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Dunes 101: How to camp at the Indiana Dunes

Hey, I’m Ranger Matt, and welcome to Dunes 101! So, you want to learn about camping at the Indiana Dunes? Great choice! If you want to immerse yourself in the beautiful natural setting of the Indiana Dunes, camping is one way to make sure you get close to nature. We have great options for camping, whether you’re looking to get away in a peaceful grove of trees or stay a short walk or hike away from the beach.

Where are the campgrounds?

aerial view of a campground

Our biggest campground is in the Indiana Dunes State Park, and it has everything you need for comfortable camping. There are 140 campsites ready to go with electrical hookups. Water hookup is provided at specific locations. There are also heated restrooms and shower houses, a playground, handicap accessibility, pet-friendly walking paths, and during the summer, the on-site campground store is available with firewood, snacks, and other necessities. And the best part—the campground has direct access to the dunes! A short hike on Trail 4 will lead you to the top of Mt. Tom, the tallest dune in Northwest Indiana at 192 feet. Enjoy the spectacular view before heading down to the beach.

How do I reserve a campsite?

Indiana Dunes State Park campground

The Indiana Dunes State Park Nature Center is located near the campsite. It’s a great place to learn about the ecology and history of the area. You can make your State Park camping reservations by visiting or by calling 1 (866) 6 – CAMPIN. Fees vary depending on the day of the week and the site. Be sure to register early because the campground fills up early during peak season. The good news is that it’s open year-round, so the campground is perfect for an off-season getaway.

What if we want a classic camping experience?

people roast hotdogs over a campfire

For a camping option that’s a little off the beaten path, consider Dunewood Campground, which is part of the Indiana Dunes National Park. This campground is right off Highway 12 in Beverly Shores and about a 1.5 miles from the dunes. It’s a little more secluded than the State Park, and it’s perfect for people who are looking for more of an old-school camping experience. You won’t find any electrical hookups at Dunewood Campground, but there are restrooms and a shower facility. Each campsite is nestled in the trees so you can really get in tune with nature!

people laughing around a campfire

Take a five-minute drive or a 30-minute walk through the quaint town of Beverly Shores to get to the beach. Keep in mind that during peak season, parking can be a challenge. Dunewood Campground is open April through October, and you can set up camp at one of the 54 drive-in wooded sites or at one of the 13 walk-in sites. All sites are $25.00 per night and available on a first-come, first-serve basis—no reservations are accepted. Simply register your site at the main entrance kiosk, and display your registration receipt on your campsite marker post. Visit the National Park Service site for more information on rules and requirements.

What’s next?

a park ranger


Well, that’s all for me! But since it looks like you might be staying a while, make sure you stop by the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center just a couple of miles down the road. And don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss a single Dunes 101 video! Have fun camping!