Standard (tent/RV)
Tent Cabin
RV Sites
Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Drinking Water
About Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness
USDA Forest Service
Drive In
Walk In
Hike In
Boat In
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Fires Allowed
Firewood Available
Pets Allowed
Trash Available
Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness is located in Michigan
44.0875 N
-86.4447 W
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17 Reviews of Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness
True backcountry beach camping

This is our go to place in MI. A 2 mile hike in beach spot with beautiful views. Lots a variation in how great each spot is, but absolutely worth it. No amenities at all. Great beach walks on lake michigan.

Nice beach camping

Spend 3days and two nights camping here. Beautiful location. Very easy short hike, unless you take the wrong path and go knee deep in some marshes haha if your not on a trail you can take a wagon on, your on the wrong path. The flys got pretty annoying in July so bug spray is a must. THe water was chilly but super clear and lovely to take a swim. Camp and do your fires back In the tree line for shade. Don’t camp on the water. Even in the forest there’s little wood it’s been picked apart. Please don’t burn lake wood. Saw some guys with a fire 20feet from the water, pretty annoying. There’s little drift wood left and to burn it is disrespectful.

Kinda overcrowded these days

2-3 mile hike-in backcountry camping on the dunes of Lake Michigan. This is a gorgeous area that has unfortunately gotten a little overpopulated. The over night area used to be a quiet and peaceful place to unplug and unwind, but now it feels more like a party beach. Very crowded and loud. Also, too many inexperienced campers come out carrying too much stuff and leave there garbage and unwanted items all over the dunes rather than practicing “leave no trace”


This place has stolen my soul, and it keeps me coming back. The campsites are clean, the trails are well kept, and it’s right by my favorite Lake Michigan beach.

Best kept Secret

Great for the Backpacking novice. One of my favorite places when I want to camp off the Lake Michigan shore. A very short hike in if you want to stay on the beach. Also several Two-track sites for car and RV camping. Close to Hamlin lake for fishing and kayaking or for larger boats as well. Very Rustic. No utilities. But your neighbors will never see you running naked around the fire unless they happen to be driving by the two-track road.

Rustic camping with no neighbors!

Rustic camping off two tracks throughout the area. We never have neighbors! Lake Michigan rec area is adjacent with beach access and trails to walk. Hamlin Lake at Ludington State Park is not far and has an interpretive canoe trail. If you need showers you can pay at the corner store on the main Rd. No facilities, bring a shovel.

Woodsy and lakeshore - the best of both worlds!

Requires about a 30-45 minute hike in, so pack accordingly! We slept on the beach, which we didn't realize was illegal, but there are plenty of woodsy spots. There are sand dunes, beach, and woodsy spots. The perfect getaway, with plenty of space to spread out and explore.

Great park

Very well maintained park with fabulous hiking trails along the lake and through the forest. We did the dunes loop and loved the variety of changing terrain. We were able to explore the forest, the interdunal area, as well as the beach where some fascinating metal pieces had washed ashore.

Be careful, we were there in May and there were TONS of ticks. Check frequently and bring a brush for easy removal.

Amazing Hike In / Hike out camping

One of my favorite place to hike in / backpack camp. There are sites available just off of Lake Michigan and one close enough to trail heads that we have taken young children (4 years old and up) to this area. Unfortunately, and why I only give a three star rating is that in the past few years, other campers have left, trash and human excrement out in the open. Not digging a hole and burying it. The DNR people who work at this site do what they can. Unfortunately some rude campers are ruining the experience for everyone else.

$350 dollar views for the price of parking

This is a dispersed camping beginners and long-time backpackers can all enjoy. It’s roughly a mile hike in to where the campsites begin, and there’s a ton to choose from. The views are so beautiful. There is nothing like waking up in the woods to roll over and see the Lake Michigan shore line. If you are up to it, this is part of a six mile loop.

The hike is predominately on a sandy dirt terrain and your legs will burn on the hike in, but it doesn’t last long. It is a popular spot for backpackers especially from Grand Rapids but for beginner backpackers it can be comforting to not be completely isolated the first time you backpack.

Just to clarify this is a hike-in style of camping with no water wells, electricity, or outhouses. We recommend it to any person wanting to get started backpacking and plan on making it a yearly trip. The bugs were not bad from the wind off the shore.

Parking is $5