|The look over Glen Lake from the top of the first dune in the dune climb at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.|
Doing so Saturday morning while waking up in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore wasn't my ideal vision of that day, but I had had worse (see 2017 Warren Dunes entry). But after some mid-morning raindrops, the skies dried and a day of haze and clouds awaited us.
|A structure at the Maritime|
While there was some rain, it cleared up in the morning, leaving Lake Michigan a hazy shadow. After trying to check out the Maritime Museum in the morning (to no avail; the museum doesn't open until Memorial Day), we headed to the spot most people think of when Sleeping Bear comes to mind: the dune climb.
throughout the day. After trying to stop in at the
I've climbed that dune several times in my life, and I always forget just far it it truly is to the waterfront. You climb the main dune starting at the base of the parking lot, thinking you'll be led to a beautiful overview of the lake. Not so. At the top of that dune is ... more dunes. You look out and see plenty more sand to trek before making it to your destination.
|The Cottonwood Trail, a 1.5-mile loop.|
As for the Platte River Campground, it's a nice group area, though parking can be challenging if sites are full like they were last weekend. You do have to walk all your gear to the site, but they are spacious and wide open, with pads for tents. Not a bad spot, I'd camp there again.
Sleeping Bear Dunes is large, so it's difficult to hit everything up in a weekend. Add on the Manitou islands and it's plenty to explore. But hiking up a dune climb hit just the spot on a gloomy Saturday in northwest Michigan. If you're in the Traverse City area, be sure to hit it up.
|The dunes in northwest Michigan are spectacular.|