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Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
450.00 ft (137.16 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
16.00 mi (25.75 km)
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.

The hike to Panamint Dunes in Death Valley National Park is one of the most straightforward hikes imaginable. Park anywhere on the road after entering the large stretch across the flat desert. From here, grab your bag and plenty of water and take off toward the dunes. It is an entirely straight shot, and you will be able to see the entirety of the dunes for the duration of the hike. Do not be disuaded by the evident lack of progress; the dunes will appear to be far away until you're right on top of them. Trudge through the sand and rock, looking carefully at the different geological bands, and scour the ground for fossils and old metal artifacts from days past as you continue straight. The dunes make for an excellent resting spot before turning around because the largest hills provide the only shade on the hike. Return the way you came, making sure you leave enough daylight to find the car. This hike becomes incredibly hard if you lose light on the return trip because it's impossible to tell where the car is. Round trip, this hike takes about six hours.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Fall
Spring

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

National or state forest pass

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Uncrowded. Great scenery. Interesting geology.

Cons

Boring walk.

Trailhead Elevation

2,250.00 ft (685.80 m)

Highest point

2,700.00 ft (822.96 m)

Net Elevation Gain

450.00 ft (137.16 m)

Features

Geologically significant

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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