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Amargosa Dunes, Nevada

Amargosa Dunes Aerial Photo (aka Big Dune)


Name: Amargosa Dunes aka Big Dune


Southwestern Nevada, 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas on Highway 95


Amargosa or Big Dune is a playground that covers about five square miles of dunes and dips, and its centerpiece is a peak that tops out at 500 feet. These hills, about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas, are a well-kept secret and mostly used by locals, but expect to find plenty of other off-roaders on the weekends. Remember to pack plenty of water and food. Amargosa Valley is 29 miles south of Beatty on U.S. 95. 

Big Dune is a unique place in southern Nevada. It is 1.5 square mile complex star dune that reaches 2,731 feet above sea level.

Base Elevation -  2435 ft.

Directions to Amargosa:

The dunes are located north of Amargosa Valley, south of Beatty and just off of Highway 95. 

From the south:

Drive 7.6 miles from the junction of Hwy 95 and Hwy 373.
Turn left on Valley View and drive about two miles west. 
Turn right on a dirt road leading to the dunes (usually there are various arrows near the turn painted on the pavement).  
There arenít any official signs until you get to the dunes. 

From Beatty:

Drive 19.1 miles south on Hwy 95 from the junction of Hwy 95 and Hwy 374.
Turn right on Valley View and drive about two miles west. 
Turn right on a dirt road leading to the dunes (usually there are various arrows near the turn painted on the pavement).  

Amargosa access road from Valley View

Amargosa GPS Coordinates:

  • Valley View Rd. & Hwy 95: N 36 40 842 / W 116 32 579

  • Turnoff to dunes from Valley View Rd. : N 36 38 923 / W 116 32 588

  • Valley View Camp:  N 36 38 749 / W 116 33 931

Amargosa Camping Areas:

East side - Access from Valley View Rd. (main camping area)

Amargosa Dunes Camping Area
Camping on the east side accessible from Valley View Rd.

Amargosa Dunes Camping Area   Amargosa Dunes Camping Area   Amargosa Dunes Camping Area - Valley View

West side - Access from dirt road north of Valley View on Hwy 95
The dirt road is unmarked and is north of the dunes 11.9 miles north of the junction of Hwy 95 and Hwy 373.

Amargosa Dunes West Camping Area
Camp on west side of the dunes

Area Managed By: Bureau of Land Management - Pahrump Field Office

Fees: None


  • Whip flag that extends 8 ft. from the ground

  • No person shall operate an off-highway vehicle in a manner likely to cause environmental damage.  Do not run over vegetation.

  • Bring in, dispose of or possess any firewood containing nails, screws, or other metal hardware. 

  • Spark arresters are required on all OHV's.

Big Dune Beetle:

Amargosa Dunes are home to the Big Dune Beetle (Pseudocotalpa giulianii) and three other sensitive beetle species:

  • Large Aegialian Scarab Beetle (Aegialia magnifica)

  • Rulienís miloderes weevil (Miloderes rulieni)

  • Big Dune aphodius scarab beetle (Aphodius sp.)

This Big Dune Beetle is listed as a sensitive species and the BLM has posted signs identifying the Big Dune Beetle habitat area. The beetle was proposed for listing as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in 1978 and the entire Big Dune Complex was proposed as critical habitat for the species. Off-road vehicle use was identified as the largest threat to the species at the time. Please do your part to keep Amargosa Dunes open by staying out of this area and on the designated trails in the area.

Plants and the dune itself are very important for survival of these rare beetle species. All four Big Dune beetle species rely on dune plants for survival. The plants provide food and mating sites and, when covered with sand, shelter and food for their larvae.

The entire dune is protected as a BLM designated Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). Within the ACEC, a five-acre area on the east side of the dunes has been set aside specifically for protection of these species.

Big Dune Beetle Sign
Please keep out of the 
Big Dune Beetle Habitat Area

Other Information:

  • No trash collection. Pack it out.


Amargosa Weather

Other Photos (click to enlarge):

AmargosaDune-1.jpg (16266 bytes)    AmargosaDune-2.jpg (18421 bytes)    AmargosaDune-3.jpg (17756 bytes)    AmargosaFromHwy95.jpg (23414 bytes)

Amargosa Dunes (Big Dune) Amargosa Dunes (Big Dune)

Aerial Photos

Amargosa Dunes Aerial Photo    Amargosa Dunes Aerial Photo    Amargosa Dunes Aerial Photo

Amargosa Dune - TerraServer Interative Photo


Other Nevada Sand Dunes open to OHV use:

Back to Sand Dune Guide

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