You won’t find a body of water here, but you will find big waves … of sand! Bring snacks and a beverage to enjoy at one of the world’s premier picnic spots—the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes—just 2 miles east of Stovepipe Wells in Death Valley National Park. Park on the side of Highway 190 and start walking north. The tallest dune is about a mile away, with plenty of others rolling in the foreground.
Pick a dune, climb its spine, and enjoy a picnic while waiting for the show: a sunset that colors the mountains in changing shades of rose and violet. The dunes are like a giant sandbox, perfect for handstands and logrolls (always a crowd pleaser). You may even spy people “surfing” the turf here. Don’t leave too soon: This is a choice spot for stargazing or watching your moonshadow. Follow the moonlight back to your car, or use a headlamp or flashlight.