Home > Traveling > Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan

Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan

Indian legend has a momma bear with 2 cubs swimming across lake Michigan.  Unfortunately, the 2 cubs didn’t make it, and where they drowned an island formed, now known as North and South Manitou islands.  Momma bear decided to wait on the shore, where she eventually became part of the land, a huge presence by the shore.  She has become the Dune.

Actually, this area was formed by the glaciers thousands of years ago.  You can imagine how big they were to deposit so much sand and silt to form these dunes!  They are many miles long, with the tallest point being 450 feet high.  There is an area where you can “walk” down the dune to the beach below, but coming back up is tough (see picture).  People not ready for such a climb have had to be brought back by rescue parties!

There are some lovely scenic drives and trails, we did just one of them today.  The dunes are always on the move, so hiking needs to be on marked trails.  There is an ongoing battle between vegetation and sand; the last picture is a vivid demonstration of sand moving on while the tree stays rooted.  A magnificent area!

A covered bridge on the scenic trail

A view back to Little Glen Lake

Dunes, as you approach the lake

Romola on her way on the hiking trail

The climbing dune -- lots of people on it!

You can walk to the beach, but can you make it back?

My favorite shot of the dunes, beach, and lake (HDR processed)

The ongoing battle between plants and sand

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