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Crescent Dunes, Nevada

Crescent Dunes Aerial Photo

Name: Crescent Dunes


Western Nevada near the town of Tonopah


Dunes are visible from Highway 95 a few miles north of Tonopah. This small dune complex is often deserted. Mostly used by local riders. There are no signs, and the area feels very remote. Winter temperatures can be quite cold.

The dunes have been designated a Special Recreation Management Area (SMRA) by the BLM.

Elevation - 5032 ft.

3,000 acres


From Tonopah (junction of Hwy 95 and Hwy 6):

North on Highway 95 from Tonopah towards Hawthorne for 4.6 miles. Turn right on Pole Line Rd.  Go north for about 9 miles and turn right on dirt road leading to the dunes.  The camping area is 2 miles in, next to the first large crescent-shaped dune.

GPS Coordinates:

  • Camping Area - N 38 13 74, W 117 20 04

  • Access Road Turnoff - N 38 13 02, W 117 22 27

  • Highway 95 and Pole Line Rd - N 38 05 64, W 117 18 50

Camping Area(s):

Very small camping area next to the large crescent shaped dune. The area is only large enough for a few rigs.

Crescent Dunes Campground

Crescent Dunes campground

Area Managed By: Bureau of Land Management - Battle Mountain 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.

Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project:

Tonopah Solar Energy, LLC, (TSE) an affiliate of SolarReserve, LLC, is the developer of the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project. The project is located northwest of Tonopah, Nevada, in Nye County with a nominal net generating capacity of 110 megawatts (MW). When completed, Tonopah Solar Energy’s facility will supply approximately 500,000 megawatt hours annually of clean, reliable electricity – enough to power up to 75,000 homes during peak electricity periods utilizing its innovative energy storage capabilities.

The Cresent Dunes Solar Energy Project will utilize SolarReserve's concentrating solar power (CSP) technology, with a central receiver tower and the leading integrated energy storage technology that was developed by Pratt Whitney Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (UTC). Construction at the plant began in August of 2011, and the plant is expected to be in operation by January 2014.

The project will have a large circular field of mirrors (heliostats). At the center of the field will be a tall, central receiver tower and the power block. The tall tower increases the efficiency of the plant and ensures that the large array of heliostats can focus the solar energy onto the receiver mounted on top of the tower.

The project will cover approximately 1600 acres, right next to Crescent Dunes.

Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project

US Department of Interior Approves Nevada Solar Power Project - December 21, 2010

Other Information:

  • No trash collection. Pack it out.

Weather: - Tonopah, NV

Other Photos (click to enlarge):

Crescent Dunes    Crescent-Dune-4.jpg (24661 bytes)    Crescent-Dune-3.jpg (23164 bytes)    Crescent-Dune-10.jpg (35457 bytes)

Crescent-Dune-2.jpg (23314 bytes)    Crescent-Dune-8.jpg (20306 bytes)    Crescent-Dune-9.jpg (27890 bytes)

Crescent Dunes, Nevada Crescent Dunes, Nevada Crescent Dunes, Nevada

Crescent Dunes, Nevada Crescent Dunes, Nevada

Aerial Photos

Crescent Dunes Aerial Photo    Crescent Dunes Aerial Photo

Crescent Dunes - TerraServer Interactive Aerial Photo

Crescent Dunes - Google Interactive Satellite Image

Crescent Dunes - Topo zone map


Services in Tonopah:

  • Motorcycle Shops: 
    - Tonopah Motorcycle & Trailer
  • RV Parks: 
    - Twister Inn Trailer Park
    - Jensen's Trailer Park
    - Banc's Casino - Overnight parking
    - Rest stop 13 miles north of Tonopah on Hwy 95
  • Hotel/Motel: 
    - Best Western Hi-Desert Inn
    - Ramada Inn Tonopah Station
  • RV Dump Stations: 
    - Rest Area on US 6/95 about 10 miles northwest of town on north side of road, no fee. The dump station isn't in plain view and can be tricky to find.

Other Nevada Sand Dunes open to OHV use:

Back to Sand Dune Guide

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