The Dunes of Mesquite Flat
The Sand Dunes of Mesquite Flat are a protected wilderness area and off-road vehicles are prohibited to protect the sensitive plants and animals. This allows the Flat to be a fun place to just wander and enjoy a unique environment associated with far corners of the earth and not in California.
Sand boarding is allowed on the dunes if you require a little more adrenaline on your visit. The dunes are easily accessible and situated of off highway 190 less than 2 miles from Stovepipe, Death Valley, California, just look for the turnout for the parking area.
The largest dune is 2 miles away and a great focal point for photos.
The dunes exist due to prevailing winds that move the sand to eroded canyons and washes that provide plenty of space for the sand to collect. The wind seems to always blow in Death Valley but there are only a few areas in the park where the sand is “trapped” by topographic landscapes such as mountains.
The sand can be a captivating site and the sun reflecting off of the dried mud can provide a mirage, appearing to be water in the small wash between the dunes.
Our short roadside stop at Mesquite Flat quickly turned into a 2-mile wander through the dunes and could have extended to the furthest dune if it weren’t for the sun setting just over the mountain tops. The dunes can be coupled with Mosaic Canyon which is just less than 10 minutes away at the other side of Stovepipe. And if you have a full day, I would recommend continuing to Darwin Falls near Panamint Springs.
Good night from the dunes of Mesquite flat!