Eureka Dunes to the Mesquite Dunes

Death Valley Trip 2013 | Day 7
Friday, February 15, 2013

After spending much of the week exploring Death Valley and not running into many people, things would finally change today. I would start seeing quite a few more people and even getting stuck behind slow drivers and traffic on the park roads. At first I wasn’t sure why all of a sudden there were more people in the park, but later I remembered that Monday was President’s Day and that this would be a long weekend for a lot of people wanting to get out. I guess my time exploring the park without crowds was coming to an end.

After a pleasant night camping at the base of the Eureka Dunes, I was up in the dark and hiking back into the dunes so I could catch the sunrise.

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Sand & Shadow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A close look at the edge of a dune.

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Sand by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Nice ripples in the sand.

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Ripples by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

When the sun was up high enough, I returned to camp and loaded my Jeep. I left the Eureka Valley and drove across the Last Chance Range to Crankshaft Junction where I headed south into Death Valley again.

Back in Death Valley on this hazy morning.

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Straight Road by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

On the drive south I made a detour to Beatty, Nevada to fill up my fuel tank and decided to make a quick stop at the ghost town of Rhyolite nearby. I didn’t stay long, but I snapped a few pictures of some of the buildings still standing.

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Ryholite Mercantile by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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School by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I still had a few hours before sunset, so I decided to hike to the narrows of Marble Canyon since I was in the area.

The beginning of the hike.

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Marble Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I even found a few petroglyphs.

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Marble Petroglyphs by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Entering the narrows.

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Nice Curves by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Marble Passage by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Great reflected light on this wall of the canyon.

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Golden Wall by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

It was a very cool slot canyon to explore.

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Narrows by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

When I was done exploring the narrows I had to hurry up and get back to the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes so that I didn’t miss the sunset. I spent a bit of time hiking far out into the Mesquite Dunes looking for areas that had no footprints in the sand. Unfortunately, no matter how far out I went I was unable to find any dunes that didn’t have footprints on them.

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Mesquite Sand Dune by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Alone by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Since there were a lot of people at the dunes this evening, I included a few of them in my shots.

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Dune Hiker by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Photographer by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Mesquite Sunset by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Dune Evening by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

When the light was gone, it was time for me to find a campsite. I was originally planning on camping along the Cottonwood Canyon road, but when I had driven up to Marble Canyon earlier I noticed that all the spots along the road were already taken. It was the first time all week I had even seen anyone else camping in the backcountry. I only wanted to camp there so I would be close to the Mesquite Dunes for sunrise, but after my evening at the dunes I really didn’t feel like returning for sunrise. Instead, I decided to return to Zabriskie Point for sunrise the following morning, so I drove up the nearby Echo Canyon road to look for a site. There were quite a few people camped along here, too, but I managed to find a small site to setup camp.

>> Eureka Dunes to the Mesquite Dunes Photo Gallery


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