The Saline Valley Sand Dunes are one of the crown jewels of Saline Valley, being an isolated dunes system made up of rolling sand hills set against the spectacular backdrop of the Inyo Mountains. The major difficulty in carrying out a hike is getting there by driving a rough unpaved road deep into Saline Valley which sometimes has minor and major washouts. Route maps and GPS coordinates are not provided because there is only one main parking area and there is no specific predefined hiking route to take through the dunes.
For our visit to the Saline Valley Sand Dunes, we were making our first lifetime visit out to Saline Valley. The drive out there was a bit intimidating since it was our first time. But the roads seemed to be in fairly good condition and our progress was slow but steady. We arrived at the main parking area for the Saline Valley Sand Dunes after dark. The parking spot was located on a small spur road off the main road which passes through Saline Valley. We quickly set up our tents on the sand, which provided for a very comfortable night's sleep. The next morning, we awoke to an incredible sight. Looking around, we could see an endless sea of small sand dunes off in the distance to the east. To the west, we were dwarfed by the towering face of the Inyo Mountains. Once we began hiking through the sand dunes, choosing random paths of exploration, we appreciated the sheer isolation, which allowed for an enjoyable, peaceful experience. Since there were no extremely high sand dune hills to climb up, I wasn't so concerned about avoiding human footprints. Even so, there were no footprints and no people around. The Saline Valley Dunes are definitely rarely visited. I'd imagine that most people who make their way out this far are on their way to the warm springs. However, for our group, our main destination was the Saline Valley Dunes, and we were all greatly impressed. According to the guidebook Hiking Western Death Valley, an offshoot of these dunes are the Little Dunes of Saline Valley. So that could be one alternative or additional hike that could be made by anyone who heads out to Saline Valley to check out sand dunes. Now that I have completed the five major officially named dunes within park boundaries, next up are the Hidden Sand Dunes northwest of the Eureka Dunes. Our hike took place on April 25, 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.
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