The Life of the Sleeping Bear Book

Our book celebrates the world-famous Sleeping Bear Dunes area—it’s land and people—from prehistoric to modern times.



Reminisce over photos of a Lake Michigan sunset, a night sky, or a view of the Manitou Islands. Learn more about the geography, First People, and others who shaped the area into what it is today. The Life of the Sleeping Bear will remind you of this beautiful place that is waiting for your return.

Buy it today at one of our local partner bookstores including Cottage Book Shop and Horizon Books in Frankfort, Leland, Traverse City, and Suttons Bay.

Support the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes when you purchase the book!


NEW: Exploring the Sleeping Bear

Announcing a new release to accompany the Life of the Sleeping Bear Book, the Friends have created Exploring Sleeping Bear: An Educational Guide for Use with The Life of the Sleeping Bear. 

This NEW 24 page booklet includes grade level suggestions, educational standards, recommended websites, and hands-on activities to help guide exploration through 11 themed units including Glaciers and the Lakes, The First People, Dark Skies, Boats of the Manitou Passage, and Black Bears. If you are looking for ways to jump-start a successful year of learning with educational activities that are fun for the whole family that you can implement from your own home and neighborhood  – get your copy of the Life of the Sleeping Bear and Booklet.

If you would like to purchase Exploring Sleeping Bear, please email

“I’ve been living in the grasp of the sleeping bear dunes all my life and I didn’t know half the information packed in this guidebook. Did I find this book valuable? Yes. Engrossing? Yes.  Beautiful? Yes. Full of history and fact? Yes!  
Congratulations to all involved in creating this book, so aptly called, The Life of the Sleeping Bear.  You’ve covered miles and miles and hundreds of years in one excellent book.”
– Bob Sutherland, President, Cherry Republic

I love this book. It has something for everyone, the historian, the environmentalist, the traveler, the photographer, and perhaps most of all, the person who has lived or visited here almost forever and never realized the true stories of The Life of the Sleeping Bear.

– Barbara Reed, Owner, The Bookstore, Frankfort, Michigan

Sample pages from inside the book:


This book has been produced by Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes with contributions from local writers, historians, and photographers who generously shared their archives and talents. All profits will support projects in the National Lakeshore.

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