01 April 2016

Eureka Valley Sand Dunes

Death Valley National Park

I spotted a Desert Peaks Section (part of the Angeles chapter of the Sierra Club) outing included on the Hundred Peaks Section calendar and thought it looked fun and interesting. A little investigation showed that they still do not put any of their routes online like HPS does, but the schedule actually is there. Fine time to figure that out as the season for doing these is winding down and there may not be any for a while. As with HPS, you do not need to be a DPS member or even a Sierra Club member to join the outings. I signed up and even found a carpool for the long journey. It would require starting the drive at midnight to get to the traihead on time, so we are actually up the day before and looking about. It is a little warmer and not so windy on this trip to the sand dunes, but then it is the start of spring, not the start of winter.

Eureka Sand Dunes
The sand dunes with nothing whatsoever to help understand the scale.

human at the top
Well, there is the little black dot at the very top that represents a sitting human, but now all the markers to indicate the range of this photo have gone. It does not help much with scale.

Faced with big sand dunes, there is only one thing to do. Grab some water and climb them.

looking back at the parking
Just getting started and already the car is like an ant. The dots in the center include cars.

climbing the sand
Climbing the sand. Jorge was stopped, but not for long.

sand and Sandy Point
Still a lot of sand above us. Behind it is tomorrow's goal.

I am draining my water quite quickly in the warm and the dry. There are some breezes, but they cannot be relied upon to keep us cool.

Sandy Point and eroded areas
The blue washes below Sandy Point really catch the eye. At least after the stripes.

We turn back before the top. It is not that warm a day, but I am not feeling a lot of motivation to get up there again. Jorge wants to take a whole day for play and most of this one is gone already, so he turns back too.

lower hills and sandy hills
A few sand hills in, now, and looking at the sandy hills across the way.

black sand in spots
Black pieces in the sand collect into interesting patterns.

Sandy Point
Another look at the goal for tomorrow and the patterns in the sand today.

stringy shrub
Plants do try to make a living on the shifting slopes.

drooping pink flower
There are a few flowers out here, too. Not many, the super bloom is on its way out in other places.

The camp looks like it will be crowded tonight. We head off to the planned site for the DPS group instead.

©2016 Valerie Norton
Posted 6 Apr 2016

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