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Grand Sable Dunes

Grand Sable Dunes cover a 5-mile stretch along the southern shore of Lake Superior in the upper peninsula of Michigan in the eastern portion of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Grand Sable Dunes
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
Grand Sable Dunes 2.jpg
View of Grand Sable Dunes
Location Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore / Alger County, Michigan, United States
Nearest city Grand Marais, Michigan
Coordinates 46°39.7′N 86°03.9′W / 46.6617°N 86.0650°W / 46.6617; -86.0650Coordinates: 46°39.7′N 86°03.9′W / 46.6617°N 86.0650°W / 46.6617; -86.0650
Established November 5, 1966
Governing body National Park Service

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 the banks.[1] Today, the Grand Sable Banks rise to heights of up to 300 ft. at a 35 degree angle from the shore of Lake Superior. The Grand Sable Dunes perched on top of these banks offers a desolate sandscape with jack pine forest near the edges.[2]

In the late 19th century, loggers in the area built a wooden log slide from the top of the dunes at the Grand Sable Banks to Lake Superior below to facilitate the transportation of timber from the area.[3] The location is a popular spot to view the Grand Banks and climb on the dunes. Visitors may also take a trail from the Grand Sable Visitors Center near the eastern end of the dunes or stop along a section of the dunes that borders on Grand Sable Lake.


  1. ^ Rapson, Samantha [1] accessed March 25, 2011
  2. ^ Hunt's Guide to Michigan's Upper Peninsula [2] accessed March 25, 2011
  3. ^ Moon Travel Guides. [3] accessed March 25, 2011
View of the dunes with Lake Superior in the background
A view of the Grand Sable Banks looking east from the logslide location
A view of the former logslide site from the top of the banks
A view of the dunes overlooking Grand Sable Lake