Even though my home base is 3.5 hours away, I’m still considered one of the closest towns of any size to the Christmas Valley Sand Dunes. By all accounts, the Christmas Valley Sand Dunes are a far cry from anywhere, but just like the Alvord Desert, the drive is MORE than worth it.
These sand dunes aren’t like the ones you see on the coast. Those coastal dunes have you slipping and sliding every time you try to take a step forward. These desert dunes actually allow you to make progress moving forward without too much of a fuss. Brook and Tyler drove out and met me at the sand dunes at the perfect time of year: before summer really hits and the dunes get super popular (also, really hot). The dry, dispersed campsite nearby is a perfect staging area for not only ATVs but also photo sessions, it turns out! About a five minute walk will lead you to the sand dunes.
You really feel like you’re on a different planet (maybe Tatooine?), and the sunsets atop a giant sand dune are breathtaking. If I had every other weekend free, I may just drive out here to scale a dune, explore the area some more, and watch a peaceful sunset with few people around for miles.
If you weren’t looking for them, you wouldn’t know the Christmas Valley Sand Dunes were there. They’re off the beaten path and aren’t more than around 11,000 acres. Yeah, that may seem big, but in the grand scheme of things, it really isn’t. A few turns off the main road through Christmas Valley and several miles on prime seal road and gravel will land you at the dispersed campsite. Be warned: it’s awfully dusty at any time of the year.