Go See Do Photography

A Lot of Travel, A Little Bit of History, and a Whole Bunch of Photos

Tag: Sleeping Bear Dunes (Page 1 of 2)

Flashback Friday: Empire Bluff Trail

Wordless Wednesday: Alligator Hill

Wordless Wednesday: Sunset Clouds

Camping Sleeping Bear: D. H. Day

I have always heard people talking about the D. H. Day campground at Sleeping Bear Dunes, but it has always been first come first served. I have heard stories of people lining up for hours just waiting for someone to leave. So, when I heard that National Park Service announced that they were going to begin accepting reservations for this popular campground, I began checking weekly to see if the website was up. After several months of delays, the website was up and I was able to secure a campsite for a weekend in August.

D.H. Day is the rustic campground at Sleeping Bear Dunes. There is no electricity and there are outhouses instead of bathrooms (just as camping should be, in my opinion). Because of when I booked, all of the loops were full, except the generator loop, meaning campers are allowed to use generators in camp during the day. Since we don’t spend a lot of time at our campsite during the day, this wasn’t a problem for us, but I did notice this seemed to be the loop with the bigger rigs.

Our site at D.H. Day

After camping at D. H. Day, I totally understand the hype. It is a gorgeous campground, right in the heart of Sleeping Bear Dunes. The sites are good sized and have a separated from each other. The campground also has a beautiful beach (top). My only complaint is that our site was very close to the outhouse (left) and it did not appear that way on the map, or I wouldn’t have booked it. If you are a camper, I highly recommend D.H. Day campground as a home base for exploring Sleeping Bear and all the Leelanau Peninsula has to offer! If you are thinking about camping at D.H. Day, I highly recommend booking in advance at recreation.gov because sites do fill up fast!

Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Hiking Sleeping Bear: Alligator Hill

View from the lookout on the Alligator Hill Trail

This past summer, we took a weekend camping trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Located on Lake Michigan, just south of Traverse City, Sleeping Bear Dunes is one of the most beautiful places in the state! Usually, when we visit the dunes, we head for the Empire Bluff Trail, which ends in one of the best lookouts in the state. This time, we decided to try something different and hike the Alligator Hill Trail, one of the most popular trails in the park.

Although longer than the short Empire Bluff Trail, Alligator Hill was an easier hike. It was a gradual uphill for most of the 1.3 mile hike to the lookouts. By avoiding the intermediate and advanced trails and stopping at each of the lookouts, this hike is 4.1 miles round trip, but much less strenuous than climbing to the top of Empire Bluff. The view from the overlooks was nice, but it didn’t compare to the striking sand cliff at Empire Bluff.

After hiking Alligator Hill, I have some recommendations for hikers at Sleeping Bear Dunes. If you are looking for a fairly easy day hike, with some nice views, you can’t go wrong with Alligator Hill. If you’re up for something a little more strenuous with absolutely amazing views, hike Empire Bluff. I was glad we hiked the Alligator Hill trail, but the next time we’re at the dunes, we will go back to Empire Bluff instead!

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to come back next week to read more about our weekend at Sleeping Bear Dunes! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Dreaming of Summer

Glen Lake

We had a warm up a few weeks ago that had me thinking spring was on its way. But, today its supposed to snow, so I’m sitting here thinking of summer and working on planning our summer camping trips. We are planning another week long summer road trip, but instead of heading north, we are going South to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. We also have weekend trips planned to Port Crescent State Park (on the tip of Michigan’s thumb), Wilderness State Park, and one night at the hike-in Jack Pine Campground at Ludington State Park. We are also planning on camping somewhere for the solar eclipse that is coming in August. It looks like it is going to be a busy summer and I’m hoping that being better about planning, we will make better use of those precious summer weekends!

About the Photo:
This photo was taken on our last trip to the Sleeping Bear Dunes for the National Park Service 100th Anniversary. It had been a while since we’d done Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive since it was closed when we visited the park in March. The first stop on the drive gives you a breathtaking view of Glen Lake. Because it was a free admission day, it was tough to squeeze in and get a shot, but it was totally worth it!

Camera Gear:
Nikon D3100 with 18-55 kit lens, handheld

Date Taken:
August 28, 2016

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page.

Wordless Wednesday: Empire Bluffs

Empire Bluff Trail

100 Years of National Parks

Sleeping Bear Summer

August marked 100 years of the National Park Service and for two days, all US National Parks were free. We used this as an excuse to visit our nearest National Park,  the Sleeping Bear Dunes. While this event meant more crowds, its always good to visit the dunes and realize just how small you are in the grand scheme of things.

Back in college, we made the trek down this behemoth of a dune at sunset. If you are adventurous and fit, I highly recommend you do it at least once! With the beautiful water on one side and on the other, a dune that seems to go all the way to the sky, it is an awe-inspiring experience. Although the walk back up is not easy! The sign at the top says its a 2-hour climb. I doubt it took us that long, but I did realize how out of shape I was. I’m not planning on repeating this trek, but I am very glad I did it!

About the Photo:
With this shot, I really wanted to capture just how large the dune is. I used my widest lens and tried to get an angle that also captured the far dune. If there weren’t the people climbing the dune in the photo, I would have loved to try out a longer shutter speed to show movement in the clouds.I like the shadows the clouds left in the water.

Camera Gear:
Nikon D3100 with 18-55 mm kit lens, handheld

Date Taken:
August 28, 2016

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page.

Wordless Wednesday: Sleeping Bear Vista

Sleeping Bear Vista

Wordless Wednesday: Empire Bluffs Trail

Empire Bluffs Trail

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