Warren Dunes State Park Michigan Camping Video

I have a hard time deciding which I liked more about our weekend camping trip to Warren Dunes State Park Michigan. The spectacular spring woodland wildflower display that was all around us as we hiked and camped in this state park. Or, watching an awesome Lake Michigan Sunset on a mostly deserted beach. If you ever visit Warren Dunes at the height of the summer season, you'll know why a mostly deserted beach is unique experience for this state park. 

Because of it's location just 12 miles north of the Indiana border and being only 90 minutes from Chicago, this state park is one of the most convenient camping places in the Midwest and one of Michigan's most popular state parks with more than 1.5 million visitors annually. However, the parking area between the expansive beach and tall dunes is huge and even in the height of summer, it doesn't feel crowded with three miles of shoreline to spread out. But be warned, cars sometimes line up here for more than a mile to get in on busy summer weekends. 

The beach and dunes is what attracts most folks to visit and camp in this 1,952 acre park with three miles of shoreline. The dunes rise more than 200 feet above Lake Michigan and some folks even hang glide off these towering hills of sand. We unfortunately didn't get to see any hang gliders but did marvel at the sight of seeing the top of the Chicago skyline peaking above the waters of Lake Michigan and watching what look like tiny people climbing the tall dunes. The climb up these dunes is tiring, so take your time and enjoy running back down! 

Although this is one of Michigan's busiest state parks, it is still pretty easy to get away from the crowds by heading north along the shoreline or just putting on some shoes and enjoying some of the parks 6 miles of hiking trails. Although there are trails throughout the park with some starting by the north end of the main parking lot, the northern section of the park has most of the trail system and is also a dedicated and protected natural area. 

In fact, the visionary namesake of this park, Edward Warren, bought this land in the late 1800s to protect it because he foresaw a day when the rapid industrial development around Chicago and in northern Indiana would make preserving these lands a great benefit and value to people as a place of retirement and recreations, as he put it. And, he not only bought the tracts of land to preserve, but also encouraged other land owners to manage their lands for preservation in their natural state for the future. It is thanks to Edward Warren that we have both Warren Woods and Warren Dunes State Park today to swim, hike, bird watch, hang glide and camp in. 

There are two campgrounds at Warren Dunes and an organizational campsite for groups. As you enter the park entrance and turn north, the first campground you come to is Mt Randall which is the modern campground with electrical service and plumbed bathrooms. A little further along you will reach Hildebrandt which is a semi-modern campground designed for camping with tents. It offers no electrical service and only has pit toilets, although campers are welcome to use the modern bathroom facilities at the Mt Randall campground. They also have several small cabins in the park that you can rent.

Although the campgrounds are very nice and in a natural setting, they are also located along the eastern border of the park which is along the Red Arrow Highway which does give the campground a bit of road noise. The Hildebrandt is especially close to the Red Arrow. You can even see some cars through the trees. 

There are 200 modern campsites and 30 rustic ones in the park. The modern campground also has a nice playground for families with kids. This is a very popular park and campground, so we recommend making reservations online before heading to camp. We will include a link for reservations in our video description. If you forget something at home, don't worry… they have a nice little store by the modern campground. Besides the convenient little store, the Mt Randall campground also has more of a buffer between it and the highway than Hildebrandt, so even those tenting may want to stay in the modern campsite. Reservations @ https://midnrreservations.com/ 

Keep Wandering & Stay Curious! 


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