With the perfect vehicle to explore the hundreds of miles of unpaved roads in the huge and varied Death Valley National Park we headed for Eureka Dunes. Our choices for backcountry travel on this trip were limited by the recent 1,000 year rains and subsequent flash floods that washed out many roads including paved state highways. Today we passed the closed Fish Lake Valley and Saline Valley roads and the Big Pine Road was closed just beyond the Eureka Valley turnoff.
At 680 feet high, Eureka Dunes are the tallest in California. Around the northern base of the dunes there is a pit toilet and several campsites. We drove around the dunes and a little way up the Steel Pass road but turned around when the sand got deep.
We climbed up the dunes for the great views and enjoyed walking in the deep sand still damp from the rain.
During the night we were hit by wind from the storm that followed us across the Sierras and closed Tioga Pass. The camper rocked like a boat at anchor.
Today’s Lesson: Challenging roads are best tackled with company. Alone in the desert would not be the best place to use Maxtrax for the first time.