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Sand Mountain, Nevada

Name: Sand Mountain Recreation Area

Latest News:

Sand Mountain Nevada - Paved Road Sand Mountain Nevada - Paved Road with Entry Station Sand Mountain Nevada - Paved Road

  • BLM Installing New Trail Markers - January 2008

   

Location:

Northwestern Nevada, 85 miles east of Reno on Highway 50

Description:

Located in Churchill County, just north of U.S. Highway 50, "The Loneliest Road in America," Sand Mountain is 25 miles east of Fallon, Nevada. Managed by the U. S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the sand dunes of the 4,795 acre recreation fee area provide challenge and excitement for off-highway vehicle riders, hikers & sandboarders.

Long steep hill climbs.  Sharp ridges. Some sand trail riding (although BLM has closed most of them).

Elevation -  4000 - 4700 ft.

Directions to Sand Mountain, Nevada:

Highway 50 about 25 miles east of Fallon, NV.  Turn left on the paved access road.  Sand Mountain is very evident from the highway.

Mapquest.com - Directions

Sand Mountain GPS Coordinates:

  • Fee Station - 39 17.58 N / 118 24.30 W

  • First Bathroom - 39 17.68 N / 118 24.28 W

  • Second Bathroom - 39 17.86 N / 118 24.17 W

  • Third Bathroom - 39 17.96 N / 118 24.07 W

  • Sand Mountain Information Kiosk - 39 17.99 N / 118 24.04 W (4043 ft.)

  • Top of Sand Mountain - 39 18.34 N / 118 24.17 W (4457 ft.)

  • Superbowl - 39 18.75 N / 118 23.84 W (4510 ft.)

Interactive Satellite Image - Flash Earth

Sand Mountain Camping Areas:

Sand Mountain Camping Area
Busy holiday weekend

Sand Mountain Camp   Sand Mountain Camp  Sand Mountain Camp - Aerial View  Sand Mountain Nevada - Camping Area from the air
Click to enlarge

Area Managed By: Bureau of Land Management - Carson City Field Office

Fees: $40/week or $90/year - Oct. 1 - Sept. 30

Sand Mountain Fee Station

Rules:

  • Camp only in designated areas.

  • 8ft. whip flags are required on all vehicles riding in the dunes.

  • Do not burn wood containing nails, screws or other metal hardware.

  • Burning tires is prohibited.

  • Speed limit is 15mph in camping areas.

  • Discharge any firearms, fireworks, or projectiles is not allowed.

  • Possess or use any glass cup or bottle is not allowed.

  • Do not dump gray or wastewater.

  • Users must pay fee.

  • Avoid riding in areas closed to motor vehicles.

 Sand Mountain Stay off vegetation 

Sand Mountain Signs   Sand Mountain Rules
Click to enlarge

Other Information:


Don't buy Gas at Fox Peak!
Owners want more closures at Sand Mountain

Fox Peak Gas Station - Fallon
Fox Peak Gas Station - Do Not Buy Gas Here


Other Photos (click to enlarge):

Sand Mountain Kiosk    Sand Mountain Sign    SandMountainHwyMarker.jpg (60342 bytes)   Sand Mountain Bathrooms    Sand Mountain   Sand Mountain Trash Bins

The Dunes

Sand Mountain    Sand Mountain    Sand Mountain Camp    Sand Mountain   Sand Mountain From Pony Express

Sand Mountain    Sand Mountain    Sand Mountain Superbowl    Inspiration Point and Arnie's Hill (monuments)

Sand Mountain Backside
Backside of Sand Mountain - Panoramic (click to enlarge)

Winter Weather

Sand Mountain Snow    Sand Mountain Fog    Sand Mountain Thanksgiving
Sand Mountain   Sand Mountain - Snow   Sand Mountain - Winter 2006

Kids "Track" near first bathrooms

Sand Mountain

Cleanup

Sand Mountain Cleanup   Sand Mountain Cleanup   Sand Mountain Cleanup   Sand Mountain Cleanup

Sand Mountain 2005 Cleanup   Sand Mountain 2005 Cleanup   Sand Mountain 2005 Cleanup   Sand Mountain 2005 Cleanup

Photo Galleries & Trip Reports

The Butterfly that is behind the closures - Sand Mountain blue

Sand Mountain Blue Butterfly   Sand Mountain Butterfly Sign

Monuments - Removed by BLM October 1, 2005

Sand Mountain Monuments   Sand Mountain Monuments   Sand Mountain Monuments   Sand Mountain Monuments

Aerial Photos

Aerial Photo of Sand Mountain Nevada   Aerial Photo of Sand Mountain Nevada   Aerial Photo of Sand Mountain Nevada 

Aerial Photo of Sand Mountain Nevada   Aerial Photo of Sand Mountain Nevada - Superbowl   Aerial Photo of Sand Mountain Nevada   Aerial Photo of Sand Mountain Nevada
Photos from Folsom Lake RV

Sand Mountain Aerial    Sand Mountain Route Map

Sand Mountain Satellite Interactive Image

Fallon Naval Air Station - Home of Top Gun (Naval Fighter Weapons School)

Sand Mountain NAS Jets  SandMtn-SpringBreak2007-5.jpg (12787 bytes)   SandMtn-SpringBreak2007-6.jpg (19800 bytes)
Sand Mountain enjoys frequent visits from military fighter aircraft

Vendors

Sand Mountain Vendor - Crazy Keven   Sand Mountain Vendor - Sandsation, Got Sand   Sand Mountain Vendor - Rocket Factory   Sand Mountain Vendor - Crazy Keven
Vendors typically setup near the information kiosk on holiday weekends.

The old windmill

Sand Mountain Windmill
In the distance is the road leading to the old windmill.  The windmill is long gone, but the area is still used by cattle ranchers as a watering hole.

Sand Springs Pony Express Station

Sand Springs Desert Study Area, which includes the Sand Springs Pony Express Station is closed to OHVs. Please stay on the access road.

Sand Mountain Pony Express Station   Sand Springs Pony Express Station - Sand Mountain, Nevada   Sand Springs Pony Express Station - Sand Mountain, Nevada   Sand Springs Pony Express Station - Sand Mountain, Nevada   Sand Springs Pony Express Station - Sand Mountain, Nevada

At a time before there were airplanes, telephones, railroads or even a telegraph, the Pony Express carried the mail 2,000 miles in just 12 days in the summer and 14 days in the winter.

The Sand Springs Pony Express Station was built in March of 1860  and was used by the Pony Express until November 1861. When the transcontinental telegraph was completed on October 24, 1861, messages could be sent from coast to coast in just minutes. The Pony was doomed and it died only twenty-seven days later. The telegraph and the Overland Stage Company continued to use the station throughout the 1860's.  Other freight companies like Well Fargo occasionally used the building up until about 1900.

Sir Richard Burton, British scholar and explorer, visited Sand Springs Station on October 17, 1860, and described it in his diary this way:

"The water near this vile hole was thick and stale with sulphury salts; it blistered even the hands. The station house was no unfit object in such a scene, roofless and chairless, filthy and squalid, with a smoky fire in one corner, and a table in the center of an impure floor, the walls open to every wind and the interior full of dust."

Travelers found a reliable source of water at Sand Springs, but its poor quality often poisoned animals and probably made people ill.

Abandoned and forgotten, the station was almost completely buried by drift sand. It was rediscovered in 1975 and archeologists from UNR excavated the site and removed the artifacts. A historically accurate stabilization of the site was completed in 1997.  

By 1981, the station was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The area around Sand Springs has been closed to motor vehicles. Please respect this closure and stay on designated roads.

Helicopter Landing Pad - New for 2007

Sand Mountain Helicopter Pad

Weather

Sand Mountain Weather

Weather.com - Fallon, NV

FALLON NAS, NEVADA (NV) weather forecast

Road Conditions

Access Organizations - Help Keep Our Dunes Open!

History

About 10,000 years ago, a giant inland sea, now known as Lake Lahontan, covered some 8,500 square miles including most of northern and central Nevada and parts of Oregon, Utah, California and Idaho.

The lake was formed from the melting of the great glaciers that once covered much of North America and has been described not as a solid body of water but a series of long arms.

In the intervening years, the sea has receded. All that remains are Pyramid and Walker lakes and a handful of dry lake beds such as the Humboldt and Carson sinks, the Black Rock Desert and Winnemucca Lake, near Pyramid Lake.

Sand Mountain was created when sand from surrounding flats, once part of the bottom of ancient Lake Lahontan, was blown against nearby mountain walls. Over centuries, the sand accumulated into a huge pile. The prevailing southwest wind continues to push the sand to the northeast and into Dixie Valley.

Sand Mountain In The News

Services in Fallon:

  • Motorcycle Shops:
    - Renner Equipment - Honda
    - Preferred Motors - Polaris
    - Nevada Cycle Sales
    -
    R & B Cycle Parts & Accessories
    - Fallon Motorcycle Shop
    - Evans Motorsports
  • RV Dump Stations:
    - Churchill County Fairgrounds, Fallon ($3 donation)
    - Fallon RV Park ($5 for dump, water fill also available), Fallon - Hwy 50
    - Fernley I-80 Rest Area
    -
    Love's Travel Stop, Fernley
    - Desert Rose RV Park, Fernley ($5 for dump and water)
  • ATV Rental:
    - Outdoor Xcape: 775-427-1544
  • RV Parks
    - Fallon RV Park
    -
    Hub Totel RV Park
    - Middlegate Station
  • Hotel/Motel in Fallon
    - Stockman's Casino
    - Holiday Inn Express

Other Area Attractions

Links

Friends of Sand Mountain


Other Nevada Sand Dunes open to OHV use:

Back to Sand Dune Guide


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