Beachgoer stunned by $4400 fine at 'nightmare' holiday spot

A holidaymaker in the US was shocked to learn that beachgoers could land themselves a hefty fine just by visiting some popular and scenic sand dunes.

Offering sweeping views of Lake Michigan, Sleeping Bear Dunes is a hot spot for those seeking some outdoor fun, but if not careful visitors can end up owing a whopping $4,400 (US$3000).

To reach the water at the bottom of the dunes, sightseers must first trek down the steep 137 metre sand hill, and the only way out is to climb up it again.

warning sign at Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan USA
Visitors can be fined thousands if they need rescuing from the bottom of the popular sand dune. Source: TikTok

The full extent of what visitors face is shown in a video on TikTok which also shows dozens of brave beachgoers climbing up and down the hill which sits at a 33-degree angle.

But before they attempt to take on the monstrous climb, visitors are met with a warning sign – and it's enough to put some people off the Lake Michigan swim for good.

"Warning! Avoid getting stuck at the bottom. The lake levels are high - the only way out is up, " the sign reads.

"Rescues cost (US)$3000. Keep yourself and our rescuers out of danger."

Social media reacts to 'nightmare' beach

People in the comment section of the video cringed at the eye-watering amount they'd be forced to pay if they somehow managed to get stuck at the bottom of the hill.

But others said the prospect of a fine is enough for them to avoid the climb altogether, with one saying "that's the beach in my nightmares."

"The $3000 rescue alone would motivate me to make it up," one person joked.

Another said they're "out of breath just looking" at the video.

Some people admitted they'd given it a go and shared details of their own experience at the famous site.

One TikTok user said it took them "30 minutes to get up" and added they'd never do it again.

"I was there and went down it was so hard to climb up," another admitted.

Popular Sleeping Bear Dunes Michigan Lake USA
The scenic sand dunes are popular among holidaymakers who dare climb up and down the monstrous hill. Source: Britannica

A third joked it would take them "40 days and 40 nights" to make it up the hill but would try if it meant avoiding the fine.

Those who need to be rescued are apparently done so by boat if the conditions allow, or are pulled to the top of the dune.

Both are labour-intensive and involved multiple rescue workers, hence the heavy cost.

Do you have a story tip? Email:

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.