View from the top: Sleeping Bear Dunes


Many climb down, but few make it back up. Despite warning signs of the hazard of climbing down this steep dune cliff to the beach below, every day tourists at the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive do just that. Once down, it’s a grueling climb back up the cliff, or an eight mile hike to the next beach with access out, or a high-priced rescue from the local fire department. If you go there, don’t try it. There’s plenty of places to enjoy the Lake Michigan beaches at Sleeping Bear Dunes, without the risky cliff climb.

Top: Top of the dune, Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, with Manitou Islands in distance.

Bottom: Looking down from the top of the dune cliff onto Lake Michigan Beach below, from Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive.

© Huffygirl 2012



12 thoughts on “View from the top: Sleeping Bear Dunes

  1. We were just talking about these dunes while we were on our Cape Cod vacation. Our daughter mentioned it. I wish we had more time each year to spend with all the kids on vacation, but we get one shot a year in the summer because the grandchildren are in school and my husband isn’t retired yet. Next summer my sin-in-law wants to take the girls to Washington D.C., so no Lake Michigan.

  2. Wow, that beach looks so tempting…I think I’d arrange to have a friend waiting with an extra kayak on the beach before I made my way down though!

    I’ve heard of people skiing and snowboarding down sand dunes…do you know if anyone has ever tried that here?

    RPRT Photo

    • Good thought on the waiting kayak. Too bad everyone who climbs down doesn’t think of that.

      I don’t personally know anyone who has skied or snowboarded on a sand dune. In most areas sand dune use is restricted to protect them from erosion. But at the National Lakeshore Dune climb area, climbing is allowed in one spot only, so maybe snowboarding is too. And if you own your own sand dune, I guess you could snowboard, but with repeated use, you wouldn’t have a sand dune anymore. They really can be fragile, since they’re make of sand and all. Thanks for stopping by.

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