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Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes - 4 members in 10 triplogs have rated this an average 3.3 ( 1 to 5 best )
10 triplogs
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May 26 2018
Booneman
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 33
 Photos 736
 Triplogs 3,372

40 male
 Joined Nov 25 2008
 Chandler, AZ
Mesquite Flat Sand DunesDeath Valley, CA
Death Valley, CA
Hiking avatar May 26 2018
Booneman
Hiking2.00 Miles 50 AEG
Hiking2.00 Miles   1 Hour      2.00 mph
50 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hiked around the dunes looking for sidewinders, but no luck. Saw a bunch of desert iguanas.
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Feb 27 2016
Lucyan
avatar

 Routes 1
 Photos 17,685
 Triplogs 906

40 female
 Joined Jan 18 2011
 In the Wild
Mesquite Flat Sand DunesDeath Valley, CA
Death Valley, CA
Hiking avatar Feb 27 2016
Lucyan
Hiking3.00 Miles 300 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles
300 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Named place
Named place
Mesquite Flat
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Feb 10 2016
DallinW
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 105
 Photos 1,740
 Triplogs 228

28 male
 Joined Feb 26 2015
 Gilbert AZ
Death Valley, CA 
Death Valley, CA
 
Hiking avatar Feb 10 2016
DallinW
Hiking15.80 Miles 3,038 AEG
Hiking15.80 Miles
3,038 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
After watching the sunrise hit the Sierra in Lone Pine, I packed up and headed for Death Valley along CA 190 to see the flowers.

I entered the park and headed for my first hike, the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. After arriving at the trailhead and changing into my hiking clothes, I set my sights for the most prominent dune. There are no trails on the dunes, you just kind of wander around and go where you like, which was kind of fun. Hiking in sand was a little more strenuous than I imagined it would be. I had never hiked on dunes before, so this was a new experience and quite exciting. Following the ridgelines was fun and made for plenty of great photo opportunities. Running down the dunes is also fun, as its easy on the knees.

Next I decided to take a ride along Badwater Road to hunt for wild flowers. North of Badwater, the flowers are isolated to light, but below Badwater they are isolated to substantial. There were a few pockets where the entire hillside was yellow, and noticeable from a good distance away. I got out of the truck along the road a few times and ventured out into the fields. Smelled great. Looked awesome. I noticed that there were still a lot of buds coming in that haven't flowered yet, I imagine in a week or two it should be peaked in the areas which are substantial right now.

I made it just below Mormon Point before turning around and heading for Badwater Basin. The flowers seemed to have stopped after that point, but I spotted a few spots across the valley which were very, very yellow.

Badwater Basin was ok. It is probably one of those "one and done" things. I walked out into the basin about a mile and snapped a few pictures before turning around.

It was getting a little late at this point for another hike, so I headed to the Furnace Creek campground and set up camp for the night. I relaxed for a bit, ate some dinner, and then headed to bed. A few people in the campsite next to me insisted on having their headlights on the brightest setting, and constantly point them in the general direction of my camp, so for the first hour of trying to get some shut eye, there was a light show in my tent...

The next morning I woke up pretty exhausted. I hadn't hike too many miles the day before, but the last 3 days of driving and minor sleep deprivation was starting to catch up with me. I packed up camp and headed for Golden Canyon.

When I arrived at the Trailhead there was only one other vehicle, but by the time I got changed into my hiking clothes there were 3 more. I quickly moved into the canyon and was rewarded with complete solitude for the entire hike up until the last 1/4th mile when I finally saw 2 other people heading down from Zabriskie Point. The junctions in this canyon were slightly confusing in a few places. One spot had a laminated paper sign which pointed in one direction and said the Zabriskie Point TH was 0.5 miles away, and another wooden sign nearby which had an arrow pointed in the same direction but said it lead to the Golden Canyon TH (where I started) 2.0 miles away. What?!

After taking a small break at Zabriskie Point with all the people who drove there instead of hiked, I headed back the way I came.

The last hike I had planned was Mt. Perry. I was still feeling pretty exhausted, so I downed a rockstar to see if that would help and headed for Dante's View. Mt. Perry is accessed by continuing along the Dante's View Trail ~3.5 miles past where the Park Service says the trail ends (0.5 mile from the parking lot), and then following the ridge. Although Mt. Perry and the peak 0.5 mile from the parking lot are near the same elevation, the hike along the ridge isn't flat. The ridge drops a considerable amount of elevation before climbing back up to Perry. My research online says the AEG is in the neighborhood of 3000ft, so you're looking at something akin to a Humphrey summit.

The trail is well defined for the first mile and a half before you have to follow cairns when it crosses a boulder field. I made it about half way to Perry before deciding to turn around. The last 3 days were catching up to me and I had a long drive back to Phoenix. It was definitely the right decision, as I struggled a little to make it back up to the parking lot. Before leaving, I meandered a little bit along the opposite side of the Dante's View trail.

Overall I have somewhat mixed feelings about Death Valley. When it's good, it's really good, but a lot of it was kind of bland (sorry, Death Valley lovers). The lower elevations of the park seem more suited for those who like to explore canyons (not me), or people who just want to drive and see the park from behind a windshield. Then again, I may have just set too high expectations for Death Valley. I definitely want to come back, but it'll be either for Telescope, Wildrose, or maybe anther Mt Perry attempt.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Substantial in some areas along Badwater Road. Isolated everywhere else.
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Jul 11 2015
SunDevil3
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 7
 Photos 514
 Triplogs 83

39 male
 Joined May 21 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Mesquite Flat Sand DunesDeath Valley, CA
Death Valley, CA
Hiking avatar Jul 11 2015
SunDevil3
Hiking3.00 Miles 300 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles   2 Hrs      1.64 mph
300 ft AEG      10 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Totally amazing to see. There is not so much of a trail as there is the more- and less-logical choices of which dunes appear to have "spines" you can hike along to get the most gain and the least trudging up and down the faces of the dunes while still maintaining a relatively straight course.

I set my sight on the tallest dune and was still deadset on getting there around the time I noticed I could no longer see the parking lot (which I had been warned about by the signed in said parking lot) and was still not even halfway to my destination. There were enough tourists around that i never felt i had ventured dangerously astray but it did make me re-think the full hike to that dune since i was already well beyond the main bunch of visitors.

All in all-- a surreal experience. Got my obligatory picture of my footsteps fading into sandy nothingness and even attempted a quick glissade down the side of one of the steeper dunes (which did not work.)
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"Being unselfish is a natural high, like hiking or paint thinner."
- Homer J Simpson
Jan 19 2014
iborrego
avatar

 Triplogs 348

27 male
 Joined Oct 13 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Mesquite Flat Sand DunesDeath Valley, CA
Death Valley, CA
Hiking avatar Jan 19 2014
iborrego
Hiking5.00 Miles 300 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   2 Hrs      2.50 mph
300 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
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Jun 22 2013
big_load
avatar

 Routes 23
 Photos 1,254
 Triplogs 122

61 male
 Joined Oct 28 2003
 Andover, NJ
Ubehebe and Little Hebe Craters TrailDeath Valley, CA
Death Valley, CA
Hiking avatar Jun 22 2013
big_load
Hiking1.50 Miles 320 AEG
Hiking1.50 Miles   1 Hour      1.50 mph
320 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
I spent an off-day wandering Death Valley. Pics are from all over, from the Mesquite Dunes at Stovepipe Wells, to Badwater, to Ubehebe Crater. The last of these is the only place I did any significant hiking (it was about 105 by late afternoon.

The view above the craters is worth the climb, no matter how hot it is, but the trail is mostly loose cinders, so it's quite a slog.

The burros and little tiny mule are from the ghost town of Ballarat in neighboring Panamint Valley.

Edit: I ate some salt from an untrampled part of Badwater Basin. It tasted like salt. According to what I read about the deposition process, it probably was mostly sodium chloride based on where I sampled it. Also, I saw a mangy kit fox near Grapevine Canyon.
Flora
Flora
Creosote Bush
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Feb 08 2011
Jim_H
avatar

 Guides 59
 Routes 55
 Photos 8,207
 Triplogs 1,770

41 male
 Joined Sep 08 2006
 University, AZ
Mesquite Flat Sand DunesDeath Valley, CA
Death Valley, CA
Hiking avatar Feb 08 2011
Jim_H
Hiking3.50 Miles 300 AEG
Hiking3.50 Miles   2 Hrs   30 Mns   1.40 mph
300 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Really nice way to spend an afternoon. Perfect weather, and I had the dunes virtually to myself. I "summited" the big dune and made a wandering trek to it going through the eastern side of the dunes.
Flora
Flora
Creosote Bush
Geology
Geology
Sand Dune
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"Mmmm, Yes I would, Kent". [ youtube video ]
3 archives
Nov 22 2010
Randal_Schulhauser
avatar

 Guides 71
 Routes 98
 Photos 9,967
 Triplogs 1,009

60 male
 Joined May 14 2003
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Mesquite Flat Sand DunesDeath Valley, CA
Death Valley, CA
Hiking avatar Nov 22 2010
Randal_Schulhauser
Hiking3.00 Miles 300 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles   1 Hour      3.00 mph
300 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Part of our Oregon Trail Tale 2010 => http://hikearizona.com/TL.php?ID=56595
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1 archive
Apr 03 2010
hippiepunkpirate
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 36
 Photos 2,877
 Triplogs 657

34 male
 Joined May 30 2008
 Peoria, AZ
Mesquite Flat Sand DunesDeath Valley, CA
Death Valley, CA
Hiking avatar Apr 03 2010
hippiepunkpirate
Hiking3.00 Miles 400 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   2.00 mph
400 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Geology
Geology
Sand Dune
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
My website: Mountain Tripper
I also write for: Territory Supply
2 archives
Sep 08 2007
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 33
 Photos 2,273
 Triplogs 1,126

63 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Mesquite Flat Sand DunesDeath Valley, CA
Death Valley, CA
Hiking avatar Sep 08 2007
mazatzal
Hiking3.00 Miles 300 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles
300 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Quick stop on the way to Whitney.
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1 archive
average hiking speed 2.01 mph

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.

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