Trip Planner:   USA  /  Indiana  /  Porter  /  Indiana Dunes National Park

Indiana Dunes National Park, Porter

4.2
#7 of 52 in Nature in Indiana
Must see · National Park · Nature / Park
Create an itinerary including Indiana Dunes National Park
Indiana Dunes National Park is located in Porter. For travelers who use our international travel planner, Porter holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the Indiana Dunes National Park and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
Improve this listing »
Create a full itinerary - for free!

Indiana Dunes National Park reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
458 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • There are many hikes you can do that will give you a good example of the landscape and ecology of Indiana Dunes National Park - beaches, dunes, marshes and forests. We had our dog with us, so our... 
    There are many hikes you can do that will give you a good example of the landscape and ecology of Indiana Dunes National Park - beaches, dunes, marshes and forests. We had our dog with us, so our...  more »
  • Not a whole lot to see at the park, but the dunes are spectacular. It is interesting to see "the beach" so close to the city. We saw Mt. Baldy dune which is moving 7 feet a year! The wind at the... 
    Not a whole lot to see at the park, but the dunes are spectacular. It is interesting to see "the beach" so close to the city. We saw Mt. Baldy dune which is moving 7 feet a year! The wind at the...  more »
  • We enjoyed very much our visit and want to come back. We visited in early October, started to get chilly, particularly on Lake Michigan beaches, but we had a good time, with the fall leaves color... 
    We enjoyed very much our visit and want to come back. We visited in early October, started to get chilly, particularly on Lake Michigan beaches, but we had a good time, with the fall leaves color...  more »
Google
  • Wow! What a beautiful park. I went just before sundown to hike and catch the sunset on the beach. Then as I was exiting I saw the full moon rise as well — such a treat! There were quite a few people there to witness the sunset when I was there and it’s understandable why. Lovely colors and view of Chicago on the horizon. The dunes were gorgeous as well. I truly enjoyed the hike to the beach and around. There are a lot of stairs, both up and down, whichever direction you decide to complete the loop, but worth the views if stairs would typically deter you. So grateful to have seen this area and had the chance to explore.
  • I decided to go here because of the close proximity to Chicago and because it’s another national park off the list. I would recommend stopping at the visitor center and grabbing a map and a pass $25. (I got lost at first and I believe if I didn’t get a map the park would’ve been mediocre.)After that, I would head to West Beach and explore the dunes etc. around there. Then I would continue down the highway/shore and stop at every significant location marked. Around dinner time I would stop in Michigan City, which is about ten minutes outside the park. The city offers so many food options and you can see the lighthouse there. After dinner head back in to one of the beaches to witness the sunset. West Beach allows views of the Chicago skyline. I would say this park offers amazing views of unique ecosystems and nature. However, I thought the views of human pollution and human industry took away from some of the delight (there was a steel mill and coal smoke stack visible all times). The hikes were challenging and also prepare for sand everywhere. The beaches were clean and the water was clear too. Please be careful as the park takes you into Gary and some places are not safe. Overall, this park was a nice day visit for me. The park satisfied my thirst for nature and beautiful scenery. I would come back again for a day trip that’s about it.
  • The park itself was nice and clean. It is definitely an "urban" National Park. Being a family that lives 40 miles from Lake Erie and has spent a lot of time there, on various parts of its coast, Lake Michigan was so much nicer and appeared cleaner. We stayed a few hours and enjoyed the change of scenery from the Utah deserts we came from. We try to hike at least one trail at every National Park and we hiked the Dune Succession Trail here, which had over 200 steps and went through forest-like parts of the park. Kind of surprising it was more than just a beach park. It changed elevation often. At it highest points, you can see all the huge sand dunes and Lake Michigan. When you aren't on a boardwalk or steps, the trail is deep, dry sand which makes it difficult to hike on. Definitely a work out fighting that sand! Lastly, they do not take the National Park Pass, you have to pay that entrance fee. Keep that in mind when you come here as well.
  • This place is amazing. We initially went to the town instead of to the dunes and we were disappointed because we thought we had miscalculated. As it turns out we found the dunes and the state park. Pro tip. Enter through the free entrance which is just down from the park entrance. The park entrance cost seven dollars. There is a Pavilion and nice clean restrooms. The people are extremely friendly. It says dogs are prohibited however we brought our dog out there because everyone else had their dog out there. It seemed as though as long as the dog was on a leash nobody minded. The parking was free. The beach has the softest Sand you’ve ever felt on your feet. The water was cold. You can see the skyline of Chicago off in the sunset. The most beautiful night!
  • It’s my first time visiting and it was definitely worth it. This park is huge and has very well managed trails. You will get sand in your shoes and the wind off Lake Michigan can be strong. The view was clear enough at the West Beach we could see the Chicago skyline. Just double check where the bathrooms are located and make sure they are open, hard to enjoy a hike if you have to go and you’ve seen signs letting you know there’s cameras keeping watch to make sure people don’t go off trail and damage the delicate environment.

Plan your trip to Porter

  • Get a personalized trip
    A full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place. Everyone on the same page.