Mesquite Sand Dunes Sunrise!

Sunstar over Death Valley

Sometimes you have to be an early riser to catch a landscape in its most pristine state. For this shot of the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, I arrived in Death Valley National Park at 5:30 a.m. Wearing my trusty headlamp, I began my hike in. (You’d be amazed at how dark the dunes can be on a moonless night/early morning!)

Because footprints tend to destroy the amazing lines that Mother Nature draws across the dunes, I wanted to find an area

The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are located about two miles from Stove Pipe Wells, California in Death Valley National Park. View Print Options for Death Valley Sunrise


that had yet to be explored that day. I staked out a spot and waited for the sun’s first rays to peek over the horizon. Although I was hoping for a few clouds to mix with the morning light, the sky was mostly clear.

Sunrise highlighted the dunes’ delicate, crisp lines which always seem to be in a state of flux. As the wind blows and changes direction, the look of the dunes changes along with them. And any footsteps—including mine—are soon blown over and forgotten.