Buckwheat Dunes, Death Valley

Categories: California, Desert, Hiking, Mojave, National Parks

You will find very little if any information online about Buckwheat Dunes. In fact it seems like today there is less now than there was 4 or 5 years ago. Obviously, the dunes are not visited often, compared to even Hidden Dunes, where I saw plenty of foot traffic, bike traffic and sadly, even illegal motorized traffic four or five miles from the nearest road. As such, this blog is more of a celebration of their beauty rather than a guide or trip report.

Like Hidden Dunes, Buckwheat Dunes go up the side of a mountain.

Where the sand meets the rock.

On the top of the mountain is a cool large dune and sand bowl.

This is the exotic, otherworldly terrain I was hoping to find!

Why struggle to climb a mountain when you can struggle to climb a mountain buried in sand? Getting up the main peak may not be as high a climb as Hidden Dunes but it’s far more treacherous. The rocks on the main peak seem to be chemically corroded and wind eroded marble of some sort. It’s unstable and as sharp as glass. At one point climbing down from the main peak to traverse a broad dune to the next peak placed my hand on the edge of a ledge and stepped down. Just the pressure from leaning over cut my hand to the point of bleeding in several places. So if you do go, gloves are highly recommended.

Looking down a continuous slope to the bottom of the mountain. 

The sun glitters on swirling ripples.

It was very convenient at times to walk across the top of a dune to get from one rocky point to another.

Once I had my fill on the main peak I decided to climb down to the big dune serving as a bridge between the two mountains. 

Crossing the big dune.

Dramatic sedimentary layers in a martian landscape.

Another ridgetop dune to cross…

…Followed by a sand field.

I was able to climb the crags.

At this point I was just climbing up ledges.

Sunset on the summit dune of the second peak, looking back at the first.

Lots of sand blasted little rocks casting long shadows.

Inspired by Tenth Muse Design

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