» on the way up
We drove up the west coast of Michigan, stopping at Grand Haven, Silver Lake State Park, and Arcadia Bluffs on our way to Sleeping Bear Dunes.

The lighthouse and walkway in Grand Haven.

The view from Arcadia Bluffs, the highest point along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

» silver lake dunes
The dunes here cover an area of about 1 mile by 3 miles, separating Silver Lake from Lake Michigan. Vast areas have no vegetation at all, making you feel like you are in the middle of a desert with sand as far as the eye can see.

Silver Lake.

A ghost forest, killed by migrating sand dunes. (Taken by Megan)

The ghost forest as seen from above.

Well traveled dunes.

Jumping off the edge of a steep dune.

Megan walking on the dunes. Here you can see the transition from sand dunes to forest.

Left: Me walking the dunes. (Taken by Megan) Top Right: Dunes encroaching on the forest. Bottom Right: Ripples in the sand.

» sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore
Sleeping Bear Dunes probably offers the most dramatic scenery along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Sand dunes rise steeply from the shore, reaching heights over 450 feet above the lake. In addition to the sand, there are tons of beautiful lakes in the area, along with rivers and rolling forested hills.

The bluffs at sunset.

Sunset over Lake Michigan as seen from the Sleeping Bear Bluffs.

The top of the dunes and the setting sun.

Looking at the treetops and Glen Lake from the dunes.

Me on my way down to the beach. The climb back up is very strenuous. (Taken by Megan)

The view from midway down.

Clear, calm water and Empire Bluffs as seen from the beach below Sleeping Bear Dunes.

After the sun dropped below the horizon, the water became very orange.

These flowers were common in the sand dunes.

Sleeping Bear Bluffs as seen from Empire Bluffs.

Ferns are common ground cover in the forests.

The bluffs and South Manitou Island.

Dunes along the Dunes Trail.

Left: A ghost forest. Right: Megan along the Dunes Trail.

The southwestern shore of South Manitou Island, where we hiked the day before, as seen from the Dunes Trail.

Two views of an interesting wildflower that was common in the woods.

Where the Platte River flows into Lake Michigan. Sleeping Bear Dunes and Empire Bluffs are in the distance.

The Platte River, just upstream of where it flows into Lake Michigan.

» dh day campground, sleeping bear dunes
The DH Day campground is a rustic campground (no running water) on the shore of Lake Michigan where we spent a night before heading to South Manitou Island.

Since the weather was perfect with no threat of rain we took the fly off the tent and slept under the stars. Megan continued to sleep through the morning while I checked out the sunrise.

Crystal clear water at the beach near our campground.

» old mission peninsula
Old Mission Peninsula is a narrow 17 mile long strip of land that separates West Grand Traverse Bay from East Grand Traverse Bay. Today it consists of vineyards, orchards, farms, and a lighthouse at the point. After the original inhabitants of the peninsula, Ottawa Indians, relenquished the land to European settlers, a mission was established here to help them adapt to a new way of life, hence the name.

The beach at Old Mission Point.

Left: The lighthouse, located halfway between the North Pole and the Equator. Right: A log cabin built in 1856 by pioneers.



< Back to Photos & Trip Reports

» all photo reports from lower michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Fall 2012 - Summer 2013
Photos from around town in different seasons.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Fall 2011 - Summer 2012
Photos from around town in different seasons.
Fall in Ann Arbor, Michigan
October 2011
Fall photos, mostly from around the University of Michigan campus.
Lake Michigan
September 3, 2010
A windy, wavey day on Lake Michigan brings the surfers out.
Nordhouse Dunes, Michigan
February 27 - 28, 2010
Winter camping in the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness along Lake Michigan.
Lake Erie, Michigan
February 6, 2010
Checking out the ice on Lake Erie at Sterling State Park.
The Thumb, Michigan
September 6, 2009
Kayaking along the rocky shores of Lake Huron near Port Austin.
Spring in Ann Arbor, Michigan
April - May 2009
Photos of bright colors returning to campus and town.
St. Joseph, Michigan
February 8, 2009
Checking out the ice around St. Joseph before it melted away.
Fall in Ann Arbor, Michigan
October - November 2008
A few attempts at capturing the beautiful fall colors.
Frozen Coast, Michigan
February 16, 2008
Exploring the frozen shores of Lake Michigan, from Warren Dunes to South Haven.
Northern Michigan
October 19 - 21, 2007
Enjoying the fall colors in northern Michigan.
West Coast, Michigan
July 21, 2007
Checking out a couple of the beaches and towns of Michigan's west coast.
Northern Michigan
June 21 - 22, 2007
Canoeing the Pere Marquette River and checking out the Sleeping Bear Dunes area.
Northern Michigan
July 1 - 4, 2006
Checking out Grand Haven, Silver Lake, Sleeping Bear Dunes, and Traverse City.
Michigan Spring
April 2006
Spring pictures from around the Ann Arbor area.
Michigan Winter
December 2005
Winter pictures from around the Ann Arbor area.
Northern Michigan
July 2 - 3, 2005
Hiking the Manistee River Trail, canoeing the Jordan River, and making a brief stop at Wilderness State Park.
The Arb, Ann Arbor
January 2005
Pictures from the first big snowfall in Ann Arbor in 2005 when I skied from home to the Arb and fell into the river.
Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan
May 2003
A visit to Sleeping Bear Dunes.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
My favorite photos from Ann Arbor.
Michigan Law Quad
My favorite photos of the University of Michigan Law Quad.
Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan
October 12 - 14, 2012
Unrelenting rain drenches our fall weekend trip.
Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan
February 24 - 27, 2012
Winter photos from the Leelanau area, including Pyramid Point, Empire Bluffs, and Crystal Lake.
Spring in Ann Arbor, Michigan
April - May 2011
Flowers erupt and warm weather returns to open arms.
Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan
February 28, 2010
Exploring Sleeping Bear Dunes in the winter.
Frozen Coast, Michigan
February 20, 2010
Checking out the frozen lakeshore of Lake Michigan at Warren Dunes, St. Joseph, and Holland.
Fall in Ann Arbor, Michigan
October 2009
Fall color viewed mostly from a few tall buildings around town.
Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan
May 16 - 17, 2009
Enjoying springtime in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Detroit, Michigan
March 7, 2009
Making a quick and rare trip to Detroit, checking out the haunting Michigan Central Station and a few other places.
The Thumb, Michigan
January 31, 2009
Hiking along Lake Huron to see the rock formations and lighthouse near Port Austin.
Nordhouse Dunes, Michigan
July 26 - 27, 2008
A quick overnight backpacking trip into the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area.
Winter, Ann Arbor, Michigan
January 2008
Winter photos from campus, town, and city parks.
North Manitou Island, Michigan
August 11 - 12, 2007
Backpacking on North Manitou Island, enjoying the sunset, and watching storms roll off from Lake Michigan.
Botanical Gardens, Ann Arbor
July 14, 2007
Checking out the flowers and interesting plants of the Univeristy of Michigan Botanical Gardens.
Ice Storm, Ann Arbor
January 17, 2007
Pictures from around town after an ice storm coated all the trees in ice.
South Manitou Island, Michigan
July 2, 2006
Hiking to the sand dune bluffs on the west side of South Manitou Island.
Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan
February 27, 2006
Hiking and skiing around the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Michigan Fall
October 2005
Pictures from around the Ann Arbor area.
Sleeping Bear Dunes Area, Michigan
May 27 - 29, 2005
Kayaking on Lake Michigan near Sleeping Bear Dunes.
Winter Camping, Northern Michigan
December 2004
Winter camping near the Pine River.
My favorite photos from Michigan.
Turnip Rock, Michigan
My favorite photos of Turnip Rock, from both summer and winter.
Ross School of Business
My favorite photos of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.