About Dune Rides in Michigan
Dune rides in Michigan are a rite of passage for visitors to some west Michigan towns, and one you won’t want to miss.
From northern Michigan and the upper peninsula to Saugatuck Dunes State Park, Michigan’s Great Lakes are home to some of the tallest dunes in the U.S., and the opportunity to ride the dunes is both rare and special.
If you’re looking for a thrilling getaway idea, you’ll want to think about riding the sand dunes. We’ve put together a visitor’s guide to some of our favorite dune tours and the best places in Michigan to ride dunes to help make planning your trip even easier.
Ride the Dunes in Michigan
The sand dunes in Michigan are one of the biggest attractions that bring tourists from all over. From Sleeping Bear Dunes to Silver Lake to Saugatuck, visiting any of the several sand dunes in the state is a Michigander must!
For most dunes, you can hike up to enjoy the beautiful views of the surrounding areas. While others, you can ride off-road vehicles like a dune buggy throughout the grounds and have some fun riding around while exploring the dunes.
Rent an ORV to Ride the Dunes
Suppose you don’t have your own off-road vehicle. In that case, there are typically rental companies in town that offer guided tours, rentals, and a driver for you to experience everything the dunes in Michigan have to offer. There are so many ways to explore Michigan’s sand dunes.
What are Michigan Dune Rides?
Dune rides are guided tours through a particular set of dunes, whether it’s Silver Lake or Saugatuck. Many other dunes, like Sleeping Bear Dunes or Grand Sable Dunes in Michigan’s upper peninsula, do not offer dune rides.
Both Sleeping Bear Dunes and Grand Sable Dunes offer more for hikers and focus on preserving the dunes’ natural layout. Protecting the flora and fauna, like the Piping Plover, is important, too. The piping plover is a near-threatened shorebird species that makes it home on the coasts and can be found in some dune areas.
Lucky for us, though, the areas around Saugatuck and Silver Lake State Park offer endless acres of sandy dunes, perfect for traversing in an ATV or dune scooter! Below are some of our favorite spots to ride the dunes in Michigan.
Where to Find Dune Rentals and Guided Tours
Saugatuck and Silver Lake are the only dunes that offer guided tours and an off-road experience. There are other places to ride trails and rent off-road vehicles, but not tours.
Most dunes in the state, like Sleeping Bear, offer absolutely no dune rides or allow off-road vehicles to protect the environment of the dunes and provide more for hikers.
To learn more about the different rentals, housing, and attractions at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes, check out our “Ultimate Silver Lake Travel Guide.”
Mac Wood’s is probably the most famous dune ride in Michigan. Ask virtually any Michigander about dune rides, and Mac Wood’s will be the first name they say.
Mac Wood’s Dune Rides is in the town of Mears, home to the Silver Lake Sand Dunes and the beautiful Silver Lake State Park. These dunes are most notable for providing visitors an off-roaders paradise.
This dune ride will provide family fun for any age from May- October. The dune ride is a 7-mile ride that lasts about 40 minutes. Each driver is knowledgeable of the environment and history of the Silver Lake Sand Dunes. You will see the picturesque views of both Silver Lake and Lake Michigan.
Saugatuck Dune Rides provides the ultimate experience of exploring the local dunes and more of Michigan’s hidden treasures.
This dune ride is 40 minutes filled with the history of the lost town of Singapore and the surrounding environment/ wildlife. You will get the chance to get out of the buggy and walk around to explore. The staff at Saugatuck Dune Rides make the most of every ride and try to provide visitors with the most fun and knowledge of the area.
When booking, they require that every adult sign a waiver and that a parent or guardian must sign for any minor. You can book online and print out the release to be signed on their website.
Choose from four different ATVs to take you over the Silver Lake Sand Dunes. You can choose from single-seaters to sleek-designed dune buggies that seat four. You can rent the ATVs from two to six hours, depending on how much time you want to spend checking out the dunes.
Parrots Landing Jeep Rentals – Permanently CLOSED
8110 W Hazel Rd, Mears, MI 49436
Michigan Dune Rides
Have you taken any Michigan dune rides? We’d love to hear about your experiences. Please share them in the comments!
More Fun Things to Do in Michigan
About the Author~
Emily Lance is a Content Creator for mymichiganbeach.com. She grew up in the small town of Dexter, Michigan, just outside of Ann Arbor, and is currently attending Michigan State University, where she majors in Journalism with a focus in Sports journalism and Media Relations and a minor in Media Photography. Emily has also loved writing and taking photographs/videos of her surroundings and travels. Emily loves exploring new places, kayaking, skiing, and boating in her free time.