NEAREST CITY = Fallon
Sand Mountain Recreation Area, Carson City district, is located in the high desert of west central Nevada,
25 miles east of Fallon on highway 50. Managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management
(BLM), the sand dunes of the 4795 acre recreation area provide challenge and excitement for all types of off-highway vehicle
use and sandboarding activities. Many people visiting the area also take time to explore the historic 1860 Pony Express
station or learn about the variety of plants and animals of the Great Basin at the Sand Springs Desert Study Area.
There is a designated camping area near the base of Sand Mountain. A vault toilet is provided, however visitors should
bring plenty of water for drinking and washing since none is available at the site. A pay telephone is located near the
highway. Campfires are permitted, but there is no wood available. Spring and fall offer the best weather at Sand
Mountain. Mid-winter months can be cold and wet and summer days can be hot, dry and windy.
Only a few hundred persons a year came to Sand Mountain in the early 1970's. Today more than 30.000 recreationists
visit the area annually. This figure is expected to triple over the next 5 years due to the popularity of sandboarding at
this location. With the increase in visitors has come an increase in traffic, trash and maintenance. So that everyone can
enjoy their stay, please show respect for other people and the environment by being a good neighbor.
Only 10,000 years ago glaciers filled many of the valleys in the Sierra Nevada mountains to the west. The cool, wet
climate and the runoff from these glaciers had created an immense inland lake that covered much of what is now
western Nevada. But as the climate grew warmer and the glaciers retreated, the lake slowly started to dry up. About
4,000 years ago the lake level dropped below where Sand Mountain now stands.
Meanwhile quartz particles, which the glaciers had ground away from the hard Siera granite, were washed down the
Walker River and deposited in the river's delta. As the widn blew across the delta this sand was picked up and carried
high into the air. More than thirty miles to the northeast, the wind was slowed by a large basin on the southwest flank of
the Stillwater Range. With its force broken by the mountain, the wind's burden of sand would fall into this natural trap.
Over the centuries Sand Mountain continued to grow reaching its present height of almost 600 ft.
The wind is constantly changing the shape of Sand Mountain and sometimes the shifting of the sand will produce a soft
rustling or even an eerie booming sound. This unique characteristic has earned Sand Mountain its nickname of "Singing
Mountain". For early native Americans this booming sound was believed to be made by the god of the dune and so this
area was generally avoided.
If you would like more information about Sand Mountain visit the "Friends of Sand Mountain" web site at:
FRIENDS OF SAND MOUNTAIN
If you would like to view additional photographs of sandboarding at Sand Mountain visit Dune Riders International
sandboarding site at:
DUNE RIDERS INTERNATIONAL
If you would like further information about Sand Mountain and the surrounding area you can contact:
U.S. Department of the Interior
Bureau of Land Management
Carson City District Office
1535 Hot Springs Road, Suite 300
Carson City, Nevada 89706-0638
Sandboarders stay at:
Stockman's Holiday Inn Casino
Fallon, Nevada 89406 USA
Ask for Cathy Harris and ask for the sandboard event discount!