The best camping near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Sleeping Bear Dunes adventure.

The best camping near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Sleeping Bear Dunes adventure.

Camping near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

100% (53 reviews)

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Sleeping Bear Dunes adventure.

Sand dunes tower 450 feet above Lake Michigan.  

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Community favorites near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Top-rated campgrounds reviewed by the Hipcamp community.

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Public campgrounds in the park
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Stay at a public campground in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Top-rated campgrounds near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

99%
(409)

Camp Moonshadow

6 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents5 acres · Honor, MI
Our property was originally the only homestead on this road. WE offer 4 Walk in Tent sites and a RV site for small campers up 20 ft. WE also have a 59 Vintage Shasta that rents nitely up to 3 nites The big barn was built over 100 years ago and is still standing. The farm house was built in 1907. It has been remodeled with a second story added. Pine trees were planted to prevent erosion in the 1960's. The national park began buying land near us in the 1970's and the boundary line to the park is a half-mile from Moonshadow Camp. The area is surrounded by state forests and many hiking and biking trails. Our valley is known for incredible stargazing. Amenities include full access to the Camp kitchen and dining area. You will also have access to a Portable restroom and hand washing station which is located by our BIG BARN. Hot Showers, no problem, you can enjoy a secluded private shower in our shower house which has indoor and outdoor showers. Nearby is Lake Michigan and Esch Rd beach. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake shore is nearby and The National Park is famous for attractions , trails, and hiking. Electricity and water is included at the RV site, and the Shasta Camper along with the Showerhouse and Camp Kitchen
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$60
 / night
95%
(208)

Backyard Burdickville

22 sites · RVs, Tents13 acres · Empire, MI
Nurturing the adventurous spirit through, Community, Local Food, & Live Music in Northern Michigan, Backyard Burdickville is a special place just outside of Empire, MI offering camping, Live Music, and the Backyard Market featuring produce and flowers from The Lively Farm. Visitors can explore the beauty of the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore by day and our starry landscape by night. Our 40x50 rustic campsites offer a picnic table, and about half are equipped with Fire Pits w/ Screens. Potable water hydrants and clean, regularly serviced porta-johns are available. Sites can accommodate small campers and camper vans but are not equipped for large RVs or motorhomes. If you are looking to park your larger camper vehicle or trailer, and need electricity, let us know as we do have a few larger sites with access to standard power outlets and can accommodate a larger camper. We do not have septic hook-ups, but can help you arrange a clean out from our portajohn servicer. However, out of respect for fellow campers, we do not allow generators in our campground. We aim to be family friendly! We want you to have fun, but please respect your neighbors. Quite Hours: 11pm-7am. If you need anything while you're here, we make every effort to be available onsite in the camp office (the small camper behind the wood) daily 12-4pm, and by phone, the number will be listed at our office onsite. Please send us a message if you have any questions or need anything during your stay! Address: 3805 W Empire HWY, Empire MI, 49630
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$22
 / night
Booked 4 times

Timberline Campground

109 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents10 acres · Benzonia, MI
On the cusp of Crystal Lake, where the Betsie River flows, your Timberline Campground awaits in the place where the heart of the camper glows. The go-to base camp for the expert angler and avid boater, we’re famous for trout and salmon fishing. First-time campers and seasoned explorers drop in as part of a longer Michigan expedition or stay all season. We’re a large campground and spacious, with about every conceivable configuration of RV site you can imagine. The accommodations are ample, and we’re very strategic in locating the conveniences, close and easy to get to, whether you’re driving your home, pulling it or pitching it. Our RV sites have water, electric and sewer with pull-throughs, back-ins, and buddy back-ins with 30/50-amp electric service options. We have primitive sites for tenting and a rentable cabin for those who don’t want to rough it. Whatever your camping style, you’ll have easy access to all the good stuff. Our emphasis is on providing all the recreation you could want while you’re at the campgrounds. In fact, plenty of our guests spend their vacations in our heated pools, jamming on the basketball court and hiking around the nearby Michigan beauty. With lots of storage available for boats and RVs, Timberline is the perfect home base for the whole season.
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$51
 / night
93%
(14)

Empire Bluff RV Site

1 site · RV10 acres · Empire, MI
125 ft from Sleeping Bear Dune gateway. One private spot for RV. Water and 30 Amp service. Empire Beach is 4 miles. Kayaking, Platte River. Dune 8 miles from site.
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$79
 / night
Booked 3 times

Up a Creek in Maple City Campsite

1 site · RV, Tent2 acres · Maple City, MI
2.73 acres along Shetland Creek in nature. Quiet area to get away from the hustle and bustle. Seated between Little Traverse Lake and Lime Lake, both are a short bike ride away. Near beautiful Good Harbor Bay of Lake Michigan. You'll have a flat, level plot of land to camp at. there is parking too for parking a camper. Enjoy the creek, the sounds of nature, the patio for taking a rest, and the wildlife passing through! Destinations within walking/biking distance: -Market 22 (4.7* Restaurant) -Little Traverse Lake Park & Boat Launch -Teichner Preserve: The Leelanau Conservancy (Nature Preserve) Pat's Preserve at Lime Lake (hiking area) A short 5 minute drive to Maple City: -Broomstack Kitchen and Taphouse (4.8* restaurant) -Mobil Gas Station and M C Short Stop Convenience Store -Pegtown Station (4.7* Pizza Restaurant) -United States Postal Service Other nearby sights to see: -Traverse City (30 minute drive) -Cherry Capital Airport (40 minute drive) -Glen Arbor (12 minute drive) -Sleeping bear national park which has 35 Miles of pristine Lake Michigan -Lakeshore beaches (19 minute drive) -Suttons bay (21 minute drive)
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$24
 / night
99%
(44)

Amelia V.’s Land

8 sites · Tents100 acres · Honor, MI
Learn more about this land: Pitch your tent on a 100 acre wildlife preserve and animal sanctuary surrounded by state forest just minutes from the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Rolling Fields with native Northern Michigan Wild Cherry and Pines. Dark Skys. No Civilization in sight. Meet our Birds and Horses and have a chance to see much more wildlife:) Dogs welcome on leashes. Very close to Shore to Shore Trail. Horse camping available.Pets are welcome. Please make sure to pick up after them. 4WD recommended. 
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$40
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97%
(94)

Echo Valley Forest Reserve

1 site · RV, Tent40 acres · Empire, MI
Echo Valley Forest Reserve is a backcountry tent site located deep within hardwood forest near the center of Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore, five minutes from Empire Beach, Glen Haven, and Glen Arbor, and just a mile south of Big Glen Lake. This site is completely private, with only one site rented at a time, in the center of a 40-acre parcel, by thousands of acres of National Lakeshore and private forested land. It is abundant with wildlife; listen for thrush, barred owls, ravens, and coyotes. Walk the trails on the property, cook dinner over a wood fire and watch the stars come out, or enjoy fine dining La Becasse or Funistrada, just 2 miles from the site, or a burger at the Friendly Tavern in Empire or Art's Bar in Glen Arbor, both about 5 miles away. Swim at Old Settler's Park on Big Glen or drive to several Lake Michigan beaches in 5 minutes. The camp site is unmaintained and there is no water or toilet, but it is a spot to pitch a tent and experience the northern forest without the filter of a busy campground. We have just finished installing a graveled drive up the steep hill that leads up to the camp site, so you no longer have to walk up (YEY!). We ask that you please stay on the gravel, and do not drive around the camp in order to keep it as wild as possible. There is room for 2 or 3 cars to park next to camp. Keep in mind it is deep in the woods, so bring a flashlight and perhaps some LED lanterns. You can explore the property by hiking west from the camp. There is a rough trail from the camp site that runs up a valley to the hill top with treed views of Big Glen Lake and evening sunshine. The trails are being developed (your foot traffic helps!) so keep an eye out for the pink flagging tape. There is also a big kettle hole formed by glacial ice deposits across the road from the driveway, about 150 feet to the north (no trail).  There are a ton of great activities close to the camp. Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore has great beaches, swimming, and hiking. Empire Beach is six miles and Glen Haven is 8 miles away. The Heritage Trail in Glen Arbor is a road bike trail that runs from Empire to Bohemian Rd. There are a few mountain bike trails in the area as well (Palmer Woods in Glen Arbor, Arcadia Bluffs trail south of Frankfort, etc). Big Glen access is just a couple miles from the camp at Old Settler Park or at then end of Agnew St (by Funistrada). There isn't a beach on Big Glen but you can swim or hand-launch a boat. There are two nearby restaurants, La Becasse (French) and Trattoria Funistrada (Italian), as well as bar food in Empire and Glen Arbor. VEHICLE ACCESS - Welcome to Northern Michigan! The camp is accessed off Echo Valley Road, which is a rough, seasonal, unmaintained two-track road that can be sandy, rocky, and rutted. If you have 2-wheel drive, I recommend accessing Echo Valley Road from Benzonia Trail end. Most vehicles are fine on Echo Valley Rd if you drive mindfully. I do not recommend driving an RV or towing a fifth-wheel down Echo Valley Road.  FIRES AND WOODS - Keep fires in the pit or ring, and always put out completely before leaving the site. We have had some very dry summers lately, as well as wildfires - if you get a Fire Ban notification from HipCamp, because the local Fire Department has issued it due to high risk of wildfire. Please do not bring wood from home. Moving firewood is one of the main ways tree pests and diseases are introduced to a region, resulting in a huge loss for our forests (emerald ash borer, beech bark disease). If you would like pre-cut firewood there are several roadside stands on Benzonia Trail and Plowman Road. Please do not cut into live trees! SAFETY - We have BLACK BEAR and other curious critters. Practice bear-safe camping by storing food and anything "smelly" in a bear can, by hanging it, or in your car when you are sleeping or not on site. Do not store food in your tent or the critters will come scratching around. Leelanau County also has deer ticks, which carry Lyme disease. Check for ticks daily! CONTACT - Please TEXT, or message me on HipCamp, if you have any questions of if you need directions or recommendations.
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$50
 / night
99%
(255)

Jackson Station Leelanau

4 sites · Tents32 acres · Maple City, MI
Our sites accomodate 2 adults and their minors, with 1-2 vehicles at your site's access point. If you're traveling more than 2 adults please book more than one camp site. Enjoy a peaceful outdoor experience in beautiful Leelanau County via Agritourism at Jackson Station on the Leelanau Peninsula! Our property has 4 private sites situated among a dense pine forest on our small-scale farm.  We're located conveniently between the two popular vacation destinations of Glen Arbor and Leland, MI - both a short scenic drive in either direction. The Leelanau Peninsula is littered with recreational opportunities including hiking, biking, beaches, boating, fishing, dining, shopping and wine tasting, and of course the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore! Our farm produces pastured, all natural meat, including pork, beef, chicken and goat. Find the hens roaming around and see the pigs, cows and goats hanging out in the fenced-in areas. A variety of cuts of meat from our freezers are available for sale or get a tour of the farmstead ~ Just ask! You may simply enjoy the scene at your leisure. SITE DETAILS: Each camp site has a bed of woodchips, gravel surrounding a bonfire ring, a clothesline and neatly stacked firewood for sale. Our sites may accomodate 2 adults and their minors. We recommend that larger groups or multiple adults book more than one site next to each other (sites 1 and 2 or 2 and 3 are good for this). Quiet hours are enforced between 10pm-7am. This is our home and farm, not a campground, please think of staying here in that way. A short walk from camp, down the farm road to the north end of the livestock fence, you'll find access to a water pump for delicious drinking water straight from our well, so that you may fill containers of water or utilize for rinsing.  Our land borders the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. You'll be just a few miles from access to beautiful Lake Michigan beaches. Relax in the sand, hunt for rocks, hike a trail, kayak or paddle-board and watch an epic sunset.  We are just down the road from the uninhabited School Lake, known for its fishing from non-motorized boats or a quiet place to paddle. Additionally, just 2 Miles away you can access the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, a non-motorized 27 mile groomed trail that follows the scenic M-22 from our location all the way to Empire, MI. This trail is open year round to walk, run, bicycle, snowshoe or cross-country ski. 2.8 miles in the other direction from our camp, you'll find a Mountain Bikers paradise at Palmer Woods Forest Preserve, with various hiking trails and a 6 mile mountain bike trail.
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$40
 / night
100%
(100)

Elm Valley

2 sites · RVs20 acres · Suttons Bay, MI
I am 4th generation to live on our property. we are very lucky to have been able to keep 20 acres where I grew up. We are surrounded by Cherry orchards and vineyards. There are 4 wineries within a mile and the bike trail in half a mile away Boat launch on Lake Leelanau 3 miles away A boat launch on Grand Traverse Bay is 1/2 a mile awayLearn more about this land:We have a large hard pack gravel area surrounded by rolling hills and lots of trees. Our house is near by with trees in between. There is a good 60 ft between campers and each site has water and 30 amp. Their own fire pit. We are half a mile from the Leelanau Trail. 10 miles into Traverse city. 5 miles to Suttons Bay
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$50
 / night
100%
(36)

Camp David

14 sites · RVs, Tents8 acres · Traverse City, MI
We built our home 30 years ago on 8 acres of hay field. Everything you see on our property was put here by us!! We have had dogs, a couple of horses, cats of course and chickens too. The horses, dogs and chickens are gone but we still have cats...and we have a pond off our deck with about 50 goldfish and a couple dozen frogs!! Our kids are all grown and we are left wondering what is next. For the past 12 years or so we have had at least one or two camp outs a year on our property with just friends. Then we started thinking "why not invite others?" We know how difficult it can be to get camping reservations in the area....then I bumped into a Hipcamp Host who told me about this.... so here we are! We are animal and nature lovers and our gardens are here for you to enjoy. We'd love to give you a tour and tell you all about every plant if you are interested. Or we will ignore you and let you do your own thing in our 'backyard'! We offer rustic boondocks camping or set up nearer to our buildings and we can supply you with power....110, 30 and 50 available for a small extra charge Welcome to Traverse City and welcome to Camp David!! I have a Facebook page with lots of fun and interesting things to do and see as well as great restaurant recommendations for Traverse City and beyond, on my travel page...Towhead Travels....on Facebook. Please look me up! ******NEW IN 2023****** We have an outhouse on site!! Firewood (oak) is available to purchase when you get here. (all campsites will be provided with a fire ring no charge) https://m.facebook.com/100057592452231/
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$30
 / night
100%
(285)

Llama Meadows Eco Farm BaseCamp

9 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents16 acres · Benzonia, MI
Llama Meadows Farm is a sixteen acre organic fruit and vegetable farm. Located in Beautiful Benzie Country, in Northwestern Lower Michigan. We are one mile south of Crystal Lake and six miles east of Lake Michigan. Our-house is super insulated and passive solar. We had llamas for their wool and manure. We retired from raising llamas, we had 12 they got old and moved on. We have around 50 fruit trees. The fruit we grow includes apples, pears, figs and paw paws. We also grow grapes, and kiwis, we also put in filberts, walnuts and pecans. We have a beautiful labyrinth peace garden. Please check Extras for Pet fees, Campfire Wood and Electric.
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$45
 / night
75%
(8)

Maple Valley Farm

4 sites · RVs, Tents140 acres · Empire, MI
70 acres of Maple forest 50 acre cherry 🍒 orchard . Mile's of trails. Minutes from Empire Bluffs. Empire Beach. ALSO Sleeping Bear Dunes is 12 minutes ride. So much more... Iron Man route is minutes from site. Rolling paved roads for biking.......................................................
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$79
 / night

The best camping near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore guide

Overview

About

Panoramic views of Lake Michigan await in the Sleeping Bear Dunes. This 35-mile slice of lakeshore has wild beaches, lush coastal forests, and—of course—sweeping sand dunes that tower over the lake. Hikers have 100 miles of trails to explore, dotted with lookout points, wildflower fields, and inland lakes, while the Dune Climb and the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive afford the most spectacular views. Campers have a choice of lakeside campgrounds, where you can swim, kayak, and fish, or you can hop on the ferry to the Manitou Islands to explore historic lighthouses and pitch a tent at rustic beach campgrounds. 

Notable campgrounds

  • Best for backcountry campers: Weather Station Campground has 20 walk-in tent sites with fire pits on the south side of South Manitou Island.
  • Best for RVs: Platte River Campground has 96 back-in and pull-through sites, all with electric hookups.
  • Best for views of the dunes: DH Day Campground has 87 campsites, including some walk-in tent-only sites and others suitable for RVs (no electric hookups).

Tips for snagging a campsite

  1. You can reserve a site at one of the campgrounds or purchase a backcountry camping permit via the Recreation.gov website. First-come, first-serve camping is available from October through April (exact dates vary for each campground, so check ahead). 
  2. Campsite reservations open six months in advance. 
  3. Sites can fill up quickly for summer and holiday weekends, so book a minimum of three months ahead to avoid disappointment.

When to go

May through October is the most popular time to visit, and the views are ever-changing, as summer wildflowers give way to blazing fall foliage. June through Labor Day provides the best weather for swimming, but it’s still possible to get on the water until the winter frosts set in. Winter visitors can make the most of the snowfall from late November through March—popular activities include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and sledding down the dunes.

Know before you go

  • Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is on the northeast shore of Lake Michigan, 160 miles north of Grand Rapids or about a 2-hour 40-minute drive away.
  • There is a per-vehicle admission fee to visit the park, and camping reservation fees also apply. 
  • Facilities in the park include the Philip A. Hart and South Manitou Island Visitor Centers, picnic areas, and restrooms. Gas, groceries, and other supplies are available from Glen Arbor, Empire, and other coastal villages. Cell phone service is patchy.
  • There are accessible campsites, restrooms, and picnic areas at Sleeping Bear Dunes. The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail is also accessible. 

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