Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Michigan (MI) RV Rentals

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Introduction

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a haven for RV campers seeking a unique and awe-inspiring outdoor experience. Located in the state of Michigan, this national lakeshore offers a combination of stunning natural landscapes, rich history, and a wide range of recreational activities. Let’s dive into what makes Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore an ideal spot for RV camping.

One of the main reasons why Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a popular destination for RV camping is its breathtaking natural beauty. The park boasts towering sand dunes that stretch for miles along the Lake Michigan shoreline, providing a stunning backdrop for camping and outdoor adventures. Imagine waking up to the sound of waves crashing against the shore and stepping outside your RV to witness a magnificent sunrise over the dunes.

RVThereYet is an RV rental company, offering a diverse fleet of motorhomes, including Class A, Class B, and Class C Rentals, Travel, Trailers, and Motorhomes for unforgettable adventures in scenic RV parks and campsites in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Ensure early reservations for camper rentals at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

RV Rentals in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Transportation

When visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore the most convenient and flexible transportation option is by private vehicle. Visitors can access the park from different entrances including the main entrance near Empire Michigan and other smaller entrances along the scenic highway. Private vehicles allow you to explore the park at your own pace and access various points of interest such as hiking trails scenic overlooks and picnic areas. It’s important to note that there are restrictions on rig sizes with a maximum length of 35 feet for RVs and trailers due to the park’s narrow roads and limited parking availability.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore provides designated RV parking areas throughout the park making it convenient for RV campers to explore the various attractions. However overnight parking outside of designated campsites is not permitted. It is highly recommended to camp with an RV in the park’s designated campgrounds and use alternative transportation methods such as hiking or biking to explore the park. This allows for a more immersive and eco-friendly experience while also adhering to the park’s regulations and preserving the natural beauty of the area.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore does not have public transportation options such as shuttle buses within the park. However there are a variety of walking paths and hiking trails that allow visitors to explore the park on foot. These paths range in difficulty and length providing opportunities for both leisurely strolls and more challenging hikes. Walking paths are a great way to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the park and discover its hidden gems at your own pace.

Top Campsites in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

When it comes to camping near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore there are several popular campsites that require reservations. Here are the top 4 campsites in order of popularity each offering unique amenities activities and locations.

Platte River Campground

Located within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Platte River Campground is a highly sought-after destination for RV campers. With 179 sites available this pet-friendly campground offers a variety of amenities including electric hookups modern restrooms and a dump station. The campground is open from May to October and can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 40 feet in length. Activities in the area include fishing kayaking hiking and swimming in the nearby Platte River.

Indigo Bluffs RV Park & Resort

Situated just a short drive from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Indigo Bluffs RV Park & Resort offers a tranquil retreat for campers. This pet-friendly campground features spacious sites with full hookups picnic tables and fire rings. Amenities include a heated pool laundry facilities and a camp store. Indigo Bluffs is open year-round making it a great option for RVers looking to explore the area during any season. The campground can accommodate RVs and trailers of various sizes.

Sleeping Bear RV Park & Campground

Located in the charming town of Empire Sleeping Bear RV Park & Campground provides a convenient base for exploring Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. This pet-friendly campground offers full hookups Wi-Fi and a camp store. With 50 sites available it provides a more intimate camping experience. The campground is open from May to October and can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 40 feet in length. Nearby activities include hiking fishing and visiting the quaint shops and restaurants in Empire.

Traverse City KOA Holiday

While not directly adjacent to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Traverse City KOA Holiday is a popular choice for RV campers due to its proximity to the park and the vibrant city of Traverse City. This pet-friendly campground offers a range of amenities including full hookups a swimming pool a dog park and a camp store. Open from April to October it can accommodate RVs and trailers of various sizes. In addition to exploring Sleeping Bear Dunes campers can also enjoy the wineries breweries and cultural attractions in Traverse City.

Please note that availability and amenities may vary so it’s recommended to check with each campground for specific details and to make reservations in advance for a seamless camping experience.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore also offers first-come-first-served campgrounds for those who prefer a more spontaneous camping experience. Here are three campgrounds within the park that operate on a first-come-first-served basis

D. H. Day Campground

D. H. Day Campground is nestled within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and offers 88 first-come-first-served sites. The campground is open from May to October and can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 35 feet in length. Amenities include vault toilets drinking water and picnic tables. While pets are allowed they must be kept on a leash. D. H. Day Campground is a popular choice for its proximity to Lake Michigan and the stunning views of the dunes.

Platte River Group Campground

Platte River Group Campground is perfect for larger groups or families looking for a first-come-first-served camping option. It offers 4 group sites that can accommodate up to 25 people each. The campground is open from May to October and can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 35 feet in length. Amenities include vault toilets picnic tables and fire rings. Pets are allowed in the campground but must be kept on a leash.

Lake Michigan Campground

Located near the village of Empire Lake Michigan Campground offers 10 first-come-first-served sites for RV and tent camping. The campground is open from May to October and can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 35 feet in length. Amenities include vault toilets drinking water and picnic tables. Pets are allowed but must be kept on a leash. Lake Michigan Campground provides easy access to Lake Michigan and the beautiful beaches of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Please note that availability at these campgrounds may vary especially during peak season. It’s recommended to arrive early to secure a campsite and check with park officials for any updated information or restrictions.

If the campsites within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore are full there are alternative camping options available nearby for RV renters. Here are a couple of options to consider

Private Campgrounds

There are several private campgrounds in the vicinity of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore that offer RV camping. These campgrounds often provide additional amenities and services such as full hookups showers laundry facilities and recreational activities. Some popular private campgrounds in the area include Timber Ridge RV & Recreation Resort and Crystal Lake Campground. These private campgrounds can be a great alternative if you prefer a more developed camping experience or if the national lakeshore campsites are at capacity.

Backcountry Camping

For those seeking a more adventurous and secluded camping experience backcountry camping is an option near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The nearby Huron-Manistee National Forests offer opportunities for backcountry camping allowing you to immerse yourself in the wilderness and enjoy the serenity of nature. However it’s important to note that backcountry camping typically requires permits and adherence to specific regulations to ensure the protection of the environment and wildlife. Be sure to check with the forest service for any restrictions or guidelines before embarking on a backcountry camping trip.

These alternative camping options provide flexibility and additional choices for RV renters in case the campsites within the national lakeshore are fully booked. Whether you prefer the amenities of private campgrounds or the solitude of backcountry camping there are options available to suit your camping preferences near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore offers a wide range of recreational activities that attract outdoorsy RV campers. Here are five popular activities in order of popularity

Hiking

With over 100 miles of trails hiking is a favorite activity in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The Dune Climb Trail is a must-do where you can climb the towering sand dunes and enjoy panoramic views of Lake Michigan. The Empire Bluff Trail is another popular choice offering a scenic hike through forests and meadows to a stunning overlook of the lake. The Pyramid Point Trail and the Alligator Hill Trail are also worth exploring for their diverse landscapes and breathtaking vistas.

Biking

Cycling enthusiasts will find plenty of biking opportunities within the national lakeshore. The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail is a 27-mile paved trail that winds through forests dunes and charming towns. This family-friendly trail offers stunning views and connects various points of interest including the Dune Climb and Glen Haven Historic Village. Cyclists can also explore the backcountry roads and scenic routes surrounding the park for a more challenging biking experience.

Fishing

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a paradise for fishing enthusiasts. The park is home to several lakes and rivers where you can cast your line and try your luck at catching trout salmon and bass. The Platte River is a popular spot for both fly fishing and spin fishing offering opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. Whether you prefer shore fishing or launching a boat the park’s pristine waters provide a serene and rewarding fishing experience.

Kayaking and Canoeing

Exploring the waterways of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore by kayak or canoe is a fantastic way to experience the park’s natural beauty. The Platte River and the Crystal River are popular choices for paddling offering calm waters and scenic surroundings. You can rent kayaks or canoes from nearby outfitters or bring your own. Navigate through peaceful marshes glide past towering dunes and spot wildlife along the way for an unforgettable adventure.

Scenic Drives

For those who prefer a more relaxed way to enjoy the park’s beauty scenic drives are a popular option. The Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive is a must-see offering breathtaking overlooks and interpretive stops along a 7.4-mile route. The drive takes you through forests dunes and along the shores of Lake Michigan providing stunning vistas at every turn. The M-22 highway which runs along the lakeshore is also known for its picturesque views and charming coastal towns.

These recreational activities in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore cater to the adventurous spirit of RV campers offering opportunities to explore the park’s diverse landscapes immerse in nature and create unforgettable memories.

Not all RV campers are inclined towards typical outdoorsy activities like hunting or intense physical exertion. For those who prefer a more relaxed and leisurely experience Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore offers a variety of alternative recreational activities. Here are five popular options in order of popularity

Sightseeing

One of the main attractions of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is its stunning natural beauty. RV campers can simply enjoy the scenic drives throughout the park taking in the breathtaking views of the dunes forests and Lake Michigan. The Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive is a must-do offering multiple overlooks and interpretive stops along the way. Visitors can also explore charming coastal towns like Empire and Glen Arbor where they can enjoy quaint shops restaurants and art galleries.

Nature Watching

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a haven for nature enthusiasts. RV campers can spend their time observing the diverse wildlife and bird species that call the park home. From the majestic bald eagles soaring above to the playful otters swimming in the rivers there are countless opportunities for nature watching. The park’s trails and scenic spots provide excellent vantage points for observing wildlife so be sure to bring your binoculars and camera to capture those special moments.

Instagram-Worthy Photo Opportunities

The park is filled with Instagram-worthy spots that are perfect for capturing breathtaking photos. The Dune Climb is a popular photo spot with its towering sand dunes creating a dramatic backdrop. The Empire Bluff Trail offers stunning views of Lake Michigan and is a favorite among photographers. The historic Glen Haven Village with its charming buildings and picturesque harbor is another great spot for capturing unique shots. Don’t forget to explore the park’s beaches forests and scenic overlooks for more photo opportunities.

Beaches and Sunsets

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore boasts beautiful sandy beaches along the shores of Lake Michigan. RV campers can relax on the beach soak up the sun and take a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters. The park’s beaches are also known for their stunning sunsets providing a perfect backdrop for a romantic evening or a peaceful moment of reflection. Popular beach areas include the Platte River Point Beach Esch Road Beach and Glen Haven Beach.

Cultural and Historical Sites

For those interested in history and culture Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore offers several sites to explore. The Glen Haven Historic Village is a restored 19th-century port village complete with historic buildings and exhibits. The Maritime Museum showcases the area’s maritime heritage and features artifacts from shipwrecks. RV campers can also visit the Sleeping Bear Point Coast Guard Station Maritime Museum which provides insights into the life of a Coast Guard station in the early 1900s.

These alternative recreational activities in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore cater to RV campers who prefer a more relaxed and leisurely experience allowing them to enjoy the park’s natural beauty capture memorable photos and explore the area’s rich cultural and historical sites.

Season-specific experiences in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Spring brings a burst of new life and vibrant colors to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore offering RV campers a unique set of seasonal activities and landmarks to explore. Here are five popular options during the springtime

Wildflower Viewing

Spring brings a carpet of colorful wildflowers to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. RV campers can take leisurely strolls along the park’s trails and witness the beauty of blooming trilliums violets and other native flowers. The Empire Bluff Trail and the Pyramid Point Trail are particularly known for their stunning displays of wildflowers. These natural wonders provide excellent opportunities for nature photography and creating lasting memories.

Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive

The Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive is a must-do in any season but it becomes even more enchanting in the spring. This 7.4-mile route takes RV campers on a journey through forests dunes and overlooks showcasing the park’s breathtaking landscapes. In the spring the drive is adorned with blossoming trees and vibrant foliage creating a picturesque backdrop for a scenic drive and photo opportunities.

Historical Sites

RV campers with an interest in history can explore the park’s historical sites during the spring. The Glen Haven Historic Village comes alive with the opening of its historic buildings providing a glimpse into the area’s maritime past. Visitors can tour the blacksmith shop general store and the Cannery Boathouse Museum. The Sleeping Bear Point Coast Guard Station Maritime Museum also opens its doors allowing visitors to learn about the station’s role in maritime history.

Birdwatching

Spring is a prime time for birdwatching in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. As migratory birds return RV campers can witness the diverse array of species that call the park home. The Platte River Point and the Empire Bluff Trail are excellent locations for birdwatching offering opportunities to spot bald eagles warblers and other songbirds. Binoculars and a field guide are essential for identifying the different species and enjoying this tranquil activity.

Waterfall Exploration

Spring is the perfect time to witness the power and beauty of waterfalls in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. As the snow melts and the rivers flow waterfalls come to life. RV campers can visit the park’s waterfalls such as the Empire Bluff Falls and the Platte River Falls to experience the rush of cascading water and capture stunning photographs. These natural wonders provide a refreshing and captivating experience during the spring season.

These seasonal activities and landmarks in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore during the spring offer RV campers a chance to immerse themselves in the park’s natural beauty witness the awakening of wildlife and explore the area’s rich history and cultural heritage.

Summer is a vibrant and exciting time in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore offering RV campers a plethora of recreational activities and landmarks to explore. Here are five popular options during the summer season

Beach Fun

The summer months are perfect for enjoying the beautiful sandy beaches along Lake Michigan. RV campers can soak up the sun swim in the crystal-clear waters and build sandcastles with their families. Popular beach areas include the Platte River Point Beach Esch Road Beach and Glen Haven Beach. These beaches offer stunning views picnic areas and opportunities for beachcombing and beach volleyball.

Boating and Kayaking

With its pristine lakes and rivers Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a paradise for boating and kayaking enthusiasts. RV campers can rent or bring their own boats and explore the calm waters of the Platte River or Crystal River. They can also venture out onto Lake Michigan for a thrilling boating experience. Kayaking allows for a more intimate exploration of the park’s hidden coves secluded beaches and vibrant shoreline.

Dune Climbing

The towering sand dunes of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore provide a thrilling adventure for RV campers during the summer. Dune climbing is a popular activity allowing visitors to scale the sandy slopes and enjoy panoramic views of Lake Michigan. The Dune Climb is a must-visit spot where campers can challenge themselves to reach the top and experience the exhilaration of conquering the dunes.

Sunset Viewing

Summer evenings in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore offer breathtaking sunsets that paint the sky with vibrant hues. RV campers can find a serene spot along the lakeshore or atop a dune to witness the stunning display of colors as the sun dips below the horizon. Popular spots for sunset viewing include the Empire Bluff Trail Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive and various beaches throughout the park.

Picnicking and Scenic Drives

Summer is an ideal time for leisurely picnics and scenic drives within the park. RV campers can pack a delicious lunch and find a cozy spot in one of the park’s picnic areas such as the Platte River Picnic Area or the D. H. Day Picnic Area. Scenic drives like the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive offer opportunities to explore the park’s diverse landscapes stop at overlooks and capture stunning photographs.

These summer activities and landmarks in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore provide RV campers with endless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors experience thrilling adventures and create lasting memories during the warm and sunny season.

Fall brings a magical transformation to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore with vibrant colors and crisp air creating a picturesque setting for RV campers. Here are five popular options for fall activities and landmarks in the park

Fall Foliage Viewing

The autumn foliage in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a sight to behold. RV campers can witness the breathtaking display of colors as the leaves change from green to vibrant shades of red orange and yellow. Hiking trails such as the Empire Bluff Trail and Alligator Hill Trail offer panoramic views of the surrounding forests and dunes providing the perfect backdrop for capturing the beauty of fall foliage.

Scenic Drives

Fall is an ideal time for leisurely drives through the park’s scenic routes. The M-22 highway which runs along the lakeshore offers stunning vistas of Lake Michigan and the surrounding forests. The Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive becomes even more enchanting as the trees don their autumn colors. RV campers can enjoy the peacefulness of the park witness the changing landscapes and capture unforgettable photographs.

Apple Orchards and Farm Markets

Fall is harvest season and RV campers can explore the nearby apple orchards and farm markets. They can pick their own apples enjoy cider tastings and indulge in delicious homemade pies and other treats. Some popular orchards and farm markets in the area include the Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor and the Gallagher’s Farm Market in Traverse City. It’s a great opportunity to support local farmers and experience the flavors of the season.

Bird Migration

Fall is an exciting time for birdwatching in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as migratory birds pass through the area. RV campers can spot a variety of bird species including warblers thrushes and raptors as they make their way south for the winter. The park’s trails and scenic overlooks provide excellent vantage points for observing these feathered travelers and capturing their beauty with binoculars or a camera.

Fall Festivals and Events

The fall season in the surrounding towns near the national lakeshore brings a variety of festivals and events. RV campers can immerse themselves in the local culture and enjoy activities like pumpkin carving contests hayrides and live music performances. The Empire Hops Festival and the Harvest Stompede Wine Tour are popular events that showcase the region’s agricultural heritage and culinary delights.

These fall activities and landmarks in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore offer RV campers a chance to witness the stunning fall foliage savor the flavors of the season and immerse themselves in the vibrant atmosphere of autumn in the park and its surrounding communities.

Winter transforms Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore into a winter wonderland offering RV campers a unique set of recreational activities and landmarks to explore. Here are five popular options for winter activities and landmarks in the park

Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing

The park’s trails become a winter playground for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing enthusiasts. RV campers can strap on their snowshoes or skis and venture out to explore the snow-covered forests dunes and scenic overlooks. The Alligator Hill Trail and the Bay View Trail are popular choices for winter excursions offering stunning views and peaceful serenity.

Ice Fishing

The frozen lakes and rivers in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore provide an excellent opportunity for ice fishing. RV campers can drill a hole in the ice and try their luck at catching fish such as perch and walleye. Popular ice fishing spots include Big Glen Lake and Little Glen Lake. It’s important to check the ice thickness and follow safety precautions before engaging in this activity.

Winter Photography

Winter creates a picturesque setting for photography enthusiasts. RV campers can capture stunning images of snow-covered dunes ice formations along the lakeshore and the stark beauty of the winter landscape. The Empire Bluff Trail and the Dune Climb offer breathtaking views that are particularly captivating during the winter months.

Snowmobiling

RV campers who enjoy the thrill of snowmobiling can explore the park’s designated snowmobile trails. These trails wind through the forests and offer a thrilling adventure amidst the winter scenery. RV campers can bring their own snowmobiles or rent them from nearby outfitters to enjoy the exhilaration of riding through the snow-covered trails.

Winter Wildlife Viewing

Winter provides a unique opportunity to observe wildlife in their winter habitats. RV campers can spot animals such as white-tailed deer foxes and snowshoe hares as they adapt to the winter conditions. The park’s trails and open areas offer excellent opportunities for winter wildlife viewing and photography.

These winter activities and landmarks in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore offer RV campers a chance to embrace the beauty of the winter season experience thrilling adventures and connect with the serene and tranquil atmosphere of the park during the colder months.