The Hidden Sand Dunes are an isolated sand dunes system hidden from sight behind a ridge in Eureka Valley which can be reached by way of a flat hike across the open desert. The only minor difficulty in carrying out the hike is locating the spur road off of Eureka Valley Road which leads to the parking area at the dry well. A Google Earth map of the hiking route (turned to the northwest for better viewing) can be found by clicking on the button above. GPS coordinates for the parking area are 37° 10.560'N, 117° 47.417'W. GPS coordinates for the beginning of Hidden Dunes are 37° 9.006'N, 117° 49.898'W.
Hidden Dunes are a large system of sand dunes in Death Valley without an official name given to them. The sand dunes were assigned the informal name Hidden Dunes by Michel Digonnet in his Hiking Death Valley books. After conquering the other five major dunes in the park, I needed a new mission for this trip. After some research, I found out about the Hidden Dunes, which are often overlooked since they are in such close proximity to the amazing Eureka Dunes. To reach Hidden Dunes, we drove down the Eureka Valley Road about 3 1/2 miles and then turned west. After driving a sandy road for a few miles with a lot of ups and downs over drainages, we reached the parking area at an old well and set up camp for the night. Because we arrived at the Eureka Valley Road after dark, we had trouble spotting this side road, even though we searched for about a half an hour. We drove back and forth three times along the one mile stretch where the road was supposed to be. Finally, we gave up and pulled over the truck to set up camp for the night, figuring it would be easier to find the road in the morning. To our surprise, just as we started unpacking, one of my friends said, "Hey, isn't that the road?" I looked over, and sure enough we happened to park in the exact spot where the road was. We all hopped back in the truck and took the road to the end. The mistake we made was checking every angled turn-off, which just happened to be washes. If we had looked due west while driving, we would have seen it easily. The next morning, the four of us woke up early and began hiking the 3.2 miles across the Eureka Valley floor. The hike out is essentially on level ground and took about one hour each way. It's really easy and the only thing you need to do is pay attention as you're walking to make sure you don't sink into a snake hole. The Hidden Sand Dunes were faintly visible in between the two ranges we were hiking towards, so it was obvious which direction to hike. All along the way, we could look off to our left and admire the Eureka Dunes from a distance. Once we reached the Hidden Dunes, we began taking photos and walking along the ridge lines. As you can see in the photos, the ripples in the sand caused by the wind are quite beautiful. While my friends (Ryan, Brandon, and Loren) relaxed on the highest dune peak, I spent a good amount of time exploring the area. In summary, I was very impressed with the Hidden Dunes but I hope to return at a later date to more fully explore them. I'd like to check out the highest dune and follow the dunes all the way back to their furthest southern point. Our hike took place on October 24, 2007.
Many more photographs taken during our visit are available for viewing for this destination. To see all of them, choose one of the two options presented below. The two options are Slideshow viewing and Trip Report viewing. The Slideshow option allows for viewing larger images with an autoplay option and a full screen option (available on most browsers). This option works very well for large computer screens and tablets. The Trip Report option allows for viewing smaller pictures in a standard scroll-down format and enlarging of any panoramic photos taken during our visit. Click on the option of your choice to view all of our photos from this destination. The Slideshow format opens in a new browser window and the Trip Report format uses the same browser window for viewing.
TRIP REPORT FORMAT