Just Dune It

With Dune 2 coming out in theaters, now is a good time to explore some surreal sandscapes. We’ve rounded up some national preserves, parks, and refuges—including the epic landscape that inspired the novel. Dune it right!

Week: 02.28.2024
Regions: Northern & Southern CA

Kelso Dunes

Visit Kelso Sand Dunes in Mojave National Preserve

The hike to the top of Kelso Dunes in the Mojave National Preserve is only 3 miles (out and back), but you’ll feel like you’ve hiked much farther by the time you’re done.
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Surreal Sandscape

Hike to the Biggest Dunes at Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Hiker at Taylor Dunes in Oregon Dunes Recreation Area
It’s a stunning landscape that inspired the sci-fi classic Dune (and hence its recent blockbuster adaptation), but no special effects are needed to enhance the scenery of Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. This 42 miles of sand, forest, rivers, and lakes is both ethereal and surreal.
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Dune Swoon

Sunset at Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park

Woman standing on top of a sand dune at Mesquite Flat in Death Valley National Park at Sunset
Of all the places to catch a sunset in Death Valley, we still think there’s none better than the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, inspiring many things, including log rolls, cartwheels, and sundown selfies.
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Just Dune It

Explore the Ma-le'l Sand Dunes Outside of Eureka

Miles of epic sand dunes seem like something you're more likely to find in the desert than on Northern California's lush redwood coast. Surprise! One of the most spectacular expanses of sand-scape you’ll ever see is in Humboldt County, just minutes by car from Old Town Eureka.
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Dune It Right

Watch a Beach Sunset at Ford Ord Dunes State Park in Monterey

Paraglider at Fort Ord Dunes State Park
Sunset at Fort Ord Dunes State Park
Sunset at Fort Ord Dunes State Park
Want a beach that will really get you away from it all? Monterey's Fort Ord Dunes State Park is just the ticket. And it often glows golden toward sunset.
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Trending Stories NorCal

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  1. Camp and Kayak at Utica Reservoir in Stanislaus National Forest

    Sleeper Hit

    It's all about the water, and the camping, at Utica Reservoir in Stanislaus National Forest, a High Sierra reservoir perfect for kayak explorations and pitching your tent with the lake in the background.

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  2. Wapama Wows

    Hetch Hetchy can be overlooked in Yosemite National Park because of its more remote location and limited facilities. But this is where you’ll also find one of the best day hikes in the park: Wapama Falls.

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  3. Sheep Tight!

    You’re not going to have to count sheep to get a good night’s sleep at Sheep Dung’s beautiful property in Anderson Valley near Boonville. Four modern cottages—tucked far apart from each other among 500 acres of rolling hills—are designed for blissful solitude. And it’s dog-friendly!

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  4. Hike Mount Tamalpais into Muir Woods

    Muir Woods Through the Backdoor

    A backdoor entrance into Muir Woods? Hike a tranquil trail that starts in Mount Tamalpais State Park and quietly leads into Muir Woods, letting you avoid the busyness of the main parking area.

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Trending Stories SoCal

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  1. All the Wright Stuff

    Avoiding drama? That’s a good thing. Unless you’re talking about campsites. In that case, the more dramatic the better! And Wright’s Beach on the Sonoma Coast is quite the drama queen—27 campsites sitting smack dab in the middle of the wild and raging Sonoma Coast State Beach.

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  2. kirk creek campground big sur

    Sur Bet!

    You can spend $1,000 a night for an ocean-view room in Big Sur. Or you can spend $45 and wake up to the sound of crashing waves and incredible views of Big Sur’s coastline when staying at Kirk Creek Campground.

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  3. Secret Redwoods + Camping by the River

    Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park is a little-known gem where skyscraping reds (the tallest living trees in the world!) fly under the radar. Grizzly’s ironically small size and location off the beaten path provide near total seclusion, not to mention relaxing camping!

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  4. Three Falling

    Three waterfalls, and fewer people. McCloud Falls might be the best waterfall hike in Northern California. There are bigger waterfalls in the state, but it’s the whole package that makes this 4-mile (round-trip) hike truly memorable.

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