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part ofSleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, National Park Service
Status: Open through Wed Oct 14 2015   Season Dates


D.H. Day Group Campground is a tent-only facility located in the heart of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, about one mile north of the Dune Climb, where visitors can walk over miles of sand dunes. This year-round campground has four sites which accommodate groups of 7 to 25 people.

Summer temperatures range from the upper 70s to 90s during the day and can drop 20 degrees at night. Winters are cold, with daytime highs in the 20s to 30s and lows in the 10s and 20s; snow is usually on the ground from late November through March.

Natural Features:

The campground is open with sparse vegetation. Contrary to the park's name, bears are rarely sighted here, yet other wildlife such as birds, deer and wild turkey may be seen.

Although the Lake Michigan shore is long and narrow, it has northern hardwood and conifer forests, abandoned farm meadows, wetlands, lakes, streams, bogs and splendid examples of a glacially formed landscape.

The most prominent features in the park, for which it was named, are the perched sand dunes above Lake Michigan. The overlooks at Sleeping Bear, Empire and Pyramid Point bluffs are about 400 feet above the lake. With 65 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and numerous inland lakes and streams, the park is wonderfully water-oriented.


D.H. Day Group is a hub for water activities. Motorized and non-motorized boating is allowed on the lake, with restrictions, and there is a boat ramp about six miles away by which boaters can access Lake Michigan. Campers can also rent canoes and kayaks in the town of Glen Harbor to float the nearby Crystal River. The beach at Glen Haven, which is popular for beachcombing and swimming, is about one mile away from the campground. There are no lifeguards on duty at the park's beaches.

The facility is also close to the Dune Climb, where visitors can climb on sand dunes over 200 feet high, walk more than 1.5 miles on the dunes to Lake Michigan and catch a great view of Glen Lake.


Picnic tables and campfire rings are provided at the campsites. The campground has drinking water during the reservation season, but the water is shut off from October through April. Pets and RVs are not allowed in the group sites. Access to the campground is via a dirt road.

Nearby Attractions:

The historic area of Glen Haven, which features a working blacksmith shop, a 1920s-era general store and Sleeping Bear Point Maritime Museum, is within a short drive of the campground.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Campfire Rings
  • Comfort Station
  • Drinking Water
  • Parking Area
  • Picnic Tables
  • Vault Toilets
  • Water Drinking
Know Before You Go
  • This a different location than D.H. Day Family Campground, which is a first-come, first-served campground with campsites that can accommodate one to six people and located between Glen Haven and Glen Arbor on M-109
  • Firewood from areas outside of this facility must be from a Lakeshore approved firewood vendor. A list of Lakeshore approved vendors is available at http://www.nps.gov/slbe/planyourvisit/firewood.htm. Firewood is also available for purchase at the nearby D.H. Day Family Campground, or visitors may collect dead and down wood within the park boundaries. For more information, visit www.invasive.org or www.dontmovefirewood.org.
  • Parties camping at D.H. Day Group Campground must check in at the main D.H. Day Campground to purchase their camping permit
  • Campers must travel on a dirt road to reach this facility
  • This facility is available on a first-come, first-served basis outside the reservation period
  • Tents only; no trailers or RVs allowed
  • An entrance pass for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is required per vehicle; $10 park pass (good for seven days) or $20 annual pass
  • Campers must notify the campground at 231-326-4700 ext 5035 if they will not arrive within 24 hours of the check-in time
  • The park has pebble beaches rather than sand; water shoes are recommended
  • No pets allowed

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
44.89167, -86.04278
44°53'30"N, 86°2'34"W

From Traverse City, Michigan take M-72 west to Empire. Proceed 2.1 miles north of Empire on M-22. Go 4.1 miles north on M-109 to West Harwood Road. Take a left on West Harwood Road and continue all the way to the end of the road to D.H. Day Group Campground.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

W Harwood Dr
EMPIRE  MI  49630

Phone Number:

Information:  (231)326-4700
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