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Death Valley - Panamint Springs Sand Dunes

January 8, 2019

 

 

Driving Directions: About 4.5 miles east of Panamint Springs on the north side of CA-190 is Lake Hill Road. It is an unmarked dirt road on the east side of the flats. It is a rough and bumpy road!

 

Permit: None. 

 

Parking: Follow Lake Hill Road to the the prominent bend about 5.5 miles from CA-190. An open parking lot sits to the left.

 

Trail: From the parking lot is a well worn trail that heads directly toward the dunes. The trail diverges often and at times is difficult to follow as many people walk their own path. The dunes are about 3 miles one way with a gradual slope until reaching the dunes.

 

Our Adventure: We headed out to Death Valley for a 3 day weekend trip Dec 2-4. We originally had plans to spend 2 days at Bodie Ghost Town but the roads were closed due to a snow storm. So, we headed to the warmer climate of Death Valley. On our first day we knew we'd have a late start so targeted Panamint Springs Sand Dunes as they are only 50 miles away. The second day is spent at the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes and the third day we looked for the wild burro and visited the Eureka Mine.

 

 

As we drove down into Death Valley toward Panamint Springs we stopped for this view of the Panamint Springs Sand Dunes ...... way way way down there..... in a patch of light.....

Here are the Dunes!

From the parking lot we hike about 3 miles to reach the dunes.  The Panamint  Butte dominates the skyline at 6584ft.

 

As we get closer the dunes get larger and more amazing!

 

Sharp, rounded and soft looking quite the mix..... interesting how the wind shapes these dunes

 

One just has to sit and study the detailed textures in the sand as they contrast with the mountains in the distance

 

It is amazing how sharp the sand dune edges are carved by the winds as they blow across the sand.

 Looking out into Panamint Valley such a surreal expanse. Would love to stand here in the middle of the summer just to feel the heat (well for a second or two)....

 Setting sun on the Panamint Springs Sand Dunes, We should have gotten here earlier  in the day, so much to explore....

 We brought our head lamps as we knew we'd be walking back in the dark. Made it safe back to the truck. You can not camp by the dunes so we drove up to Emigrant Canyon Road and parked on the side of the road with 3 other campers for the night. We had some Fox visitors while we ate dinner then we slept in the back of the trunk looking up into the starry sky. The stars are so bright here as there is no other light pollution here, great for night photography.

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Copyright Neil Bennett Photography 2016