A pale mountain of sand appears to hover over the flat valley floor. Rugged cliffs loom high above, boldly striped with pink, gray, and black. The distant yipping of a coyote is interrupted by a mysterious rumbling sound emitting from the dune itself. Welcome to Eureka Dunes, one of the newest additions to Death Valley National Park.
The Eureka Dunes lie in the remote Eureka Valley, an enclosed basin at 3000 foot elevation located northwest of Death Valley. The dunes cover an area only 3 miles long and 1 mile wide, yet they are the tallest sand dunes in California, possibly the tallest in all of North America. They rise suddenly more than 680 feet above the dry lakebed at their western base. As tall as these dunes are, they are dwarfed by the impressive limestone wall of the Last Chance Mountains which rises another 4000 feet above the valley floor.