Round-Trip: 5 km
Location: Grand Marais, MI
Located in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, the Grand Sable Dunes cover a five-mile stretch between the Sable River and Au Sable Point.
The Dunes are located about one mile west of Grand Marais, Michigan. The best place to view them is from the 1km trail starting at the Grand Sable Visitors Center. This trail winds across the top of the dunes, be careful to stay on the trail so you do not damage the fragile grasses and plants. There are interpretive displays along the way describing the dunes and the harsh environment that exists for plant life.
The high banks are made up of an under-layer of gravel topped by 24m sand dunes for a total of 91m in height at a 35-degree angle from the shore of Lake Superior. They are called “perched dunes” because they are perched on top of another landform.
Glacial melt during the last major advance/retreat called the ‘Marquette Readvance’ created the conditions for the formation of the Grand Sable Banks. Dominant northwesterly winds eventually caused blowing sand to become perched on top of the banks.