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Best time to visit Death Valley

Panamint Dunes

Experience the beautiful desert without crowds

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The Panamint Sand Dunes are located in the west part of Death Valley National Park, and is about 4 miles (6.4 km) from Lake Hill Road. The dunes lie on the foot of Panamint, Cottonwood and Nelson mountain ranges in the north end of Panamint Valley, near Panamint Springs. Poor accessibility makes these dunes a secluded place, rarely visited by tourists. A hike to the dunes can be done in one day or as an overnight backpacking trip. Campfires are not allowed in the area. Keep in mind that there is no cell phone reception either. But you can sleep at the base of the dunes under the stars—an experience that is definitely going to be memorable.

The 4-mile hike to Panamint Dunes begins at the parking lot off Lake Hill Dirt road that can be reached from highway 190. You will see the dunes from the parking lot, but there is no actual trail to the sand dunes so you can just start walking in their direction. To stay overnight here, you'll need a backpacking permit from the visitor's center.

The best time of year to visit the Panamint Dunes is between November and March when the temperatures are cooler. Avoid going there in summer as there is no shade and water along the route.

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