• Activities:

    Chillin, Camping, Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    1 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    600 Feet

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area

These Rare Sand Dunes offer unique and dramatic photo opportunities during sunset. The area also has multiple historic hiking trails on the old pony express trail and is a mecca for off road enthusiasts.

The Sand Dunes are located along "The Loneliest Road in America" US-Hwy 50, 85 miles east of Reno, Nevada. The 650 foot high, and almost 5,000 acres of rare dunes are literally in the middle of no where. From Fallon, Nevada on US-Hwy 50, head east for 25 miles until you see the dunes just off the road to your left. Once you enter the recreation area you will have 30 minutes free of charge, before you need a permit. So if you are just there to take pictures, you can park along the road or hike in without needing a permit. Sand Mountain is also free on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, if you want to plan your visit around those days. The area only offers annual and weekly permits for extended use. The annual permit is 90 dollars and the weekly permit is 40 dollars. If you are looking to camp for an extended period of time or plan on riding an off road vehicle around the dunes, these are your only permit options. The sand dunes are also located along the historic 1860s pony express trail, and an old pony express station lies just south of the mountain. The road leading to the mountain is paved, but as soon as you leave the paved road it is very soft sand. Be prepared to drive in those conditions, or dig yourself out, because I've seen many camper trailers stuck in the sand all weekend. The weather most of the year is very dry desert like conditions, with very hot summers and very cold winters. The best time to photograph the dunes are just before sunset, as an alpenglow hits the dunes.

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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Alex Anderson Explorer

I try to spend every free moment skiing, backpacking, fishing or finding an adrenaline rush!

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