Eureka Dunes, Death Valley National Park

4.7
#7 of 19 in Parks in Death Valley National Park
The Eureka Valley Sand Dunes are located in the southern part of Eureka Valley, in northern Inyo County in eastern California, in the southwestern United States. Although covering an area of only 3 square miles (8 km²), the dunes rise approximately 680 feet (207 m) above the surrounding valley floor, making them one of the highest dune fields in North America. Eureka Valley is a basin and range structural valley oriented northwest-southeast and enclosed by the Last Chance Range to the east and the Saline Range to the west. The Eureka Dunes themselves are located in the southeastern most tip of the valley and trend north-south, parallel to Last Chance Range. According to a USGS survey map, the surrounding mountain ranges contain rocks that date back to the Mississippian and Cambrian periods while the surficial deposits on the valley floor are made up mainly of alluvium dating to the Quaternary period. They are also classified as booming sand dunes, one of only about forty worldwide.Accessed via a gravel road in Eureka Valley (which connects to a road running from Big Pine to the Grapevine section of Death Valley), the dunes became part of the Death Valley National Park as part of its expansion in 1994. Foot travel in the dunes is permitted, but vehicle access is prohibited. A primitive campground is located at the north end of the dune field.MorphologyThe Eureka Dunes are an example of a complex-linear dune- the main ridge is a static linear dune but there are active star dunes formations superimposed on the linear dune A linear dune has alternating slip faces on opposite sides of the crest. This means it both sides of the dune have similar slopes and wind must have come from both the northern and southern ends of the valley. Star dunes have "arms" radiating off of a central crest that change direction as the wind direction changes. Little is known about the past of the Eureka Dunes and its development. The sand source is unknown, although some scientists believed that it originated from an ancient lake at the northern end of the valley.
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Eureka Dunes Reviews
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98 reviews
Google
5.0
TripAdvisor
  • 700 foot dunes. My husband admitted we were in a bit over our heads, me being 30 weeks pregnant, him being pretty out of shape, but we took our time, and in about 90 minutes, with lots of stops for wa...  more »
  • On our trip through Death Valley, on our way out actually, we noticed what looked like sand dunes out in the distance. As we got closer, we noticed that they were, indeed, sand dunes. We had never see...  more »
  • I tried to get to Eureka Dunes back in Oct 2017. Leaving Big Pine and heading east . The sign as you turn into Death Valley Rd says that there is 25 miles of surfaced road before you hit the unsurface...  more »
Google
  • A very remote part of Death Valley. The dunes are spectacular.
  • got there at 3 am after driving in pitch black for about 25 miles on dirt road from 168! had this awesome flashlight with me, but couldn't see a thing after we parked. was super tired so went to sleep in car and woke up 3 hours later cause it was freezing cold to turn on the car. it was bright already and thats when i saw them! these dunes are truly amazing. got out of the car right away grabbed tripod and camera and walked toward them. took me 15 minutes to get to dunes and then about one hour to hike on top! view on top as the sun was rising was incredible- complete silence, not even wind! quite enlightening experience! i recommend you go asap you wont regret it!
  • Beautiful
  • Superb but go 4 x 4! We got caught in the sand and I walk more 15 km to get help :///
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  • Contrast can feel beauty.
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