Indiana Dunes National Park

Indiana Dunes National Park

The Indiana Dunes National Park hugs 15 miles (24 km) of the southern shore of Lake Michigan. While this place is a new National Park, it’s been a treasured state park for decades.

The park features 14 distinct trail systems covering more than 50 miles of trails. If you are looking to squeeze as much as possible into one hike, the Dune Ridge Trail is just the place. This one-mile hike offers great views of the extensive wetlands and forests south of this tall, forested dune. Perhaps no other area in the park will take you through as many diverse habitats on such a short trail.

Places to Stay When Visiting

The Indiana Dunes National and State Parks are in an urban setting, so there are a lot of options for lodging available. Chicago is about 35 miles west of the park. Other nearby towns include:

  • Ogden Dunes, IN (1 mile away)
  • Chesterton, IN (3 miles)
  • Portage, IN (5 miles)
  • Gary, IN (5 miles)

VISIT Indiana Dunes National Park:

Park Details

Indiana Dunes National Park was established on November 5, 1966, and has a total area of 15,000 acres (23 square miles, or 61 square kilometers).

Address 1215 SR-49, Porter, IN, 46304
Phone219 395-1882
Hours8:00am - 6:00pm
Entrance FeeFree to enter National Park, $7-12 for State Park
Learn MoreOfficial Website

When to Visit: Weather vs. Peak Visitation

Indiana Dunes National Park is the 24th most visited park in the country.

We crunched 30 years of historical weather and/or park service data to find the best months to visit Indiana Dunes National Park. We looked for the optimal temperatures, the least amount of snow and rain, and stayed away from peak visitation months if we could help it. All this data then helped us paint a picture as to what the absolute best time to visit Indiana Dunes National Park is.

Our data shows the best months to visit Indiana Dunes National Park are June, July, August & September.

Park Visits86,06593,430171,050234,442396,362319,611594,273437,313343,696253,640144,881102,448
Avg Temp333748617281848376645037
Max Temp525670808793969591836954
Avg Temp212432415059636154443526
Min Temp051527344350473729217
Temperature values in °F; Precipitation in Inches

Indiana Dunes National Park Road Trips

Many family vacations consist of stringing one or more national parks together during a week-long trip. Creating these types of trips is our specialty! Here are the road trips we've created where Indiana Dunes National Park is visited.

Trip NameTrip MilesTrip Days
Indiana Dunes, Cuyahoga Valley to Niagara Falls6098
Route 66 National Park Road Trip2,30013

Other Nearby National Park Sites

From national monuments, to historic sites to seashores and more, here are the other parks closest to Indiana Dunes National Park.

Pullman National Monument26 mi
Lincoln Home National Historic Site184 mi
River Raisin National Battlefield Park193 mi
Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park203 mi
George Rogers Clark National Historical Park206 mi
Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument216 mi
Herbert Hoover National Historic Site219 mi
Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial222 mi
William Howard Taft National Historic Site222 mi
Effigy Mounds National Monument231 mi

Nearby Campsites & RV Parks

If you are looking to pitch a tent or park an RV at a campsite near Indiana Dunes National Park, here is a list of the closest campsites in the surrounding area. They all have slightly different amenitites, so its best to check them all out instead of just chosing the first on the list.

NameDetailsMiles Away
Indiana Dunes State ParkChesterton, IN more 2 miles
Dunewood - Indiana Dunes National LakeshoreChesterton, IN more 7 miles
Warren Dunes State ParkSawyer, MI more 32 miles
Weko BeachBridgman, MI more 34 miles
Potato Creek State ParkNorth Liberty, IN more 40 miles
Bass Lake State BeachKnox, IN more 40 miles
Shamrock ParkBerrien Springs, MI more 45 miles
Tippecanoe River State ParkWinamac, IN more 46 miles
Eden Springs Park CampgroundBenton Harbor, MI more 47 miles

Nearest Ski Resorts

For those of you who are the diehard outdoors type, visiting a national park on a ski trip can be quite the adventure. Here are the ski resorts within 100 miles of Indiana Dunes National Park:

NameLocationSummitDifficulty ScoreDistance
Four LakesLisle, IL500 ft19%52 mi
Grand GenevaLake Geneva, WI1,086 ft32%93 mi
The Rock SnowparkFranklin, WI290 ft27%99 mi

Nearest Airports

When visiting a National park, many people are faced with either a very long drive across country, or a much shorter flight. For those of you looking to fly into Indiana Dunes National Park, we've listed the closest airports in the area.

Large Airports

A large airport has scheduled major airline service with millions of passengers per year. This type of airport always accepts international flights. Here are the closest large airports to Indiana Dunes National Park.

Midway International AirportMDWChicago, IL35 mi
O'Hare International AirportORDChicago, IL47 mi
Milwaukee Mitchell International AirportMKEMilwaukee, WI98 mi
Indianapolis International AirportINDIndianapolis, IN140 mi
Detroit Metropolitan AirportDTWDetroit, MI197 mi
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International AirportCVGCincinnati / Covington, KY221 mi
John Glenn Columbus International AirportCMHColumbus, OH248 mi
Medium Airports

A medium-sized airport has scheduled regional airline service. This type of airport may or may not accept international flights. Here are the closest medium-sized airports to Indiana Dunes National Park.

South Bend Regional AirportSBNSouth Bend, IN41 mi
Kalamazoo Battle Creek International AirportAZOKalamazoo, MI90 mi
Chicago Rockford International AirportRFDChicago/Rockford, IL109 mi
Fort Wayne International AirportFWAFort Wayne, IN109 mi
Muskegon County AirportMKGMuskegon, MI114 mi
Gerald R. Ford International AirportGRRGrand Rapids, MI117 mi
Central Illinois Regional Airport at Bloomington-NormalBMIBloomington/Normal, IL124 mi

Credits: Campground data provided by Map shapes from CartographyVectors. Weather data from NOAA. Airport data from Images from Unsplash, Flickr and Parks&Trips. All data has also been updated and augmented by Parks&Trips.