Warming Up to Sunrise Atop the Sand Dunes in Death Valley, CA
The sand dunes of Death Valley National Park in California are like a mystery wrapped inside an enigma. Surrounded by different mountain ranges sits a 14-square mile pile of sand dunes, a delightful oddity of nature. A great way to enjoy it is to arrive before morning light, and walk up to any of the 100-foot high peaks, and witness the rising sun's rays streaking across the wind ripples. You'll be rewarded with shifting shadows and changing colors along the mountains of quartz and feldspar grains. Access is fairly easy, by parking off State Route 190 three miles east of Stovepipe Wells village, and hiking a half-mile towards the peaks. Bring plenty of water, a flashlight, sturdy boots, and leg gaiters to keep out sand. A nice hotel is very close.