West Beach at Indiana Dunes National Park

West Beach

Nathaniel Moreno, NPS Collection


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Parking and Hours

Parking Lot

West Beach

  • 655 total spaces
  • 50 oversized spaces
  • 41.622934, -87.207747

7 Day Motorcycle Fee

Per motorcycle (valid for 1-7 days from date of purchase).

Cost: $20.00

7-Day Park Entrance Pass - Family-Size Vehicle Pass

Per private family-sized vehicle (valid for 1-7 days from date of purchase).

Cost: $25.00

7-Day Per Person Entrance Pass (Organized, non-commercial groups)

Visitors 16 years of age or older who enter on foot, bicycle, boat, or as part of an organized group not involved in a commercial tour.

Cost: $15.00

Indiana Dunes National Park Annual Pass

This pass provides entry for the pass owner(s) and passengers in a family-sized vehicle. This pass only works at the Indiana Dunes National Park and is not accepted at the Indiana Dunes State Park.

Cost: $45.00

Annual Pass (Interagency)

Interagency passes like America the Beautiful and The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series.

Cost: $80.00

Annual Military Pass (Interagency)

Active, Veteran or Gold Star Family.

Cost: $0.00

Annual Fourth Grade Pass for US Students in Fourth Grade

Every Kid in a Park (EKIP), an initiative to encourage 4th grade children and their families to enjoy our country’s national parks and public lands, for FREE.

Cost: $0.00

Annual Senior Pass (Interagency)

The senior pass is available for citizens above the age of 62.

Cost: $20.00

Lifetime Senior Pass (Interagency)

A one-time fee for senior citizens above the age of 62.

Cost: $80.00

Lifetime Access Pass

The Access Pass is a free, lifetime pass available to United States citizens or permanent residents, regardless of age, that have a permanent disability.

Cost: $0.00


Closures & Seasonal Exceptions

During the peak Summer Season, West Beach can become busy.


Accessible Lot
Number of ADA-designated spaces
Number of ADA van-accessible spaces
Number of ADA step-free spaces
Total number of spaces
Number of oversize vehicle spaces

Getting There

West Beach Parking Lot
376 North County Line Road, Gary, IN 46403.

Need to Know

  • Facilities – Year-round restrooms and potable water at the parking lot. Seasonal restrooms, potable water, showers, and lockers at the bath house. Seasonal restrooms and potable water at the picnic area.
  • Prohibited – Glass and fires on the beach, littering.
  • Prohibited – Removing plants, rocks, shells, and fossils.
  • There are 8 covered picnic shelters near the West Beach parking lot that are wheelchair accessible. The shelters are reservable at www.recreation.gov starting six months in advance of the desired use date. The reservation is good for day use from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm. The shelter reservation does not waive the West Beach car entrance fee collected during the summer months.
  • Cooking fires at the picnic shelters are permitted in the provided grills or an approved carry-in grill. An approved grill is a non-combustible container with an enclosed bottom and enclosed sides with a minimum depth of 2 inches. Charcoal must be cooled and safely disposed of in a non-combustible container or removed from the area.
  • Parking lot is paved and has spots for 600 cars and 20 buses and RVs.


  • Please stay on the trail and respect closed area signs. Going off trail damages fragile habitat.
  • Ticks are present year-round. Take precautionary measures to prevent bites.
  • Poison ivy can be present on the edges of the parking lot and on the trails to the beach.
  • In case of an emergency or to report a crime, call 1-800-PARK-TIP.


  • The bath house, picnic tables, restrooms, some picnic shelters, and walkway to the beach are wheelchair accessible. The beach itself is not wheelchair accessible

Visitor Activities
  • Swimming. Lifeguards are present from the Friday of Memorial Day through the Monday of Labor Day. Lifeguards are not present at other times of the year. Swim at your own risk. Rip currents and large waves can make swimming hazardous.
  • Hike the West Beach Trails. Enjoy the sweeping views of Lake Michigan from the top of the Dunes Succession Trail stairs.

Nearby Beaches

Rip Tides Poster

Rip Currents:

Be on the lookout this summer for rip currents on Lake Michigan.

Before your next visit to the beach, learn how to spot a rip current and what to do if you get caught in one. Always check the local beach forecast for any warnings, and exercise caution.


♦ Don't fight the current
♦ Swim out of the current, then to shore
♦ If you can't escape, float or tread water
♦ If you need help, call or wave for assistance


♦ Know how to swim
♦ Never swim alone
♦ If in doubt, don't go out
More information about rip currents can be found at the following websites: www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov and www.usla.org

The Dangers of Shelf Ice
The Dangers of Shelf Ice

Stay off the shelf ice! Despite its unusual beauty, don't risk your life. Enjoy the view of the shelf ice—from a distance!

Last updated: May 30, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1100 North Mineral Springs Road
Porter, IN 46304


219 395-1882
Indiana Dunes Visitor Center phone number.

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