sky on a gorgeous day. We made sure to use sunscreen before the climb; we wore our hats and took a 2 liter bottle... More 

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
29 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

The vista is stunning! But be prepared, it isn't at the top of the first sand dune. OMG. take your time!!!!!! and give yourself more than an hour. 4-6 if you want to hike to the lakeshore. The sand is deep and gives way as you hike, barefoot. Shoes are almost impossible on the actual dunes so it takes a... More 

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