Kelso Dunes Trail

MODERATE 40 reviews
#1 of 1 trails in

Kelso Dunes Trail is a 2.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Baker, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
2.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
410 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Extremely rigorous workout with spectacular views along the way. Tons of fun sliding down the dunes. We highly recommend visiting at sunset, if you can. The sunset hues and dune shadows will make the landscape (and your pics) that much more dramatic.

hiking
12 days ago

Climbing the highest dune was the ultimate "stair stepper" experience. For every step forward, one slips backwards six inches. Extremely rigorous workout with spectacular views along the way.

hiking
1 month ago

First do I️t in the morning and not in the summer. Soft sand the whole way and no shade. Awesome views if you can make it to the top. Suggest doing the last elevation barefoot.

hiking
2 months ago

The trail basically ends at the start of the dunes. From there, you have the option to climb up the dunes or not. Trail leading to the dunes is well established. Epic tan acheived.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked around 6:30am and the weather was perfect!! Totally recommend hiking before sunrise. Also, they have restrooms in the parking area which is great too

hiking
4 months ago

Difficult, but worth it! Great views from the top and fun running down. With lots of water, sunscreen and a hat you should be all right. Don't underestimate the sun and sand making every step hard.

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked May 1
Very Hot and No Shade
Strenuous due to soft sand.
Hike up the side for easier rout to the peak.

Drive and Parking is a breeze for all cars.

hiking
6 months ago

If you go on this trail, know that it is soft sand the whole way from beginning to end! It is especially difficult to climb up the elevations. There is NO shade, and it is very strenuous. Bring lots and lots of water. It is beautiful to see these sand dunes....maybe I will make it another time when it is cooler.

hiking
9 months ago

Had a lot of fun running down the dunes. Great views

hiking
10 months ago

I second what others have said about these dunes being more impressive than the Mesquite Flat Dunes. Highly recommend visiting at sunset, if you can. The sunset hues and dune shadows will make the landscape (and your pics) that much more dramatic.

hiking
Monday, December 05, 2016

These dunes are more impressive than the Mesquite Flat Dunes in Death Valley. The climb to the top was brutal -- I recommend walking up the side of the tallest dune and following the ridge to the top rather than trying to walk straight up. The views at the top made the struggle worth it though, and it was really fun to run and slide down the dunes.

hiking
Sunday, November 20, 2016

This is a great little 2-3hr hike to the top of the dunes. They are close to 700ft tall, but something to really be enjoyed. The white sand, and blue desert skies make a beautiful setting for Photographers like myself.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The sand dunes are big and offer a nice view from the top. It's a good workout getting to the top since you slide back a little with each step. Make sure to run down the side like a maniac when you're ready to come down!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Beautiful, especially in the early evening. The trudge up the dunes is well worth the effort.

hiking
Sunday, July 26, 2015

Great detour if you're already on the 40. The dunes are awesome. If you go in the summer try to go as early as possible and bring lots of water!

hiking
Friday, June 26, 2015

One of the more fun shorter hikes I have completed. I attempted this hike in the fall of 2011 in about 95F heat...I did not complete it at that time. It was too hot for me. This day in late May 2015 was about 65F starting at 10AM and about 75F at completion. Following the ridge and stepping in previous hikers' tracks made the walking significantly easier.

hiking
Monday, March 16, 2015

Hidden sand dune in the middle of nowhere but worth the detour! I recommend hiking sandals if you have them. Our friends who wore shoes had to stop a couple times to unload the sand out of their shoes. However we did see one group going completely bare foot! Definitely need a bandana because the winds pick up the higher you go and googles! And one thing I wish I brought was something to slide down the dune once we got to the top!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

If u have hiking sandals wear those! I wore my chacos and stayed on top of the soft sand rather than sinking in. Nice views from the top! The sand "farts" when you run down it!! Unique experience in the middle of effing nowhere. Wear a bandana over ur mouth and wraparound sunglasses, a hat that will stay on in the wind is a must. Go exploring!!

hiking
Friday, February 15, 2013

This is my favorite sand dunes. Although I have only been 2 dunes in my life I already know that this has to be 1 of the best. I randomly woke up 1 day at 4am and took a 4 hour drive to the Mojave and hike the dunes. I was basically the only person the entire time. I really enjoyed the quietness of the place and the view was spectacular.

hiking
Tuesday, April 10, 2012

When I lived in L.A. in the 90s the area between I-40 and I-15 was my favorite. Kelso Dunes, Cima Dome, and the Providence Mountains are excellent escapes from the smogy, crowded sprawl. I live south Florida now - I miss the desert.

hiking
Tuesday, January 03, 2012

this is an awesome hike to the top of a sand dune. took me about 2 hours start to finish.

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