New Years at Dumont
The Dumont Sand Dunes are located near California’s Death Valley off of Hwy 127. In this state, Dumont is 2nd only to Glamis in total rideable sand. Here, like Glamis, horsepower is king if you want to hang with the big boys as the steep hill climbs, huge bowl’s, and sharp razorbacks will test your machine, your skills, and your courage. But don’t let that scare you away. There are plenty of smaller dunes and even an entire separate adjacent area known as Little Dumont. It also has plenty of dirt trails to explore.
The massive dunes are about 8,000+ acres and located about 65 miles south west of Las Vegas and 65 miles south east of Death Valley National Park. Dumont attracts an estimated 125,000 people annually. Its most popular weekends are Thanksgiving and Presidents Day where up to 25,000 people visit the area.
We’ve been going to Dumont the week between Christmas and New Year’s for the past 5 years. We’ve always had good luck with the weather this week and this year was no different. The only drama we had was in
getting to the camping area. Due to the record California rains just prior to Christmas, crossing the Amargosa River, which is normally just a few inches deep, was impossible for a few days due to it being several feet deep. Later, we spoke to a BLM Ranger who told us he has been working this area since the 1950’s and he has never seen it this bad.
By the time we arrived on Monday afternoon the river had splintered into 3 separate rivers and the BLM engineers were working round the clock with bulldozers trying to divert the water. While crossing one of the creeks we drug and bent our rear landing gear on the rocks. Another in our group bent his rear bumper which prevented his ramp from opening.
The riding was simply amazing and unusually smooth for a holiday week due to the low attendance and heavy winds we had one night. There was a fatality this week which I only mention as a warning to others who come to Dumont for the first time. The Razorbacks here drop off sharper than most other places followed by steep declines so be extra careful.
As mentioned before, Little Dumont is much smaller and perfect for families who want to stay away from the rowdier crowds and increased traffic. It is also easier to get to; being adjacent to Hwy 127. Big Dumont is where the action is. Comp hill, the south and north poles, the super bowl, vendor row, and sperry wash. Big
Dumont is iteslf separated into two main sections separated by a valley. The western section of the valley is where you will find the steepest, tallest dunes, and comp hill. The eastern side of the valley you will find Banshee Hill, the Super Bowl, and a lot of nice rollers. Personally, this is my favorite area.
Another popular area to ride at, especially for the sidexside crowd is Sperry Wash. This is a fun little half day trip where the knobbies are required. The wash begins at 35°41’55.14″N 116°15’11.43″W, back at the dirt road entrance just before you cross the creek. You want to be sure to stay on the marked trails. This is an environmentaly sensitive area and many trails are closed off. The trail snakes up alongside the Armagosa River crossing it several times. You will find many mines in this area so be careful.
For more information, probably the best source on the internet is at the DumontDuneRiders
website. Be sure to take a look at the their forum if you need more specific information.
For more Dumont photos click here