Hi there!

 

So the Alligator Hill Trail is one of the many hiking trails in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

There are 2 main highlights of this hiking trail. 

 

It’s a hike to a Lake Michigan overlook with views of the Manitou Islands (“Islands Lookout” on the map)

With better views of the islands if you visit on a sunny and clear day… unlike this!

Alligator Hill Trail to Lake Michigan overlook to see Manitou islands, north and south - Best hikes in Sleeping Bear Dunes national lakeshore park. Michigan travel blog

Alligator Hill Trail to Lake Michigan overlook to see Manitou islands, north and south - Best hikes in Sleeping Bear Dunes national lakeshore park. Michigan travel blog

Alligator Hill Trail to Lake Michigan overlook to see Manitou islands, north and south - Best hikes in Sleeping Bear Dunes national lakeshore park. Michigan travel blog

Alligator Hill Trail, Glen Arbor. Hike to Lake Michigan overlook and to Glen Lake overlook hike. best hikes in Sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

 

 

It’s a hike to a Glen Lake overlook (“Big Glen Lookout” on the map)

Alligator Hill Trail to Big Glen Lake overlook - Best hikes in Sleeping Bear Dunes national lakeshore park. Michigan travel blog

 

 

Trail distance to the overlooks

From the Alligator Hill trailhead, it’s listed that there are 9 miles worth of trails.

But you don’t need to hike 9 miles to see the lake views! 

To go to both the islands lookout and the Glen Lake lookout will be around 4.5 miles of hiking total. If you only go to the islands lookout, it will be a little less than 3 miles round trip. 

The hike is all through a forest. (No sand dune trails here!)

If you’ll be hiking to just the islands lookout, you might give yourself 1 hour. If you want to hike to both lookouts, maybe 1.5-2 hours. And then longer if you want to add on another loop!

And of course, this depends on how long you want to spend at each overlook!

 

Alligator Hill Trail - how much time, distance. Sleeping Bear Dunes. Michigan travel blog

 

 

Location of Alligator Hill Trail

The 2 main towns of Sleeping Bear Dunes are Glen Arbor and Empire. This trail is closer to Glen Arbor on the northern side of the park. And if you’re camping on this side of the park, it’s just a couple of minutes of driving away. So it’s a hike near DH Day campground

 

 

Map of Alligator Hill Trail

You can find a map of this trail on the National Park Service website. You can save the image of the map on your phone, or you can print it out. Or, there is also a map at the trailhead once you arrive so you can refer to it and take a picture of it then. 

This trail has a few different routes, so it’ll be best to at least take a look at the map so you know which trail you want to take.

If you’re simply looking to go to each of the overlooks and back, then the trail is reasonably marked with sign posts.

 

Alligator Hill Trail map directions. Sleeping Bear Dunes. Michigan travel blog

 

If you are looking for a longer hike, it’ll be best to take a look at the map! If you’re not paying attention, it might be possible to end up on a trail you don’t want to be on!

 

 

Cost to hike Alligator Hill Trail

Alligator Hill Trail is officially a part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

It’s listed at the trailhead that this is a National Park Service “fee area.”

 

Alligator Hill Trail - cost of national park fee in Sleeping Bear Dunes. Michigan travel blog

 

This means that some form of park pass is considered to be required.

There’s no one actively monitoring the Alligator Hill Trail, but it’s still a good thing to have a Sleeping Bear Dunes park pass or another kind of national park pass when visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore!

You can get a park pass at the Sleeping Bear Dunes visitor center (15 minute drive from the trail) that will be on the way to Alligator Hill if you’re driving up from the south on M-22. Or there are a number of self-pay stations throughout the park.

In 2020, a one week pass is $25. See current fees here, where you can also buy your pass online.

 

 

🌳

 

 

 

And now…

PHOTOS of Alligator Hill Trail

I did this hike in August 2020. I went to each of the lookouts and back. 

 

For google maps, Alligator Hill Trail as your destination will get you to the trailhead.

 

Getting to Alligator Hill Trail. road driving there. rural. Sleeping Bear Dunes. Michigan travel blog

Getting to Alligator Hill Trail. road driving there. rural. Sleeping Bear Dunes. Michigan travel blog

Getting to Alligator Hill Trail. road driving there. Sleeping Bear Dunes. Michigan travel blog

Getting to Alligator Hill Trail. road driving there. Sleeping Bear Dunes. Michigan travel blog

Getting to Alligator Hill Trail. to parking lot. Sleeping Bear Dunes. Michigan travel blog

Getting to Alligator Hill Trail. trailhead start. Sleeping Bear Dunes. Michigan travel blog

 

There is a toilet at the parking lot.

 

Alligator Hill Trail parking lot with bathroom toilet. Sleeping Bear Dunes. Michigan travel blog

 

At the start of the trail, you’ll notice some cave looking things off to the side. You can have a look over there for a bit of history on the area. The Sleeping Bear Dunes area once was big in the lumber industry, and it’s said that waste from a nearby sawmill was converted to charcoal at this location that’s now the start of the Alligator Hill Trail.

 

Alligator Hill Trail start - lumber industry kilns. sawmill dust waste to charcoal. Sleeping Bear Dunes history heritage. Michigan travel blog

Alligator Hill Trail start - lumber industry kilns. sawmill dust waste to charcoal. Sleeping Bear Dunes history heritage. Michigan travel blog

Alligator Hill Trail start - lumber industry kilns. sawmill dust waste to charcoal. Sleeping Bear Dunes history heritage. Michigan travel blog

 

After you’ve checked out that bit of history, you can get started on the trail to hike the Lake Michigan overlook!

 

Alligator Hill Trailhead start - hiking to Lake Michigan overlook. Sleeping Bear Dunes hikes. Michigan travel blog

Alligator Hill Trail - hiking to Lake Michigan overlook. Sleeping Bear Dunes hikes. Michigan travel blog

Alligator Hill Trail - hiking to Lake Michigan overlook. Sleeping Bear Dunes hikes. Michigan travel blog

Alligator Hill Trail - hiking to Lake Michigan overlook. Sleeping Bear Dunes hikes. Michigan travel blog

Alligator Hill Trail - hiking to Lake Michigan overlook. Sleeping Bear Dunes hikes. Michigan travel blog

Alligator Hill Trail to Lake Michigan overlook hike to see Manitou Islands. Sleeping bear dunes hikes. Northern Michigan travel blog

Alligator Hill Trail to Lake Michigan overlook hike to see Manitou Islands. Sleeping bear dunes hikes. Northern Michigan travel blog

Alligator Hill Trail to Lake Michigan overlook hike to see Manitou Islands. Sleeping bear dunes hikes. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

And then once you’ve taken on the views of Lake Michigan, you can continue hiking towards Glen Lake!

 

Alligator Hill Trail - hiking to Big Glen Lake overlook. Sleeping Bear Dunes hikes. Michigan travel blog

Alligator Hill Trail - hiking to Big Glen Lake overlook. Sleeping Bear Dunes hikes. Michigan travel blog

Alligator Hill Trail - hiking to Big Glen Lake overlook. Sleeping Bear Dunes hikes. Michigan travel blog

Alligator Hill Trail - hiking to Big Glen Lake overlook. Sleeping Bear Dunes hikes. Michigan travel blog

Alligator Hill Trail - hiking to Big Glen Lake overlook. Sleeping Bear Dunes hikes. Michigan travel blog

Alligator Hill Trail - hiking to Big Glen Lake overlook. Sleeping Bear Dunes hikes. Michigan travel blog

Alligator Hill Trail - hiking to Big Glen Lake overlook. Sleeping Bear Dunes hikes. Michigan travel blog

Alligator Hill Trail - hiking to Big Glen Lake overlook. Sleeping Bear Dunes hikes. Michigan travel blog

Alligator Hill Trail - hiking to Big Glen Lake overlook. Sleeping Bear Dunes hikes. Michigan travel blog

Big Glen Lake overlook on Alligator Hill Trail - hiking to Glen Lake. Sleeping Bear Dunes hikes. Michigan travel blog

Big Glen Lake overlook on Alligator Hill Trail - hiking to Glen Lake. Sleeping Bear Dunes hikes. Michigan travel blog

 

 

And that’s a bit about hiking Alligator Hill!

 

If you’re interested in Alligator Hill Trail, you may also be interested in these

 

See the list of great hikes in Sleeping Bear Dunes!

See the list of great hikes in Michigan’s other national lakeshore!

Plus the best of Michigan’s national lakeshores!

 

HAPPY HIKING ALLIGATOR HILL TRAIL!

 

Alligator Hill Trail to Lake Michigan overlook hike and to Glen Lake overlook hike. best hikes in Sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

 

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