Friday, January 09, 2009

The Kelso Sand Dunes

A few months ago, I got an e-mail from a gal who was wondering if she could hike at the Dumont Sand Dunes. No. It’s an ATV area (aka OHV Area), which is great if you like quads and sand rails, but it’s not a place to do any hiking. Fortunately, Dumont is only one set of sand dunes in the vicinity of Las Vegas. If you’d rather hike the dunes than ride over them, head south from Dumont into the Mojave National Preserve and check out the Kelso Sand Dunes.

In the summer months, Kelso is too hot to explore, but from about November through May, hikers can explore sand dunes that are closed to off-road vehicles. The hike to the top of the 700-foot sand dunes is one of my favorite hikes because you can slide down the face of the dunes when you start your journey back to the car. If you’re lucky, you’ll hear the dunes “booming.” Kelso is one of only 30 sand dunes world-wide that create this rumbling vibration that you can hear and feel.

Last spring I saw the Kelso Dunes in bloom, right at sunset. The evening primrose perfumed the air, and the afternoon light put shadows on the dunes’ faces. While the other desert flowers were closing, the primrose covered the ground in big white blossoms.

Photo Information: My pictures at the Kelso Sand Dunes in April 2008.

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