The ORV Area at Silver Lake Sand Dunes is open each year from April 1st to October 31st. As each part of the season has their benefits, we like to try to get out on the dunes at least once during fall and that is exactly what we did this year.
Since we don't have our own side-x-side, we went to Silverback Offroad, who rents side-x-sides, Jeeps and ATV's up until the last day that the dunes are open. We decided to go with a two-seater side-x-side. Silverback is located directly across the street from the entrance so getting out on the dunes is really convenient.
Here are a few tips from us to be prepared for your time on the dunes.
1. Dress for the conditions and bring more than you may think you need in terms of layers. When you are at Silverback or somewhere away from the dunes, you may not realize that there could be a wind coming off of Lake Michigan. You can always take a layer off if needed. We like to bring winter hats too just in case they are needed.
2. Goggles or sunglasses. Goggles are probably the recommended option to keep sand out of your eyes.
3. Pack water and snacks. There is an area along the edge of Lake Michigan where you can park and head over to the beach or picnic tables to take a break and have some food if you bring it. This time, we went to lunch at Country Dairy before heading out but we did also get some food to go when we were there to have out on the dunes.
If you decide to go to the Silver Lake Sand Dunes during this time of year, it is likely to be less busy than weekends in the summer. This is a benefit if it is one of your first times ever going out on the dunes or you just want more space.
This time was perfect for us. The weather was amazing and the conditions were great on the dunes. The ORV area is considered a scramble area, and that means you pretty much can most spots within the ORV area. There are some areas around the large dunes that are directional and there is plenty of signage to help you know if you get into one of those areas.
A fun thing for us was that last time we were on these same dunes was in January during the newly established fat tire biking season. This goes from December 15th to March 15th and it is a totally different way to experience the dunes. Getting to the top of test hill on a side-x-side can be exhilarating and getting to the top on a fat bike can be exhausting, yet fun and rewarding!
One additional thing is that some of the businesses in the area are seasonal and are closed for the season during this time. You may have heard us talk about how much we enjoy getting wings at the Silver Lake Chicken Shack or going to get pizza at The Bucket Bar, but they are closed at this time until 2024. There are still great options available, just not all of them! This time, it was Country Dairy for us. Last time, it was Big Hart Brewing.
Overall, this is a great time of year to get out and experience the dunes! You can check out our latest adventure below!