OVERVIEW
The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are a family-friendly sand dunes system located very close to Stovepipe Wells which are generally filled with bus loads of tourists and large areas of trampled sand.  Difficulties encountered on the hike include the need to watch children closely due to the presence of snakes and preparing for amplified heat during warmer months which requires bringing extra water and paying attention to surroundings so as to avoid becoming disoriented.  Route maps and GPS coordinates are not provided because this is a major tourist destination with informational signs at the parking area and the hike is mostly self-explanatory.
OUR VISIT
The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes (sometimes abbreviated as the Mesquite Sand Dunes) are the most visited and my least favorite sand dunes in the park.  Everyone comes here who is visiting Death Valley for a few days, especially those who are just getting to know the park.  As a result, it's often crowded on both the hike out to the highest peak and while on the peaks.  Don't get me wrong, the Mesquite Dunes are beautiful, it's just that I prefer any of the other six main sand dune systems in the park-- Panamint, Eureka, Ibex, Saline Valley, Buckwheat, or Hidden.  At the other dune fields you'll find more peace and quiet, very few or no people at all, very few or no human walking tracks, and more interesting scenery.  To see what I'm talking about, examine the pictures included within this report with the idea of seeing how many human footprints you can see in the pictures.  Now compare that with the pictures on the other sand dunes web pages on this site.  Even so, I've hiked the Mesquite Dunes many, many times over the years.  In recent years, I usually visit the Mesquite Dunes about once per year for a short hike.  Within my pictures for this report, you will find shots that were taken from many different trips.  And you will see why the Mesquite Dunes are an excellent place to take children and first-time visitors to Death Valley.  Since our son Stefan was born in 2012, his favorite place to visit in Death Valley has been these dunes since he loves running across, crawling through, and playing in the sand, which begins right next to the parking lot.  To see a video of Stefan playing on the Mesquite Dunes at age 18 months, click here.  The first set of pictures included were taken on a hike that I did on March 5, 2011.  Other pictures included here were taken during my Star Wars match-ups, Daria's first visit to the dunes in 2008, one of Stefan's visits, classic photos from the 1990s and 2000s of my family and friends, and photos taken of a detached section of the Mesquite Dunes located on Cottonwood Road.
SAMPLE PHOTOS
ALL PHOTOS
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.
SLIDESHOW FORMAT
TRIP REPORT FORMAT