Big Dune, Amargosa Dunes, Amargosa Valley, Nevada

Amargosa Dunes: The Closest Dunes to Vegas

Amargosa Dunes: The Closest Dunes to Vegas was originally published in December 2023

Did you know that there are singing sand dunes only a little over an hour from Las Vegas? Welcome to Amargosa Valley, home to wild desert landscapes and of course, the massive Amargosa Dunes.

Big Dune, the tallest of the Amargosa Dunes stands tall at 500 feet in height, right on the fringe of the Mojave Desert.

While the Amargosa Dunes are an interesting destination from a geologic perspective, it primarily gets local visitors for the most part. 

Amargosa Dunes is a popular off-roading recreational area with dune buggies and dirtbikes being popular activities. 

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What are Singing Dunes?

Amargosa Dunes, Amargosa Valley, Nevada

Singing dunes are a unique phenomenon, with only about 30 of them existing in the entire world. 

The whistling or “singing” sound heard when visiting a singing dune such as the Amargosa Dune is created by wind flowing over the dunes.

But the dune needs to be set in the correct and extremely arid conditions and must be comprised of sand of a certain grain size for this marvel to be heard.

As such, Nevada has the unique conditions needed for singing dunes like Amargosa to be heard. The state is home to two other singing dunes- Sand Mountain and Crescent Dunes.

Other famous singing dunes include Kelso Dunes in California and Altyn Emel in Kazakhstan.

How to get to the Amargosa Dunes

Amargosa Dunes, Amargosa Valley, Nevada

Located right in the middle of Amargosa Valley, the Amargosa Dunes can be reached easily from Las Vegas, Pahrump, or Beatty.

Amargosa Dunes is located just a short distance from the US-95. 

From US-95, take a turn to the south onto Valley View Blvd and follow the road until you see the brown sign for Big Dune and take a turn onto Big Dunes Road.

Big Dunes Road is a dirt road that gets more and more sandy the further you drive. You will arrive at the Amargosa Dunes after about 6 miles.

One thing to note before heading out here is that the final 6 miles are on a dirt road that becomes progressively sandier as you approach Amargosa Dunes, so a 4WD vehicle is a must, and even then, they get stuck from time to time.

Camping at Amargosa Dunes

It’s possible to camp out here nearby Amargosa Dunes but you will need to be completely self-sufficient as it is primitive camping and there are no amenities here.

The Best Time to the Visit Amargosa Dunes

While it is totally possible to visit the Amargosa Dunes year-round, it’s best to avoid summer as the temperatures can swelter at temps of 100°-120°F.

Have any questions about visiting the Amargosa Dunes?

Ask in the comments section below.

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