South Eureka Road - Dunes

Death Valley National Park, California

Distance10.3mi
Elevation Gain2,146ft
Trailhead Elevation2,871ft
Top4,995ft
Elevation Min/Max2870/4995ft
Elevation Start/End2871/2871ft

South Eureka Road - Dunes

South Eureka Road - Dunes is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Inyo County, California. It is within Death Valley National Park. It is 10.3 miles long and begins at 2,871 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 20.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,146 feet. The Eureka Dunes Dry Camp site can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Eureka Valley Road.

South Eureka Road - Dunes Professional Reviews and Guides

"In a remote desert valley, against the scenic backdrop of the colorful Last Chance Mountains, lie the Eureka Dunes. These are the tallest sand dunes in California and the second highest in all of North America, although their constantly shifting nature would make that tough to measure. Your cross-country walk to their summit will be a soft sandy stroll.

The Eureka Dunes are a fascinating island of sand in a desert sea, within the northern portion of the park. From a distance this 1- by 3-mile mountain of sand seems to hover over the remote Eureka Valley floor. Although not extensive, these dunes are the tallest in California and the second-tallest in North America after the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado."

"This remote hike visits the tallest sand dunes in the California desert, in the far northwest corner of Death Valley National Park. Punctuating the south end of the remote desert basin of Eureka Valley is a grand pile of dune sand, the largest of three prominent dune fields in this northwest corner of Death Valley National Park. From top to bottom, the Eureka Dunes rise 650 feet, rivaling some of North America’s great sand piles, including Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Monument. With a backdrop of some of the most colorful mountains in the Great Basin (the Last Chance Range), no developed trails nor any particular destination, and the freedom and quiet solitude of the dunes’ remote location, few hikers can resist the attraction of a day’s outing at this incredible place. Eureka Dunes are possibly the most remote in North America.The dunes are predominately white, featuring windsculpted swirls of black and tan sand—an ever-changing and dynamic landscape. Try to plan your trip for spring or fall, following rainfall that makes the sand firm and easier to negotiate."

"The Eureka Dunes are a fascinating island of sand in a desert sea, within the recently expanded northern portion of the park. From a distance this 1-by 3-mile mountain of sand seems to hover over the remote Eureka Valley floor. Although not extensive, these dunes are the tallest in California and likely the tallest in North America. From the dry lakebed at their western edge the Eureka Dunes rise abruptly more than 600 feet. Equally impressive is the sheer face of the Last Chance Mountains to the immediate east, with its colored striped bands of pink, black, and gray limestone. If the sand here is completely dry you may hear one of the most unusual sounds in the desert:singing sand. When the sand cascades down the steepest pitch of the highest dune, a rumbling sound comparable to the bass note of a pipe organ emanates from the sand. No one knows exactly why this happens but the friction of smooth-textured sand grains sliding against each other probably has something to do with it. These dunes receive more moisture than others in the park because they are positioned at the western foot of a high mountain range that intercepts passing storms. The isolation of the Eureka Dunes, far from any other dunes, has resulted in endemic species of animals and plants found nowhere else. For example, there are five species of beetles and three plants that have their entire range limited to these lofty mounds."

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Trail Information

Death Valley National Park
Nearby City
Death Valley National Park
Parks
Moderate
Skill Level
Furnace Creek Visitor Center; (760) 786-3200; www.nps.gov/deva
Local Contacts
NPS Death Valley Visitors Map; Trails Illustrated Death Valley National Park Map; USGS Last Chance Range Southwest-CA
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018