Have you ever imagined yourself relaxing on sandy beach dunes, looking out over a vast watery horizon as the sun sets? If so, you might have figured that such experiences are limited to those lucky millions blessed to live on the California coastline — but you’d be wrong. The truth is that you can dip your toes in the sand, close your eyes, and relax to the sounds of the surf, far from the West Coast…on the shores of Lake Michigan, at Warren Dunes State Park.
Averaging more than one million visitors a year, Warren Dunes State Park in southern Michigan is one of the Great Lakes State’s most popular state parks, and for good reason. It’s just the sort of coastal escape you need any time of year, and it can be much closer to home than you think if you visit while on an RV road trip.
What and Where Is Warren Dunes State Park?
Situated 20 miles north of the Indiana border and within viewing distance of the Windy City in Illinois, Warren Dunes State Park, in Sawyer, MI, is a popular recreational area, comprising 1,952 acres of fun in the sun, sand dunes, and shore. Originally the gift of a local businessman to a down-and-out friend, Warren Dunes State Park was acquired by Michigan in the 1930s and became a state park.
What To Do at Warren Dunes State Park?
Unsurprisingly, activities at Warren Dunes State Park revolve around water and sand.
Sand Dunes and Sandboarding
If you’ve never tried sandboarding before, now’s your chance! There are some significant dunes, including Pikes Peak, Mt. Fuller, and Mt. Edwards, with the tallest dune — rising 240 feet above Lake Michigan — being Tower Hill (on a clear day, you can see the Chicago skyline from the top).
For a good time, run up, tumble down, or sandboard down the many sandy slopes!
Planning on going for a swim in Lake Michigan? There are three miles of shoreline from which to do so at Warren Dunes State Park. In the heights of summer, the water temperature can get up to the high 70s, a perfect complement to the weather and humidity. Late summer/early fall water temps are cooler but still comfortable (67-70 degrees Fahrenheit), while the coldest part of winter sees an average water temperature just above freezing at Warren Dunes State Park.
The dunes and the water aren’t the only outdoorsy activities you can enjoy at Warren Dunes State Park, of course. There are six miles of trails for hikers to traverse; if you’re interested in giving yourself a bit of a challenge, check out the four-mile Mt. Randall Loop. If you’d rather stick close to the water, you can amble up and down Warren Dunes State Park’s three miles of shoreline.
Metal Detecting and Hunting
Along that shoreline, by the way, you can engage in metal detecting. You’ll have to stay within the designated area, though, and park staff can ask to see what you find; they may even hold it while they investigate it. Oh, and if hunting is more your game, there is also a hunting zone in the north of Warren Dunes State Park.
Is There RV Camping at Warren Dunes State Park?
Since you’re on an RV road trip, you’re going to be expecting to do some Warren Dunes State Park camping. There are two Warren Dunes State Park camping areas: The Warren Dunes-Mt. Randall Modern Campground, with over 180 RV campsites, and the Warren Dunes-Hilldebrandt Semi-Modern Campground, with just over 30 campsites.
All sites at the Mt. Randall Modern Campground have 20 or 30-amp electric hookups, and some have 50-amp electric, but the Hilldebrandt Semi-Modern Campground has no electric hookups.
When Is the Best Time To Visit Warren Dunes State Park?
Summer is, of course, the best time to visit Warren Dunes State Park if you want to take full advantage of the area. Summertime highs can get up into the high 70s Fahrenheit from June to August, and the humidity that hovers around 80% offers the perfect excuse to spend some time in Lake Michigan. Summer crowds also feel the same, though, which is why summer at Warren Dunes State Park can be quite packed.
On the other hand (and if you don’t like the crowds), you can visit in winter since Warren Dunes State Park is open year-round. It’ll be much, much colder (with average highs in the low-to-mid 30s F, and overnight lows in the 20s!), but you’ll have more of the dunes, beaches, and trails to yourself. But, if winter’s too cold, bank on spring or fall, with highs in the 50s and 60s — perfect for an outdoor jaunt.
Go See the Dunes in a Cruise America RV!
You’re now ready to visit Warren Dunes State Park for RV camping, aside from one thing: You need an RV! The obvious choice to rent or buy one is Cruise America. For more than 50 years, Cruise America has helped connect adventurers like you with the RVs that can get you wherever you want to go.
Get in touch with Cruise America today to find the RV that will help you fulfill your road trip dreams while making great memories!