Reno, NV 89407
NileGuide Expert tip:
The camping here is dry, but there are pit toilets.
Sand Mountain is located about 2 hours west of Reno and Carson City on U.S. Highway 50 (also known as the "Lonelist Road in America"). Sand Mountain is about 25 miles east of Fallon, Nev. It is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The sand dunes of this 4,795 acre fee area are what call visitors to this area. The dunes are usually used for off-road vehicles, motorcycles, hikers and sandboarders.
The largest hill in the area is over 600 feet high, however over the year the sand mountains do change and shift and are never the same from the year before. The mountains were created by quartz particles washed down the Walker River from the granite mountains of the Sierra. As the wind blew across the river delta these particles were picked up and carried high into the air. More than thirty miles to the northeast, the wind was slowed by a large basin on the southwest flank of the Stillwater Range. With its force broken by the mountain, the wind's burden of sand would fall into this natural trap.
The area also contains a historic 1860 Pony Express station and the Sand Springs Desert Study Area. There is a designated dry-camping area near the base of Sand Mountain. Three vault toilets are provided, however, visitors should bring plenty of water for drinking and washing since no water is available at the site. Campfires are permitted, but there is no wood available.
Spring and fall offer the best weather at Sand Mountain. Mid-winter months can be cold and wet and summer days can be hot, dry and windy.