We went to Indiana Dunes National Park in August of last year. I know, I know.. we are wayyyy past due posting a blog about this trip! But seeing as I’ve had a little extra time on my hands lately, I don't have anymore excuses!
Indiana Dunes National Park is a relatively new park. By that I mean it was originally deemed a National Lakeshore by Congress in 1966 and stayed that way until 2019. However, on February 5, 2019 it was named the United States' 61st National Park.
When Garrett and I think of national parks we tend to think of lush green forest, dramatic picturesque mountains, or high deserts that go for miles. But, we knew that this place most likely didn’t have either of those. So, we tried to keep an open mind while visiting. While we definitely tend to prefer the parks you can really “adventure in”, Indiana Dunes was still a pleasant surprise!
We started off our trip like we usually do. Finding a nice little campground and setting up our camper. Once we had everything set up at camp, we decided to pack the Jeep up and head to the dunes. First thing we will say to be prepared for is a long wait for a parking spot. While this is slightly frustrating, you may as well just sit back and enjoy the colorful houses you see along the beach road while you look because waiting is pretty much in inevitable. Once we finally found a parking spot, we went down to the beach. It is very beautiful but also very crowded. We decided to walk down the beach until we found a nice secluded spot under a dune to set up our towels for the day.
This day was pretty much a typical beach day. We hung out, walked up and down the shoreline looking for shells until we got too hot and decided to test the waters. While it was a little cold for my liking, the waters of Lake Michigan were surprisingly blue and clear.
Come early afternoon, we felt we had our fill of beach time. We decided to head back to camp, eat some dinner, and get ready to go back to the beach for sunset pictures. We were really glad we timed it the way we did, by the time we got back beach had cleared out a lot and gave us space to photograph the sunset. The way the peach and lilac sunset reflected off of the water was absolutely perfect. Another really cool thing about the beach we were on was being able to see the sunset behind Chicago across the lake.
The next day was pretty low-key too. This is rare for us because our trips are pretty much nonstop so that we can see everything we possibly can. We tried to go for a hike on a wooded trail that Garrett found. However, The bugs were pretty bad back in the woods and I also started to not feel very well. So we decided to call it quits and just spend some time at camp.
Once the day started to cool off and we finished up dinner, we decided to head back out to the dunes to do some self portraits and watch the sunset again. The sunset wasn’t as colorful as it was the first night, but watching the golden light fall across the tall grass made it worth venturing out.
Like I said at the beginning of this post, this trip was a little different for Garrett and I since it wasn’t filled with our typical adventuring. We have never been beach people per se, so Indiana dunes probably won’t end up on our top National Park list. But I can definitely say it was a nice little weekend get away. The grassy dunes paired Lake Michigan's sparkling waves makes for an almost whimsical beach feel. It’s definitely worth taking a weekend and checking it out!