big dune, NV
Trail Rating: 3 (Click for ratings scale)
Distance: Unlimited, based on how far you explore.
Vehicle Types: Off-Road Vehicles, Dirtbikes, ATV's, UTV's
Notes: Our boys creatively gave these sand dunes the name "Big Dude". So that's what we call it now. It's catchy, right? Located along the 95, north of the turnoff to Pahrump, is Amargosa Valley where you'll see Big Dune towering as high as 500 feet at its largest peak. It takes about an hour and a half to get to Big Dune from Las Vegas, Nevada and about 15 minutes from Beatty, Nevada. When you turn off onto Valley View Blvd., you'll follow the road for approximately 2 miles until you come to a dirt road on the right. Markings for the dirt road are minimal, but it's easy to spot. You'll see trucks, toy haulers and camps set up along the dirt road leading up to Big Dude. Bring your own shade, sunblock and plenty of water. Find yourself a fun place to set up camp, either for the day or overnight.
Like any other sand dunes, you should expect to find plenty of other off-roaders in Amargosa Valley on the weekends. But, because Big Dune is still a fairly well-kept secret, you won't see near the crowds as the Dumont or Glamis Sand Dunes. Big Dune is much smaller, covering roughly 5 square miles, but with incredible mountain and valley views from the top.
Fun Fact: Amargosa Valley is home to the Big Dune Beetle, which is listed as a sensitive species. Back in 1978, it was proposed as an endangered species and the entire Big Dune area was proposed as the critical habitat for the Big Dune Beetle. At the time, off-road vehicle use on the dunes was listed as the biggest threat to the Big Dune Beetle. Instead of cutting off all access to Big Dune, the BLM protected the area and labeled it as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern. They also restricted access in the 5-acre area to the east of Big Dude to aid in the protection of the Big Dune Beetles that feed off and rely on the dune plants for survival. You'll see signs indicating the protected area. Do your part to keep Big Dune in Amargosa Valley open by staying out of the designated areas and on trails. And if you see any Big Dune Beetles while you're out playing on the dunes, let them do their thing and leave them alone.
Trail conditions are always changing, so be careful out there and TREAD LIGHTLY. Leave no trace. Pack in. Pack out.