register help

Eureka Dunes Trail, CA

Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
  4 of 5 
4 1 0
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1 mile
Trailhead Elevation 2,878 feet
Elevation Gain 680 feet
Avg Time One Way 1.5+ hours
Kokopelli Seeds 3.27
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Historic & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
4  2011-10-24 autumnstars
Author autumnstars
author avatar Guides 25
Routes 19
Photos 562
Trips 1,391 map ( 11,424 miles )
Age Female Gender
Location Las Vegas, NV
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Oct, May, Apr, Sep
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  4:55am - 6:59pm
0 Alternative

High and Dry
by autumnstars

remove free decal offer
Overview: A lovely hike up the highest sand dunes in California, located in an isolated valley in the northern part of Death Valley NP. The white Eureka Dunes rise abruptly from the valley floor with the colorful Last Chance Range providing a spectacular backdrop. Three endemic plant species and 5 endemic beetle species live on the active dune fields.

History: The Eureka Valley has much evidence of human activity. Obsidian, likely from the Ubehebe (meaning "big basket in the rock") Crater area, was transported to the Eureka Valley and worked into points. Flakes litter the lower, more stabilized surfaces of all the dunes in the valley.

In 1994, Death Valley National Park was expanded by 1.3 million acres, including the Eureka Valley. The Eureka Dunes have been protected from motorized vehicles since 1978, when two of the endemic plant species were listed as federally endangered.

Hike: There is no trail. There are many ways you could approach this hike, but the easiest is to follow the ridge lines to the peak. Off the ridge lines, the sand is steep and very loose, making it difficult to ascend. The lower slopes of the dune field are made up of semi-stabilized, rounded mini-dunes - like the foothills of a mountain range. As you climb higher, the dunes become much steeper and more unstable. At the top, stop and rest a moment after earning the view with some sweat. After reaching the peak closest to the south end of the dunes, you will see a second peak to your north. There is an ongoing disagreement about which of the peaks is highest, so go ahead and visit both. On the way down, be sure to run down the steepest slopes. If it is dry and you can get enough sand moving, you will hear the dunes sing! The sound is more like a low-pitched drone that resonates throughout your entire body. Just be careful not to step on or bury the plants growing on the dunes. They have a hard enough life as it is.

Warning: This hike is completely exposed and shadeless, so take plenty of water. In summer, your best choice would be a night hike under a full moon.

Camping: Designated camp sites are just off Eureka Valley Road at the base of the dunes. There is a pit toilet and fire rings at the camp sites.

Check out the Triplog.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2011-11-17 autumnstars

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Beatty NV, take 95 North to NV 267 (signed). Turn west (left) onto NV 267 and follow it into Death Valley NP, where it turns into Scotty's Castle Rd. Approx 7.4 miles after entering the park, turn NW (right) onto Ubehebe Crater Rd (signed). After 2.8 miles, turn right onto Death Valley Rd. A sign at this junction states "Eureka Dunes 45 miles" and those 45 miles are not paved. Follow Death Valley Rd for 33.2 miles to South Eureka Valley Rd and turn south (left). After approx 10 miles, park near the pit toilet, or at any of the camp sites if you are planning to stay.
    page created by autumnstars on Nov 17 2011 2:57 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool
    help comment issue

    end of page marker