The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are the best known and easiest to visit sand dunes in Death Valley. We were excited to find that they were going to be a mere 5 miles or so from our parking spot at Stovepipe Wells. These are not tall dunes, the highest dune rises only about 100 feet, but the dunes actually cover a vast area. This dune field includes three types of dunes: crescent, linear, and star shaped. I think you can identify the first two easily from our photographs. The third may require more elevation than we gave you! Polygon-cracked clay of an ancient lakebed forms the floor. Mesquite trees have created large hummocks that provide stable habitats for wildlife.
We photographed the dunes three separate times. The photographs from our evening and morning adventures show just how much a Golden Hour color impacts the sand's color. It can change right before your eyes as the sun move up or down. The last couple of images were capture about mid-day and show how white the sand is without that sun's golden glow.