Hike-in Required
Yes
Open Year-round
Yes
ADA accessible
No
Guided tours
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Olancha Dunes is a relatively small sand dune area on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land just 2 miles east of Olancha along Highway 395. Protected with about 1,000 acres of land, the single largest dune itself covers only about 2 acres and rises to a height of about 75 feet. The somewhat unimposing scale of these dunes often leads off-roaders to bypass camping and riding Olancha in favor of other larger dune areas. This is good for those wanting to experience the dunes in a less motorized fashion.

The dirt entrance road to the dunes is signed. However, after about 100 yards the sand turns soft, so those without four-wheel drive may want to park where the sand is hard and walk about 0.75 mile to reach the dunes. Those with four-wheel drive clearance can drive to the dunes and a flat area where camping is permitted in accordance with BLM restrictions.

Aside from a couple restaurants, motels, and a gas station, there are no real amenities in the town of Olancha. The nearest real groceries are located in the town of Lone Pine 25 miles to the north or Ridgecrest 50 miles to the south. There are no amenities at the dunes.

Olancha Dunes is at the center of a scenic area. The Owens Valley enjoys particularly colorful sunrises and sunsets, and the southern end of the Eastern Sierra peaks creates a picturesque skyline to the west. For those on foot, the dunes are a small photographer's paradise. Overall, it is one of many interesting stops to make when passing along Highway 395, including the Cottonwood Creek Charcoal Kilns, the OIancha Sculpture GardenManzanar National Historic Site, and the Eastern California Museum Trail.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Pros

Scenic environment. Few crowds.

Cons

Small. Frequently used and tracked by ORVs.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Features

Sand Dunes
Big vistas
Backcountry camping

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California
Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California
Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California
Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California
Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California

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