Thursday, August 14, 2014

Jeep Tour at Silver Lake Dunes

The boys love going up on the dunes, and they’ve had a few opportunities in the past to get up on the dunes with other campers, but this year we decided to try something different.

Jeep rental

We signed up for a Jeep Tour with 2 extra hours of time on our own.  When we were signing the contract before setting out, we were surprised to learn that Bryce would be able to drive the Jeep, too . . . we had thought that drivers had to be 18 . . . so he was suddenly VERY excited about going out!

They lined the Jeeps up next to the building, and we had a short drivers’ meeting before headed towards the OHV Staging Area.

Headed to the dunes

Tom was driving first, and the boys were ready to go!

Ready to go!

From the staging area, we drove onto the sand,

Onto the sand!

and towards Test Hill.  The rental Jeeps aren’t allowed to go OVER Test Hill, but we were allowed to go UP it.

Headed towards Test Hill

Each of the Jeeps drove up the hill as fast as they could, and about 3/4 of the way up, our guide told us to turn in an arc and head back down the hill.  He called it a “Parrot Rainbow” . . .

Making a rainbow on Test Hill

some drivers did better than others!

Uh oh!  They weren't going quite fast enough!










With all the Jeeps back off the hill, we drove around on some of the smaller dunes.  From the top, we could see Lake Michigan.

Lake Michigan in the distance

Going down!

Going down!

Even the DNR has fun vehicles for on the dunes – a Ford Raptor!

Park Ranger in a Ford Raptor

We climbed the “Big Hill” (no, it’s really not part of Test Hill, because we’re not allowed to go there!),

Climbing the big hill

and stopped next to the pedestrian area to take some pictures.

Taking a break

Our “Family Photo”

Enjoying a day on the dunes!

Back at Test Hill, it was getting more crowded!

Lots of vehicles on Test Hill

We drove all the way to the top of Test Hill . . . and stopped!

On top of Test Hill

What a great view from up here!

The view fromt he top of Test Hill

Well, it was time to get down, but we couldn’t go over the crest . . . and you’re not allowed to turn around on Test Hill, so we were going to have to back down the hill!

Backing down the hill

We were the last one to make our way down!

Ready to roll down backwards!

Looks like we got off the hill just in time!

Crazy stunts on Test Hill

That was the end of the tour, and everybody else had to return to the rental office, but we had 2 more hours of playtime left!

Tom drove us through some of the trails and down to the beach.

Cool dude!

Tom and I decided to take a break and walk the beach for awhile, so the boys went out on their own . . . Nicolas was driving . . . Bryce will need either Tom or I in the vehicle when he drives!

Going out on their own

The boys taking the Jeep out for a cruise

The beach is a pretty popular place for people to hang out, and on busy weekends, they can be parked 4 vehicles deep!

Lots of people at the beach

There’s quite a bit of standing water around still, and like many other places we’ve been on Lake Michigan, the beach has shrunk!

Lake Michigan Beach

We watched these guys for several minutes . . . we weren’t sure what possessed them to bring a car out on the dunes . . . and we weren’t sure what they were being pulled over for either . . . I don’t think they issue tickets for stupidity out here, but maybe they should!

Not sure what's going on here

A fun day on the dunes!


The boys came back to pick us up, and it was Bryce’s turn to drive  Smile


He had a lot of fun, even though he had a couple of backseat drivers the whole time!






Bryce's turn in the driver's seat!

He did a good job, though, driving us up and over some of the smaller dunes.  When he’d had enough, we stopped at the bottom of Test Hill to watch the action,

Ready to race!










These guys really kick up the sand!

and Nicolas got back in the driver’s seat to take us over the big dunes a few more times before our time was up.

Sand everywhere!

Nicolas taking us back to town


The day was definitely a highlight for all of us, although the boys both said they thought they liked the wide-open area of the Oregon Dunes a little better . . .  it was a fun day, though, and very exciting!


  1. Looks like a really fun day! I love that all the Jeeps were Rock Lobster Red, just like ours!!

  2. So many drivers... So little time... What fun!!!

  3. Looking back on our summer in Michigan, our jeep tour here was a top highlight. We did the sunset tour where you parked and watched the sun go down over Lake was terrific and one of our fondest memories to date in the last four years on the road. We used Parrot's Landing too!

  4. I want to do that! Looks like great fun!

  5. Hi guys! I finally got on and started following you. Just wanted to comment that we also did the jeep run over the dunes in 2013. What a hoot! The boys look like they really enjoyed the whole Silver Lake experience.

  6. Hi guys! I finally got on and started following you. Just wanted to comment that we also did the jeep run over the dunes in 2013. What a hoot! The boys look like they really enjoyed the whole Silver Lake experience.


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