Sand Mountain Recreation Area
- located just north of U.S. Highway 50, "the loneliest road in
America," 25 miles east of Fallon, Nevada.
Managed by the U. S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM),
the sand dunes of the 4,795 acre recreation fee area provide challenge and excitement for off-highway vehicle
riders, hikers & sandboarders. Many people visiting the area also take time to explore
the historic 1860 Pony Express station and learn about the plants and animals of the Great
Basin at the Sand Springs Desert Study Area.
There is a designated dry-camping area near the base of Sand
Mountain. Two new vault toilets are provided, however, visitors should
bring plenty of water for drinking and washing
since none 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.
Supplementary Rules for Sand Mountain
Pictures of Sand Mountain Recreation Area
BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR
Today more than 30,000 visitors
come to Sand Mountain annually, up from only a few hundred per year in the
1970's. With this
increase in visitors has come an increase in traffic, trash and vandalism. So that
everyone can enjoy their stay, please show your respect for other people and the
environment by being a good neighbor.
* Avoid riding in areas closed to motor vehicles.
These closures help prevent erosion and protect the plants, animals and historic resources
found in the recreation area.
* Stay on the sandy dunes or on
existing roads and trails. Pioneering new
trails in vegetated areas destroys native plants that are the only food and
cover for species like the Sand Mountain Blue Butterfly. Please
Tread-Lightly by keeping to previously used dunes and trails.
* Camp only in designated areas. Camping outside
established areas destroys vegetation and allows non-native species of plants, such as
Russian thistle, to flourish.
* Observe speed limits on roads and in the camp area.
Children are present!
Excess speed not only throws dust and sand into your neighbor's camp, it is dangerous.
* Keep a clean camp. Take your trash with you or
use the dumpsters which are provided. Use a fire pan, such as a garbage can lid, for your
campfire and dispose of the ashes when they have cooled. Dumping holding tanks on the
ground is unsightly, unsanitary and illegal.
* Lock up your firearms. Discharge of firearms
within the Sand Mountain Recreation is extremely dangerous and strictly PROHIBITED. This
rule is stringently enforced and violators will be cited.
* Report vandalism. Each year vandalism causes
thousands of dollars worth of damage and destruction. Repairs and replacement of
facilities are paid for with your tax dollars. Help reduce vandalism by immediately
reporting any illegal activities you may see to a BLM Ranger or the local Sheriff.
SAND FROM ICE?
Only 10,000 years ago glaciers filled many of the valleys
in the Sierra Nevada mountains to the west. The cool, wet climate and runoff from these
glaciers had created an immense inland lake that covered much of what is now western
Nevada. But as the climate grew warmer and the glaciers retreated, the lake slowly started
to dry up. About 4000 years ago the lake level dropped below where Sand Mountain now
Meanwhile quartz particles, which the glaciers had ground
away from the hard Sierra granite, were washed down the Walker River and deposited in the
river's delta. As the wind blew across the delta this sand was 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. Over the centuries
Sand Mountain grew until it reached its present height of almost 600 feet.
The wind is constantly changing the shape of Sand Mountain
and sometimes the shifting of the sand will produce a soft rustling, or even an eerie
booming sound. This unique characteristic has earned Sand Mountain its nickname of
FOR YOUR SAFETY
* Razorbacks or slipfaces exist at the top of the mountain
and many of the surrounding dunes. The mountain is constantly shifting. Be careful when
you top out.
* Wearing your helmet, gloves and boots will help reduce
injuries if an accident happens.
* Use of a fluorescent
orange "whip flag,"
extending at least 8 feet above the ground level when the vehicle is stopped, is MANDATORY
on ALL Off-Highway-Vehicles (OHVs) using the recreation area. Lighted whip masts
should be used at night.
* Limit your speed to 15 mph around the camp area and 25
mph on all access roads. This will help prevent accidents and lessen road damage.
* Every year several accidents occur at Sand Mountain
which result in serious injuries or death. Far too many of these accidents arc related to
the use of alcohol.
PLEASE. . ."DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE!"
* Spark arresters are required on all OHV's. The use of
spark arresters will greatly reduce the chance of fire. Plant life is sparse in the desert
and wildlife depends on it to survive.
* An emergency telephone is located at the entrance to the
recreation Area on U. S. Highway 50. The nearest hospital is in Fallon. Dial 911.
Be Safe & Have Fun