Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes Trail is a 2.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Death Valley, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from October until April. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Gorgeous! Dunes are soft at the top and hard at the bottom. Hoof it to the far and tallest dunes, the views are worth it.
A desert sand dune experience as in Sahara
If this the hike in the Mesquite Sand dunes, then it is well worth it, very photogenic dunes, highly recommend for a sunrise or a sunset moment, have fun exploring!
Amazing scenic views! The sand is awesome! You don't feel as if you are in NV/CA
Best time to visit: early morning, just as the sun is coming up. If you're a photographer, try to time it so you visit right after a windstorm has swept the dunes clear of tracks: otherwise, you get a lot of footprints and very few undisturbed dunes with ripple marks. It's worth the easy hike to the top of the highest dune, just to get the views of the valley and the surrounding dunes. Most people seem to stay close to the parking area, and don't venture more than 300 yards form the trailhead -- they have no idea what they're missing! Periodic flash floods come from the nearby canyons and bring fine silt into the dunes, where it hardens into cracked mud flats among the dunes; a rather unusual sight and a compelling photographic subject.
3 year old wanted to keep going and going. Took our shoes off and loved the feeling of the sand beneath our feet. Don't have any clue why the first reviewer here said that people don't take this hike. The parking lot was full. (Could be that we went on Easter though.)
Easy peasy hike.
Great hike, don't miss it. But don't expect solitude. Good tips in the review below about timing, also keep an eye our for different animal tracks and different flora in and around the dunes. Obviously a cross country hike, wander around a bit or head out to the tall one.
We visit Death Valley every Spring to enjoy the beauty of the desert. And one unique hike for us is the Eureka Dunes. Here's the best tip I can give anyone for visiting sand dunes in Death Valley: Hike them in the early morning hours or near sundown and at sundown. Why you ask? For starters, it's hotter than hell out on those Dunes during the heat of the day and it can be scary dangerous--it's dry, dry, dry and hot, hot, hot. For folks not aware, hiking in sand dunes can be like walking into a convection oven, and before you know it, you're cooked. So please take lots of water, wear a hat, and take your camera! Going to the dunes is all about taking photos of the light and shadows on the dunes. And beyond that, to shoot the sky in all its variety above the dunes. Here's another tip, the last two times we've been on the dunes, a sudden wind storm kicked up pelting us with sand--and let me tell you, SAND HURTS when it gets in your eyes and mouth. And your poor camera is going to really crap out if it's full of sand. So, shove your camera into a backpack, wrap a scarf about your head, and get off those dunes as fast as you can. We've now started hiking the dunes with goggles, face masks and backpacks to put our cameras in when we get stuck in a sand storm. Suggestion for folks new to dunes: Hike out to where there are no footprints to get pure virgin dunes. Then get your camera out and take great shots capturing light and shadow on the sand. Experiment with composition. You'll have some great professional looking shots suitable for framing. And the sunsets, oh my!
The mesquite dunes were the highlight of our recent Death Valley adventure. Hike up then slide or roll down. Great fun!
Always cool to hike dunes.
The Mesquite Dunes seem to be bigger than Kelso in the Mojave. More folks here.
I don't know why most people don't make the effort to hike out to the high dunes, but then I really appreciated the quietness and the feeling of solitary I got from being one of the few people out in the dunes.
Hiking out to the high dune will only take about 30 minutes and it is mostly flat with some up and down until you get to the high point. Being only a few hundreds feet high, it is a very easy ascend. The 360 panoramic view of the valley and the dune area is far beyond worth it.
In the afternoon, it will get really windy so prepare to get sand in your cloth, backpack, ears, and shoes.
It was an amazing experience and definitely a must do when you're in Death Valley.
We stayed at Stovepipe Wells, and the Sand Dunes were a neat experience. We had never hiked dunes before, and it is unlike regular trail hiking. It made for some unusual photo opportunities, and a lesson-learned for my wife, the photographer. She was unaware of the concept of sunrise winds. We were at the top of a dune when the sun came up. I stepped down below the crest of the dune, but she wanted one more picture. She got to send her camera to the shop for an extensive cleaning, and her legs got a light sandblasting - but the photos are beautiful.
When we awoke the next morning, I drowsily looked out the window and wondered why it was foggy outside. I then watched a lawn chair blow past, and I realized that it was a sand storm. The power was out, but I managed to get a warm cup of coffee at the office, where I exchanged views on sand storms with two locals - Fun!