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Closed Sand Dune Areas

Eureka Dunes

Eureka Dunes Aerial Photo
Eureka Dunes are closed to vehicles

Location: Eastern California. Inyo County. Accessible by most standard vehicles via the Death Valley/Big Pine Road. From the Ubehebe Crater Road you must travel 44 miles of graded dirt to the dunes. From the town of Big Pine there are 28 miles of paved road and 2l miles of graded dirt to the dunes. The final 10 miles of both routes is the narrow South Eureka Road. During inclement weather, all access to Eureka Dunes can be closed or limited.

GPS Coordinates: 37° 5'4.30"N, 117°40'25.88"W

Managed By: National Park Service. The dunes were managed by the BLM until 1994 when passage of the California Desert Protection Act (CDPA) of 1994 transferred the area to the National Park Service (NPS) at Death Valley National Park. Designated as a Wilderness Area.

Size: 3 miles long, 1.5 miles wide

Date of Closure: The BLM closed the dunes to OHV use in 1976, although active enforcement of the closure wasn’t effective until 1980. In 1984 the  Department of the Interior designated the dunes as a Natural Landmark, and the area was put into the Death Valley National Park with the passage of the California Desert Protection Act 1994.

Type of Closure: Permanent

Reason for Closure

Other information:

The Eureka Dunes lie in the remote Eureka Valley, an enclosed basin at 3000 foot elevation located northwest of Death Valley. The dunes cover an area only 3 miles long and 1 mile wide, yet they are the tallest sand dunes in California, and second tallest in all of North America (beat out by the dunes at Great Sand Dunes National Park). They rise suddenly more than 680 feet above the dry lakebed at their western base. 

The reason for the dunes' obscurity is relatively simple: getting to them requires driving about 40 miles of dirt roads. Even though the roads are well maintained, and usually passable to regular passenger vehicles, a relatively small number of people brave the trek, which is exactly what makes the dunes such a coveted destination for the few souls adventurous enough to visit them.

One of the few Booming Dunes in the United States.

Endangered or Threatened Species:

  • Eureka Dunes evening primrose (Oenothera californica ssp. eurekensis); Federal Status: Endangered, 1978

  • Eureka Valley dune grass (Swallenia alexandrae); Federal Status: Endangered, 1978

  • Shining Locoweed (Astragalus lentiginosus micans); Federal Status: Candidate

Links:

Other Photos:

Eureka Valley Sand Dunes Eureka Valley Sand Dunes Eureka Valley Sand Dunes Eureka Valley Sand Dunes

Eureka Valley dune grass (Swallenia alexandrae) Eureka Valley Sand Dunes Eureka Valley Sand Dunes Eureka Valley Sand Dunes

Steel Pass Rd. - Eureka Dunes to Saline Valley Hot Springs Steel Pass Rd. - Eureka Dunes to Saline Valley Hot Springs Steel Pass Rd. - Eureka Dunes to Saline Valley Hot Springs Steel Pass Rd. - Eureka Dunes to Saline Valley Hot Springs
Steel Pass Rd. - Eureka Dunes to Saline Valley Hot Springs

Eureka Dunes Aerial Photo

Eureka Sand Dunes - Death Valley

Eureka Dunes from Southwest Airlines jet  Eureka Dunes from Southwest Airlines jet
Eureka Dunes from Southwest Airlines jet

Eureka Sand Dunes - Death Valley

Eureka Sand Dunes - Death Valley

Click to enlarge

Eureka Sand Dunes - Death Valley   Eureka Sand Dunes - Death Valley   Eureka Sand Dunes - Death Valley

Eureka Sand Dunes - Death Valley   Eureka Sand Dunes - Death Valley


 

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