Sandy Peak was the summit hike which I had been wanting to do the most for the past year.  During my research, I found that information on the peak was somewhat hard to come by.  There were only a few scattered trip reports around, and even fewer pictures of the actual peak or route leading to it.  I have to confess that when it comes to hiking in Death Valley, canyons have been my priority.  I probably hike about 5 canyons for every peak which I climb.  That's just a matter of personal preference, everybody has their own agenda and favorite things to do in the park.  For me, if I'm going to climb a peak, I want some kind of reward waiting for me at the top.  And I must say that Sandy Peak delivered big time in this regard.  The views from the top of Sandy Peak of Eureka Valley and the Eureka Sand Dunes are unparalleled and awe inspiring.  Now, I didn't find any sand on top of the summit or along the ridge leading to it, so I  have to assume that Sandy Peak was named because of this great view of the famous dunes.  The hike starts from the summit of the Big Pine Road, somewhat in between Hanging Rock Canyon and Crankshaft Crossing.  From that high point on the road, the hike goes cross-country for a short time, until you turn east into a canyon.  After following that canyon, you head south up the ridge and follow the ridge line for several miles until you reach Sandy Peak at 7,066 feet.  Although I have read accounts of others who did not like hiking along the ridge line, I really enjoyed it.  The views were magnificent the entire way, and we happened to be there on a beautiful sunny day.  Sandy Peak receives an A+ from me.
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Starting point for the hike at the high point on the Big Pine Road in between Eureka Valley and Crankshaft Crossing:
We started heading south and the going was very difficult.  We had to navigate around bushes every few feet which we hiked.  There are two canyons visible in the distance, both cutting to the left.  The first canyon is the one we were headed for:
Steve at the beginning of the hike, dressed very warm.  He would stay dressed warm the entire day:
Turning into the canyon, and now heading east.  Walking through the canyon wash was the easiest part of the hike, as navigating was a lot simpler.  This is why I recommend this route instead of heading up the ridge earlier:
The next two pictures show more views of the short canyon which we walked through:
After finishing the canyon, we crossed another small canyon which was heading in the opposite direction, and then headed south up the ridge:
Continuing to progress up the first ridge:
Soon a nice view was revealed which showed the Big Pine Road far in the distance.  If you look closely enough, you can actually see our white truck parked on the road to the right of the dark patches:
Once we climbed this ridge, we finally had a nice view of the journey which lied ahead:
Basically, we would be going up and down the hills along the ridge leading up to the summit, which is out of view far in the distance:
Zooming in on where we were going.  Sandy Peak is still not visible at this point, but is very close to the farthest point you can see:
As you can see in this picture, not only did we have to climb up on the way to the top, but there were also some drops, which meant extra energy and hiking:
We tried to stay to the right (west) of the actual ridge during the hike.  The reason for this was there was a cold wind blowing and we wanted to stay out of it as much as possible.  Our plan worked quite well:
Heading into the only difficult part of the hike, the rocky section which needs to be navigated through correctly.  The secret is to follow the path which goes left near the bottom:
Steve making quick work of the rocky section:
Looking east while we climbed up the rocky section.  That's the road in between Crankshaft Junction and Ubehebe Crater down below:
Finally starting to make some progress in getting closer to that summit which was so far in the distance a while ago:
This is a typical example of what hiking along the ridge was like.  We had to navigate around bushes and rocks at times:
It took quite some time, but we finally had our first view of the Eureka Sand Dunes.  It was simply awesome:
Daria was really cold during the hike, but she did a great job pushing ahead and making progress towards Sandy Peak:
At this point, we thought we were looking at Sandy Peak and the end of the hike.  But as is often the case on peak hikes, what you're looking at can sometimes be a false summit:
Pushing ahead towards what we thought would be the final destination:
In mid March there was still some snow on the north facing slopes:
Looking down into a canyon which leads towards the Eureka Dunes.  This could be a possible alternative route in between the summit and Eureka Valley:
It was at this point where we could actually see the true summit of Sandy Peak for the first time.  And this is only about 20 minutes before we actually got there:
The true final path to the summit, great views, and our lunch break:
Stopping to get another view of the Eureka Sand Dunes prior to reaching the summit:
Daria liked this spot, so we took a picture of her before hiking the final stretch:
We soon arrived at the summit and found the peak register.  When we signed in, we found out that we were only the 8th unique group since 2005 to reach Sandy Peak.  We were also the 1st group of 2009, and there had only been 2 groups in 2008:
View from Sandy Peak looking south.  In this photo you can see three peaks.  Left to right along the two farthest ridge lines they are Tin Mountain (upper left corner), Marble Peak (center top), and Dry Mountain (upper right):
Zooming in on Marble Peak (upper left corner of picture), which has now become the number one peak hike on my To-Do list for the future:
Two views from Sandy Peak of the Eureka Sand Dunes, which is what makes this hike so special:
Looking west across Eureka Valley towards the Inyo Mountains and the Sierras with Mt. Whitney:
Two views looking north from the summit of Sandy Peak (which is incorrectly called Sandy Point by some people):
And finally, we have the view looking east from Sandy Peak:
Close to the summit, we found a couple of Joshua Trees growing:
Picture of Steve (with his Iceland puffin hat) and the Eureka Sand Dunes behind him:
Picture of Steve looking down on another canyon mouth on the Eureka Valley floor:
We found two geological survey markers on top of Sandy Peak.  This was the first one.  Notice it has the correct elevation listed of 7,066 feet, whereas some maps are labeled incorrectly:
This second marker was really cool because it actually had the name of the peak written on it, which is somewhat rare to find:
View of the actual summit of Sandy Peak. We sat down here and had lunch for thirty minutes while taking in the 360 degree views:
For this picture, I zoomed in as far as my camera could to get a close-up of the Eureka Dunes:
On the way back to camp, we stopped at Crankshaft Crossing so Daria could see it and get her picture taken: