Chicago Area Campgrounds: Indiana Dunes State Park

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Indiana Dunes State Park
Address: 1600 North 25 E., Chesterton, IN 46304
Phone: 219-926-1952
Time from Chicago: 1 hour, 15 minutes (50 miles)
Website: http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2980.htm

Indiana Dunes State Park

Not to be confused with Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, which is located right next door, Indiana Dunes State Park is home to more than 2,000 acres of beach, forest and campground.

The sand dunes are one of the most popular features. The dunes formed over thousands of years and grew to more than 200 feet above Lake Michigan. Trees and forest have grown into some of the dune areas, but there are still wide-open sand trails you can run or roll down.

You’ll have to walk down the road (or through the forest) to get from the campground to the beach. But from personal experience, I can tell you that making the trek is worth it for the views and the fun playing in the sand.

indiana dunes hill

If you walk along the beach and the weather is clear, you can see the skyline of downtown Chicago, 50 miles away. Cool!

chicago skyline from indiana dunes

Reservations are required during the summer, when camping spots fill up fast. You can make online reservations up until noon on the day of your arrival.

During non-peak months, before late April, spots are first-come, first-serve. You’ll pay $5 to enter the park ($10 if you live outside Indiana). Prices for camping at Indiana State parks varies – you can take a look at a pricing chart here.

The 140 camping sites all have 50 amp outlets, and the campground has two modern shower and restroom facilities. There’s an East Loop and a West Loop, which both have comfort stations, play areas and water fill stations. Purchase wood and other basic food and camping essentials at the camp store. There is also a dump station available.

If you need a wheelchair accessible site, you have six options. Look for sites #7, 22, 28, 53, 119 or 127.

indiana dunes beach

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