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."