Sleeping Bear Dunes

In the north-western part of Michigan, right on Lake Michigan, are the Sleeping Bear Dunes, a dune area with dunes up to a height of 120 meter.

The name "Sleeping Bear" is linked to a legend. A long time ago (as all legends begin) mother bear was living with her two cubs at the Wisconsin side of the lake. They lumbered through the forests and caught plenty of trout in the clear, fresh creeks. One day, a big fire forced the animals to flee. Driven by the flames, they reached the beach of the Lake. Mother bear saw no other solution. They leaped into the water and began to swim. But the water was cold and deep, the waves were tall and the wind was strong. The cubs got tired and finally, when they almost reached the other side of the lake, the two cubs drowned.  Mother bear continued and reached the other side of the lake, where she laid exhausted on a high dune, looking where she came from, still hoping her cubs would follow. Mother bear kept looking. The great Manitou felt her sadness and brought the cubs back, in the form of two Islands, which are today North and South Manitou Island. And so mother bear found back her piece of mind. 

Reality is less 'romantic'. The whole region has been building up since 10thousands of years. Dunes are created by the winds coming from over Lake Michigan. On the map below, the green areas are the Dunes which have been created in the last 10.000 years, with Sleeping Bear Dunes left of Glen Lake.

Sleeping Bear Dunes : the Dune Climb on the side of Glen Lake, the viewpoint on Lake Michigan side and the real Sleeping Bear Dune Climb, where the brave ones are going down to climb the 120 meter dune all the way up again. A real challenge, certainly when the sand is dry and hot under a burning sun.


View on Glen Lake from the highest dune.

View on the Dunes, with North & South Manitou Island in the background