Last Updated on March 30, 2023

There are many spots for sandboarding in California’s Mojave desert as well as on Southern California’s beach dunes. If you want to find the best sand surfing rides head to Death Valley National Park, America’s second largest national park, where you can find many incredible different types of dunes.

Sandboarding, sand sledding and sand skiing are allowed on the so-called Mesquite Dunes, away from vegetated areas, and on the Saline Valley Dunes, at the foot of Inyo Mountains in Saline Valley.

Sandboarding in Death Valley: Mesquite Dunes and Salt Valley Dunes
Location of Salt Valley and Mesquite Dunes in Death Valley National Park.

Sandboarding at Mesquite Flat Dunes

If you want to explore the Mesquite flat sand dunes, go to Death Valley National Park. The dunes come in three different shapes (crescent, linear, and star-shaped) and cover a vast area of the desert.

These dunes are suitable for sandboarding, although not very steep (as the name “flat dunes” suggests), the highest dune rises only about 100 feet from the ground. As always, sledding is only allowed away from vegetation both for safety reasons and to protect the local natural environment.


There is no sandboard rental at the park so you will have to bring your own equipment. You can buy a sandboard or sand sled online, and you may also need some sandboard wax to make your ride smoother.

Keep in mind that off-roading is not allowed on the dunes, expect to walk about a mile from the parking lot to the dunes.

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Sandboarding at Saline Valley Dunes

Low and sweeping, the Saline Valley sand dunes grace the salt lake near the center of the Saline Valley at the foot of the thundering Inyo Mountains.

Because of their remote location, these dunes go unnoticed by most visitors of the park. They cover a very large area where sandboarding is allowed.

Reaching the Saline Valley Dunes can be a bit of a journey, as they are located in a remote and isolated area within Death Valley National Park, but it’s worth the effort if you prefer being undisturbed by the crowds you may otherwise find at Mesquite dunes or anywhere else within the park.

About Death Valley National Park

Are you tired of the mundane city life and craving for some adrenaline-fueling outdoor adventures? Death Valley National Park is a breathtaking destination is located in the middle of the Mojave Desert and spans over 3 million acres of rugged and remote terrain, offering a unique and thrilling experience for adventure-seekers and nature lovers alike.

Step into a world unlike any other as you journey through massive sand dunes, snow-capped mountains, and vivid desert landscapes. Take a dip in the park’s thermal pools and soak in the natural hot springs, or challenge yourself with a strenuous hike to the top of Telescope Peak, the highest point in the park at 11,049 feet.

For the thrill-seekers, the park offers endless opportunities for off-roading, sandboarding, hiking and stargazing.

But Death Valley is not just about the physical thrills. The park also holds a rich cultural history, with evidence of human habitation dating back over 10,000 years.

Take a stroll through the ghost town of Rhyolite and immerse yourself in the old-west vibe, or visit the Timbisha Shoshone Village, a culturally significant site for the indigenous Timbisha Shoshone Tribe.

What to bring

When it comes to what you wear in Death Valley, it’s important to have clothes that can be used in many different ways. You’ll want to bring shirts and pants or shorts that can soak up moisture, and you can wear layers of lightweight fleece or a jacket when it gets cold at night. Since the sun is very strong, you should bring a hat and sunglasses to protect your head and eyes. You can also wear a scarf or bandana to protect your neck from getting sunburned.

The shoes you wear are very important in Death Valley. You should choose boots that are strong and have good grip, so you don’t slip on rocks or fall down. You should also bring a backpack for hiking, a sleeping bag that is rated for 40° or colder, a sleeping pad to keep you warm and comfortable, and a headlamp with fresh batteries or extras so you can see when it gets dark.

It’s also important to bring enough water and food for your trip. You should bring at least 4 liters of water and food that won’t spoil easily, like nuts, dried food, and energy bars. Remember to pack light, but be ready for weather that might change suddenly.

Read more: What To Pack for Death Valley National Park

Getting there

Death Valley National Park is located in the Mojave Desert in Eastern California, near the Nevada border. The nearest major city is Las Vegas, Nevada, which is approximately 120 miles from the park’s western entrance.

There is a shuttle service that runs from Las Vegas to the park, but it operates only on a seasonal basis and only to specific locations within the park. The best way to reach the park is generally by car.

From Las Vegas, Nevada: Death Valley is approximately a 2.5-hour drive from Las Vegas. You can take US-95 South to reach the park, but be aware that this is a remote and desolate area with limited services.

From Los Angeles, California: Death Valley is about a 4-hour drive from Los Angeles. You can take I-15 North to US-395 North, then continue on to CA-190 East to reach the park.

The nearest towns to Death Valley are Furnace Creek, located within the park boundaries, and Beatty, located approximately 30 miles from the park’s northeastern entrance. Beatty has a small airport and several options for rental cars and taxis. From Beatty, it is possible to drive into the park on paved roads.

Read also: Sandboarding in California – Mojave Desert

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