Panamint Dunes Trail

Lone Pine, California 93545

Panamint Dunes Trail

Panamint Dunes Trail Professional Review and Guide

"The Panamint Dunes are clearly visible to the northwest from the trailhead/parking area. Because these extensive dunes rise several hundred feet they appear deceptively close. In fact, they are 4 miles away across open desert, requiring a steady 1.5 to 2 hours of walking just to reach the higher complex of dunes. This relative inaccessibility, as compared to most other dunes in the California desert region, accounts for their pristine quality. These ever-changing mounds of sand are home to several endemic plants, dune grass, vetch, and more. The Panamint Valley is the site of mysterious rock alignments, some of which may be called “intaglios.” Intaglios are of prehistoric human origin and are huge animal shapes, perhaps hundreds of feet in size. These shapes, one of which is reported to be of a hummingbird, can be discerned from an airplane but not from the dunes. Fortunately, the park wilderness designation now protects these artifacts from the destructive impact of off-road vehicles."

More Panamint Dunes Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This is a cross-country, open desert hike on relatively inaccessible, high, star-shaped sand dunes in the expanded western region of the park. Spectacular views of the Panamint Valley and surrounding mountain ranges sweep in all directions.

The Panamint Dunes are clearly visible to the northwest from the trailhead/parking area. Because these extensive dunes rise several hundred feet, they appear deceptively close. In fact, they are 4 miles away across open desert, requiring a steady 1.5- to 2-hour walk just to reach the higher complex of dunes. This relative inaccessibility, compared to most other dunes in the California desert region, accounts for their pristine quality."

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Trail Information

Lone Pine
Nearby City
9
Distance
1,115 feet
Elevation Gain
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
3 to 4 hours
Duration
Mid-October to mid-April
Season
1,585 feet
Trailhead Elevation
2,700 feet
Top Elevation
Death Valley National Park
Local Contacts
USGS The Dunes
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018