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Death Valley National Park: Ibex Dunes

Trek along the remote Ibex Dunes and wind through rugged washes on this 28-mile overnight near Death Valley National Park’s southern border.

Rating

The seldom-traveled southern tip of Death Valley National Park offers an intimate desert experience amongst sand dunes, jagged hills, a 19th century talc mine, and a palm tree oasis.
Beginning at Harry Wade Road, this route rounds the base of Saddle Peak Hill and then climbs north through a narrow, secluded valley. (Views of the dunes appear as you round the hill.) As hikers near Ibex Dunes, the sand becomes softer and post-holing becomes the norm. Skirt the western perimeter of the dunes and walk through a narrow cut in the Saddle Peak Hills. The terrain gets increasingly more hard-packed as the route climbs gradually and slices between rolling ridges to the east and hills to the west.
After 5 miles, reach a real-life oasis. Ibex Spring is a tiny pocket of palm trees situated on the eastern slope of a rocky hillside. From here, follow an old mining road through a narrow gap in the hills. A broad wash sits between Black and Ibex Hills. Continue along the rutted wash toward the abandoned mine, using the hill’s white talc stains as a directional guide. No designated campsites or potable water are available. Choose an elevated site to avoid flash floods. Retrace steps back to Harry Wade Road in the morning.

-Mapped by Roger Homrich, the first person to thru-hike Death Valley Traverse.

To Trailhead

From Baker: Head north on CA 127 for 28 miles and park at Little Dumont Dunes (a popular recreation area for ATVers). To access the start point, hike along CA 127 to Harry Wade Road.

Ibex Hills

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