Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

Exploring these dunes is an iconic Death Valley experience.

Hiking Moderate

Distance
3.6 km
Ascent
79 m
Descent
79 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
-23 m
High Point
22 m
Gradient
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes Map

The Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes are the most visited of the seven set of dunes in Death Valley National Park. Their popularity is due to easy access and the fact that they can be seen from numerous vantage points in the park.

Description

Sand dunes offer hikers the opportunity to strike off in any direction desired, with no trails and no specific destination required. The nature of the environment allows each day's tracks to be erased to become a fresh slate for the next day's trekkers.

The tallest dune in Mesquite Flat rises 100 feet above the dunes' floor and is about a mile from the parking area. It is a worthy destination to set one's sights on, and the route to its summit is up to each hiker. Simply strike out and wander your way due north!

Despite the popularity of Mesquite Dunes, it is possible to escape the crowds by carefully selecting the season, day of the week, and time of day. One such selection is late-afternoon, mid-week in December. Additional perks of such a choice include cooler temps and the opportunity to watch the sun drop below the dunes.

While exploring the dunes, you will likely encounter areas that are comprised of very interesting rubbery salt mats. By slowing down and being observant, all sorts of wonders unfold!

If fortunate enough to be at Mesquite Dunes as the sun goes down, you will be enveloped in an ethereal glow as the setting sun lights up the environment.

Be prepared for changing conditions from intense heat to chilly wind. Any strong wind in the dunes makes blowing sand a challenge; a brimmed hat and sunglasses are a good idea. Always carry plenty of water on any Death Valley hike!

Access to Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes is at Stovepipe Wells Village, which is 24 miles west of Furnace Creek.

Sources: https://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/hiking.htm#Mesquite

Difficulty

Moderate

Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Picturesque
  • Wild flowers
  • Family friendly

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area