Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan

It's tough to capture Sleeping Bear Dunes in one photograph. It covers a wide, diverse area, but the sand dunes are the most famous part of the grounds managed by the National Park Service. That's why I picked this one.

The slope from this point bends so that the drop comes pretty close to being straight down to the water. If you happened to fall down the dune, it would take you a couple of difficult hours to climb back up the hill - maybe, if you are in top shape. Otherwise, it would be time to call in a rescue team.

Sleeping Bear Dunes covers three different areas. This one is in the middle, just north of Empire, Michigan. Visitors can drive around the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, with about 12 stops along the way. This one is near the end and offers the best views of the dunes. Nearby is a Dune Climb, which is a much easier dune to tackle. The shore to the immediate north isn't to accessible. The shoreline turns east from there, but only rarely can be reached by car.

South of Empire is another section of the park that has a couple of roads in it but doesn't seem as interesting. Finally there are the two Manitou Islands, which are essentially uninhabited.

Here's a good tip - be sure to stop at the Hart Visitor Center in Empire on your way to the park area. You should do that at every national park to find out what you might see, but there are some good souvenirs there.

I didn't see any boat tours along the shore, so you'll have to settle for some shots of the whole park from the air.

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