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singing dunes

New England
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for Ogunquit
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singing dunes

We are just starting to plan our itinerary for late June. After a road trip up the Pacific Coast Highway and a 3 day stay in Carmel, we will be at Yosemite for 5 days, out Tioga pass (hopefully) then heading to Mammoth Lakes for 1 night and south to DVNP where we have reservations at Furnace Creek Ranch for 1 night. We will then be heading to Las Vegas for 3 nights.

While we know it will be hot, we would like to see the singing dunes. Is this part of the park accessible to vehicles? We saw these profiled on a NatGeo special and I think it would be awesome to see the dunes and hear this phenomenon.

My next question is how to make the most out of our day trip out of DVNP and which way should we exit to get the most scenic route to Las Vegas...our first destination out of DVNP may be Valley of Fire State Park.

Thanks so much

New England
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1. Re: singing dunes

The dunes i refer to above are Eureka Dunes. Also would like to see the moving rocks in the racetrack playa area...it lookes like this may be for off road vehicles only..can someone confirm this?

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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2. Re: singing dunes

Valley of Fire is about an hour east of Las Vegas. DVNP is about 2 hours west of LV. I would recommend saving VoF for a day trip from LV after your arrival. It's well worth the time and can be combined with a drive along Lake Mead.

Routes from LV to DVNP: nps.gov/deva/…20Vegas.pdf Others more knowledgeable than I can suggest the most scenic route for June.

They'll also let you know about remote Eureka Dunes: nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/eureka-dunes.htm I need to put these dunes on my list for my next visit!

Here is the map: nps.gov/deva/…DEVAmap1a.pdf (It looks like Eureka Dunes are pretty hard to access. How much time do you have?)

Tucson, Arizona
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3. Re: singing dunes

I would not recommend you try to go to either the Racetrack or Eureka Dunes without four wheel drive. It is possible to take a car to each, but I would never do it. The road to the Racetrack is notorious for eating tires, as it is always heavily washboarded. If you go five miles an hour you could maybe make it, and even iin a 4 by 4 HIGH CLEARANCE slow and steady is what wins the objective. The road to Eureka is iffy. Some sections you will just breexe along. At different times I have run into washouts, mud like you would not believe, folks stuck, etc. I would only take a high clearance 4 by 4 well equipped with all the safety items Frisco will tell you about.

BTW,Eureka is very neat and yes you can hear the sound of the sand, but you can get much the same effect at Panamint Dunes or the dunes at SPW although SPW is not as spectacular.

ZB

Adirondack, New York
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4. Re: singing dunes

I think that going to Eureka Dunes and Racetrack in late June is almost suicidal for those not familiar with Death Valley's challenges. There is so much to see in DV without going to these two remote places. Singing does not occur all the time. The same with rocks, they don't move at any time we want them to. The sand must be completely dried and other factors are involved too. To experience Eureka Dunes you should hike a 3 mile loop for a better chance to hear the sand. This loop has narrow ridges,involves going up and down, climbing steep sections. All these in the sand in late June. I suggest you read an excellent post by Frisco_Runner about visiting Death Valley in the summer. Please be realistic about going to any remote places in DV. Rescue teams risk own lives to look for people who foolishly go to places where they shouldn't go. Be responsible visitor to the beautiful Death Valley NP. Thanks

Edited: 23 January 2011, 16:51
Adirondack, New York
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5. Re: singing dunes

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Tucson, Arizona
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6. Re: singing dunes

A couple more comments. While I do not agree with Places that driving to these places is suicidal in june, I do agree that if would probably not be advisable, especially for folks who are newer visitors to DVNP. There are so many spectacular things to see especially in the limited time you have. If you want to see "rocks that move" you can also see them close to the road just east of Panamint Springs. You will never see them move, as no one has ever seen them move or truly understands why they do. You jsut see the pathway on the playa where they have been.

Go to Stovepipe Dunes and the normal places Frisco always advises. What Places and I agree on is that DVNP in June and actually any time of year can be dangerous if you do not realize if you get off of the asphalt roads you are beginning to be in wilderness where you need to be prepared to take care of yourself. Most day tourists are NOT prepared for the harsh conditions and possible emergencies that can come with them. Stay on the asphalt, go to the sites, have fun.

ZB

7. Re: singing dunes

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Edited: 24 January 2011, 18:01
New England
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8. Re: singing dunes

Thank you to all for the great advice. I sooo appreciate your input and we will be sure to stick to the safer sites!!

9. Re: singing dunes

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