Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Michigan - Guide to ATV, Truck or Jeep Driving | Invaluable Map | Requirements | Must-Have Equipment To Purchase Prior to Exploring the Dunes

Silver Lake Sand DunesSilver Lake Sand Dunes

Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Michigan | By Sherry Trautman | Traveling Michigan

Want to drive and explore these stunning sand dunes in your ATV, jeep or truck?  Here are the requirements, necessary equipment, rules and a map to get you going!

Silver Lake Sand Dunes, located in Mears, Michigan, is a gorgeous place to spend a day or a weekend as there are so many things to do!  Sand dunes, sparkling beaches, shriek-inducing dune rides...what are you waiting for, let's go!

Seriously, how fun is this?

Want to Drive on the Dunes? Here is What You Will Need:

Please read: To take your vehicle on Silver Lake Sand Dunes you must have all current permits including: ORV Permit, ORV Trails Permit, Recreation Passport, 4-wheel drive vehicle, tires with a max of 15 PSI, and a safety flag.

How to Get to the Silver Lake Sand Dunes ATV/Jeep/Truck Entrance Points

We created this Silver Lake Sand Dunes Interactive Map to help you find your specific stops and aid in planning your trip.

Helpful Map Tips:

  • Click on the plus and minus in the left corner to zoom in or out of the map.
  • Click on the icons for more info, addresses and photos of the stops.
  • Click on the map to drag and move it to view surrounding areas.
  • In the Header, click on the rectangle in the upper left of the map to see a menu of all of our stops. Click on anything that looks interesting to see where it is on the map. To hide the menu, click the rectangle in the header. 
  • In the Header, click on the "square" icon in the upper right side to expand the map for better viewing. 

First Stop: Deflate Tires, Attach Flag, Use the Porta Johns! (just sayin')

Silver Lake State Park, 1857 N. Ridge Road, Mears, MI.

We had a bit of a time finding where to go.  See the map above, the directional signs were confusing. Wish we had this map when we went!! 

You can use a Black and Decker Cordless Tire Inflator or there are hose reels to use along the fence.  

What should the tire pressure be?

12-15 lbs max PSI

Attach your flag with the parts mentioned above. Bring gloves. 

Attach a Go-Pro!

We attached our Go-Pro to the roof of our jeep for fun videos!

Head to the Parking Lot and Check In

Turn left onto Fox road and head to the parking lot and check in (See map above).  There are nice bathrooms there too. 

Secure Your Stuff: Here's Why ;/

Are There Bathrooms Out on the Dunes?

  • Just so you know, there are porta johns near the lake out on the dunes.

Can You Drive on the Beach?

Nope, but you can park close and go walk on the beach. 

When Is Silver Lake Sand Dunes Open for the Season?

The Silver Lake Sand Dunes are open April 1 to October 31, Open 9 am to 8 pm until May 1. May 1 to Sept 15 9 am to 10 pm, Sept 15 to Oct 31 9 am-8 pm.  So there you go!

Where to Stay at Silver Lake Sand Dunes?

We recommend staying in Ludington as there are many more hotel and lodging choices. You can also camp right at the Silver Lake State Park. 

Tour the Dunes with A Guide!

Dune rides are an absolute blast!!  Plan ahead because during the summer months, your wait will be around 45 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on day and time of year. 

We did not book ahead off time, just showed up.  There are covered areas to wait with bathrooms and a gift shop. Be sure to have water with you.

Be sure to book your hotel or campground early as Silver Lake Dunes is a busy place in the summer! 

See the Fun on Instagram!

Silver Lake Beach

We really love Silver Lake's beach.  It was very clean with restrooms and shade trees.  Lots of places to walk and explore too.  We brought lunch in a cooler and relaxed under the trees.  Lots of areas for kids to play and be kids!!

Little Sable Point Lighthouse

287 N Lighthouse Dr, Mears, MI 49436

The Little Sable Point Lighthouse is 115 feet high and one of the tallest working lighthouses on Lake Michigan, visible for 19 miles. In continuous operation since 1874, it is a guardian to ships that pass the Silver Lake Sand Dunes at Mears, Michigan.

The lighthouse is now open for tours!  Call the State Park for dates and hours of operation.  


Silver Lake Road has a few small restaurants including ice cream, pizza and snack shops.  Just take a drive around the area to see what looks fun! 

So, if you are searching for a heart pounding quad, buggy or outdoor adventure, Silver Lake Michigan dunes are for you.  There is so much to do! Plus there are at least six campgrounds in the area so start planning your trip today!

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About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

Thanks for stopping by!

Our Words of Wisdom: “Never follow anyone else’s path. Unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path, then by all means follow that path.”

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We're Sherry and Chris the founders of one of Michigan's most comprehensive and Top Travel Blogs!

    Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "" A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry.

    In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

Sherry & Chris are at the Inn at Bay Harbor and looking out at the lake.
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