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Panamint Dunes - Death Valley National Park

Summary: A medium length cross country hike across the desert flats to some seldom visited sand dunes located north of Panamint Springs.
Directions: From Panamint Springs, drive east on CA 190 for 5 miles to an unsigned dirt road to the north. Follow this bumpy dirt road 5.6 miles north to where the road bends sharply to the right (east) and park.
Road Conditions: High Clearance Vehicle
Navigation: Easy
Length: 8 miles
Date Hiked: November 2004
Weather Conditions: Pleasant and sunny
Required Skills: None
Hike Description: From the parking area, simply head across the desert dodging creosote bushes towards the dunes in the distance. It's a little rocky at first as you pass across an alluvial fan, then flat easy walking. Take a look behind you at least once along the way to get line of sight orientation to your vehicle. Though not as sculpted as the ones near Stovepipe Well, you'll likely have them all to yourself with no other human footprints to mar the scenery (a variety of little critter prints though). Hike to the top of the tallest dune, study the fluidized movement of sand, take some pictures and, when ready, return the way you came.
Rating (1-5 stars):
The author and his wife hiked out to the dunes, climbed around most of them, then returned to our car in just under 4 hours.
Maps: Trails Illustrated - Death Valley National Park
Photos: Click picture for larger view, click your browser's 'Back' button to return to this page.

Heading cross country
towards the dunes.
Climbing the big dune.

Bird and bug prints.

Sweeping arc of sand.