Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes Trail

EASY 73 reviews

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes Trail is a 2.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Death Valley, California 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 best used from October until April. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

2.8 miles
206 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly



nature trips



wild flowers


no dogs

1 day ago

Safe to do with shoes off. Easy "hike", but can be tough if you choose to climb the taller dunes. You can pick how far you and which dunes you choose to climb. We went to the tallest peak and sat for a very sandy lunch (the wind can pick up and get sand in your food)! Go in the morning - especially if you want to do it with you shoes off - the sand facing the sun gets really hot on the way back.

9 days ago

Interesting. I only walked for several hundred meters as I arrived here too late, while I don't think it will be different even I went deep into the dunes.

11 days ago

Great fun, worth the stop. No real trail, so we just pointed to a taller dune in the distance and hiked out to it.

1 month ago

The best lounging spot in all of Death Valley. Explore the sand dunes any which way, there are no trails. Like being transported to a Disney desert set. Went during the evening and stayed far after sunset. No critters to be found, barefoot hiking at its best.

2 months ago

Made it up to the highest peak well worth it making it more strenuous. Would love to come again

3 months ago

Just was up there recently and weather was perfect! Wrote a little trip report too.Definitely try and go see the sand dunes around sunset. It's magical!

3 months ago

We walked from the parking lot to the highest dune which is about 150 feet above the valley floor. It's a tough 1.1 mile up and down hike (one way) but worth it! I recommend going early in the morning to beat the crowd or enjoying a picnic during sunset. Wear your gaiters or go barefoot.

5 months ago

Short fun trip across the dunes. We sought out the tallest dune of the day. It might change soon but for today, this was it. Nice fun adventure in the sands.

10 months ago

Very strenuous because you are going up and down hills of sand. There is no distinct trail, just go as much as you want. We went early in the morning to avoid overheating. Make sure to pack plenty of water. It is also safe to take your shoes off while walking.

10 months ago

Have ventured out this trail a couple of times, it is like the Sahara, especially when it was 129 degrees in the valley in late June, 2013. Left before 7:30 in the morning and it was still 100 outside. Make sure you take water as it looks shorter than it is, and walking in sand is harder. Also if you do it during the very early morning or early evening you might see some wildlife, as in snakes & rodents… A great adventure!

10 months ago

This is a great place to experience sand dunes. Parking lot is right on the road and very close to Stovepipe Wells (food/water, etc). Park and start walking right into the dunes. They cover a vast expanse and even with large crowds, you can find solitude and untracked sand all over. The highest dune is not too far a hike, but it'll take some time since walking in sand can be slow, especially when climbing steep inclines.

11 months ago

Although the sun beat down very hot, the shade on the dunes kept us surprisingly cool. Very soft and silky sand

Sunday, February 26, 2017

This hike is best done closer to the sunset or sunrise, simply because it is cooler at those times. Apart from that, it is a pretty easy hike. Expect winds to blow sand into your mouths, eyes, and other parts.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Nice but small an crowded. the dunes in mojave are much better

Monday, November 14, 2016

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.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Awesome experience

Sunday, October 02, 2016

A desert sand dune experience as in Sahara

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

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!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Monday, September 07, 2015

Amazing scenic views! The sand is awesome! You don't feel as if you are in NV/CA

Sunday, May 24, 2015

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.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

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.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

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.

Monday, June 23, 2014

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!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

The mesquite dunes were the highlight of our recent Death Valley adventure. Hike up then slide or roll down. Great fun!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Always cool to hike dunes.

The Mesquite Dunes seem to be bigger than Kelso in the Mojave. More folks here.

Friday, February 15, 2013

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.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

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!

11 days ago

19 days ago

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