Best time to travel to Death Valley

Eureka Dunes

You'd never think sand dunes can have so many unique secrets kept inside

Eureka Dunes in Death Valley - Best Time
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© James Marvin Phelps

The Eureka Dunes cover an area of about 8 sq km and rise up to approximately 200 meteкs. They are the highest dunes in California, and probably the highest in North America. This unique sand formation is located in the remote Eureka Valley within the Death Valley National Park.

A travel to the summit won't be as easy as you may expect. You can only get there by foot and slopes are steep, but the view you get at the top is rewarding. One more unique phenomenon you may notice is so called "Singing Sands." It appears when a dry sand grain moves down the slope, creating sounds like moans, hums, or a distant propeller plane.

The Eureka Dunes are blooming sand dunes, one of forty worldwide. The blooming occurs in March. There are three plant species endemic to the dunes—Eureka Dunegrass, Eureka Dune Evening Primrose, and Shining Milkvetch, and five species of endemic beetles found nowhere else in the world. The dunes can hold water like a sponge, which helps to capture precipitation and feeds the living organisms. During the winter months the road that leads to Eureka Dunes can be washed out, thus it's not the best time to come. Summer months might be too hot, especially if you consider camping in the area.

Eureka Dunegrass, endemic to Eureka Dunes
Eureka Dunegrass, endemic to Eureka Dunes

One of the unique phenomena happens when the sand is completely dry, so consider sunny days to witness the 'singing sand'. It happens when the sand moves down the steepest face of a dune, and a sound like a bass note of a pipe organ emanates from the sand. So, all in all, we recommend spring and fall months for visiting the dunes for the best weather conditions and seasonal highlights like blooming and singing sand.

Eureka Dunes Map & Location