Thinking about heading to Monahans Sandhills State Park? Learn about what you can expect in the full guide that will let you know what you can expect for camping and hiking.
First Impressions of Monahans Sandhills State Park
The park almost felt like a roadside attraction with its vicinity to I-20, but immediately turning through the metal gate you’re taken into a completely different world from which you just came.
The art deco visitor center is closed at the time of this writing, but it encapsulates its history in its design, but as you turn away from the structures, you’re no longer being surrounded by certainties except for the sun and the moon.
The sand dunes are at first covered in thick grasses, but as you continue into the park they begin to fade away and showcase the white sand dunes in every direction.
The light color reflected the sunlight and brightened up the covered picnic tables angled so slightly to attempt to block sand and light.
Construction is being completed throughout the park, such as the case with another historic building by the temporary visitor center, but everything else felt untouched.
One of the major activities that visitors take part in at this park is sliding down the dunes with a round disc, but at the time of this post, you’ll need to bring your own because they’re currently not being rented out from the temporary visitor’s center. Call ahead to make sure on your next trip.
Day Use Areas
Because this park is right off the interstate, and fairly close to a few cities, this park seemed like it was really popular for the day-use crowd.
The park had plenty of space to cruise around, and the picnic areas were aplenty, with some carved out into the sand dunes for your own private sandbox.
Definitely a fun place to stop for a snack if you’re heading farther west.
Camping at Monahans Sandhills State Park
If you want to camp at Monahans Sandhills State Park you’re going to have a few camp loops to pick from, but they’re all fairly close to each other.
The majority of the people during this visit were in an RV, but there were also sites suitable for a tent.
Almost every site had its own covered picnic table with those fun slanted coverings, and some sites had them to share. And remember, sharing is caring.
Because of the style of the park, you’re basically camping next to sand dunes, so you’re forced to get out and walk around. You can nestle into your carved-out space of sand, but there’s not a whole lot around you.
Did you know you can reserve spaces online in advance? Check out this post to learn how to make camping reservations.
Can you hike at Monahans Sandhills State Park?
The ranger at the visitor’s center seemed caught off guard at the question, so just to say, there are no trails here.
The one trail that did exist was connected to the visitor’s center that’s currently closed for remodeling.
Everything else here is sand, so you just walk around.
This was admittedly a weird feeling to not have a discernable pathway to travel on, but the dunes are your adventure, and you can choose to follow a pathway of footprints, or just walk around as you see fit.
Walking around you’ll see bits of what makes this area of Texas so essential to the power and gas industries. An oil derrick pump can be seen at one of the picnic areas as you walk around, and so while you’re enjoying the natural space you cannot forget just where you’re at.
There were a handful of guests that brought their camp chair to the tops of the dunes to just sit and admire the views. Walking around the sand dunes can be tiring on your leg muscles, so it’s great to have an option to just relax.
You’re never too far from the campsites, but there’s plenty of space to venture to. Just be mindful of your location and make sure you’re noting visual landmarks to find your way back. If you get high enough you’ll be able to see the camping areas below.
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