Dumont Dunes Off-Highway Vehicle Area- Ride Guide Hot
The Dumont Dunes For Your Riding Pleasure
GPS- 35.692689, -116.301667
Dumont Dunes: It’s the ONE sand dune location that has always seemed to elude me. Growing up, I have had a fascination with visiting every possible sand dune spot that I could. And, not only in the U.S… I’ve searched out places in China, Africa, Dubai, Australia, New Zealand, and many others, just to name a few. Why this fascination with the sand? Well, it isn’t merely because I like to feel the sand between my toes…
Sand & Mountain Overlook- There is a bunch of riding to do.
Sand dunes have always represented a massive sense of freedom to me. Growing up, there wasn’t a place I wanted to go more than Glamis. Fortunately, my parents allowed me the opportunity to visit the “Sand Dune Capital of the World” many, many times a season, and for that I’ll always be grateful. Riding in the sand is an otherworldly feeling because of the smooth expanses, trail-less atmosphere, and overall feeling that you could easily get lost if you didn’t have a good sense of direction. It is this fascination with everything the sand offers that has led me to search out all of the different sand locations around the planet.
Nala my adventure cohort.
In my search, I have been able to visit most of the sand locations around the West Coast of the United States. Glamis has been my most visited locale, but other places like Little Sahara in Utah, St. Anthony in Idaho, and the Oregon Sand Dunes on the coast of Coos Bay have all been places that I have visited in the past. Each of them is astounding in their own right, but the one place that I have heard about my entire life and never visited is Dumont Dunes. Until now…
Getting there requires a water crossing.
In March of this year, I was afforded the opportunity to attend Best In The Desert’s annual Mint 400 off-road race. While contemplating my road map back home, I realized that I had a couple hours to spare on that Sunday trip back to the homestead. So, like any logical person, it was only natural that I looked up places on the home stretch of road that I hadn’t visited in the past. As luck would have it, Dumont was only about 45 minutes out of my path, and that seemed like the ultimate side trip for this adventure-seeking kid. So, it was off to the races with my trusty truck and my trusty side-kick, Nala, who loves the sand just as much as me (look out for some pics of her in UTVs, she LOVES being strapped in and going for a ride!).
Be sure to stock up on necessities because the road to Dumont is desolate.
The road to Dumont is not one for the faint at heart. From the intersection of the I-15 and Highway 127 in Baker, CA, drivers have to take a desolate stretch of road that is known as one of the gateways to Death Valley, aka one of the most desolate and heat-stricken places on earth. This road, while actually in pretty good condition for a California road, has nothing next to it – no towns, no repair shops, and definitely no 7/11’s to stop and get some water (be sure to bring plenty of that!). All I’m saying is: be prepared when you take this trip. Baker is your last stop for any of these services, and Baker is a small town – believe me, the World’s Largest Thermometer is the biggest thing here.
You will need to buy your pass before riding.
You’ll venture on the 127 for a little over a half hour to the access road to Dumont (Dumont Dunes Road). That road is located just North of a huge valley where you see the sand dunes on your right and a massive, open expanse of desert on your left. The access road is your sign that you are ready for some sand – it is all dirt from here on out. It is nicely groomed and can easily handle everything from a compact car to a massive, 40’ motorhome and accompanying stacker trailer. Take your time and you’ll be fine. Once you cross the water crossing (be careful after the rain – we hear this crossing can be pretty gnarly at times), you’ll be directed into the pay station to pay your $30 entrance fee. The pass you receive is good for a week-long stay, and it is well worth the fee to support the BLM services there and also your right to ride the area. Once you have the little sheet in your car, proceed up the last hill to the fun!
There is plenty of room for parking whatever you came in!
Once you crest the last hill, all you see is a massive, open expanse of camping area. Don’t be scared – you can camp wherever you want in that open area. Bring your friends too; there is plenty of space to corral your vehicles/trailers/toys in this space.
Take a minute to check out all the details of the riding area.
Now that you’re there and ready to enjoy, I can tell you from first hand experience that the dunes here are completely different from anything else in the Western United States, and I mean that in the best of ways! Dumont is one of those places that rewards a vehicle with a lot of horsepower because the majority of the climbs here are steep and have razor backs at the top of every dune. However, Dumont is also a place that rewards beginning riders and campers alike because there are smaller dunes and plenty of spots to ride around in the dirt. It is truly an all-around destination for a multitude of off-road loving addicts, such as us. If you choose to ride the big dunes, the transitions from big bowls to dirt to steep climbs are thrilling. You get a little bit of everything here, especially if you ride the dune sections that are on the outskirts of the main sand field. The main area (+/- 8000 acres total) is made up of a fairly large expanse of huge bowls, a competition hill where you can test your horsepower, and a set of rolling dunes that alloys you to enjoy that “freedom feeling” all over again. Can you tell I’d like to go back?
You will love the riding and will join me in wanting to go back many times!
Needless to say, your visit to Dumont will be rewarding no matter what type of vehicle you like to ride – quads, UTVs, dirt bikes, sand rails, you name it. Be sure to tell us about your adventure and send us your pictures. You can bet one thing is for sure – we’ll be back to Dumont soon! We hope to see you there…
Can you believe there are Spring flowers in the desert?
What You Need To Know
GPS- 35.692689, -116.301667
-Bring plenty of water, food, and supplies for your trip. It’s desolate in Dumont, real desolate.
-Your dog will love it here, just make sure you have he/she trained to not venture off too far.
-Make sure at least one of your camp buddies has a 4x4. It’s not always needed, but you’ll appreciate the confidence when you get there.
-As they say: Pack it in, Pack it out. No glass bottles are allowed, and please take all of your trash home with you
-The closest “Big City” to Dumont is Las Vegas, NV. Stop there if you are coming from anywhere but Southern California. If you’re coming from So Cal, then you should make sure you are prepared before you leave Barstow on the I-15N.
-From just about anywhere, take the I-15 to Baker, California. From Baker, jump on Highway 127 North for approximately 35 miles and look for “Dumont Dunes” signs. Turn Right onto Dumont Dunes Road and follow that dirt road into the recreation area.