Monahans Sandhills State Park is a Texan hidden gem. Tucked away in West Texas, its picturesque sand dunes are sure to transport you to another world. From when to visit, to what to do, our complete guide is here to give you everything you need to plan your perfect trip!
When to visit:
Monahans Sandhills State Park is open year-round. Their gates are open from 7 am to 10 pm.
We recommend visiting Monahan Sandhills during the spring or fall. The cooler temperatures make it much more enjoyable than the hot summer months For all of you non-Texans, it can easily reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in June, July. or August.
Regardless of what time you visit, sunset and sunrise are the best time of day to be out on the sandhills. The sun is not as intense as the middle of the day. Additionally, the warm, golden-hues of the sun reflect beautifully off the sand creating a very picturesque environment.
How to get there:
Monahans Sandhills State Park is in West Texas. Most GPS or map applications will accept “Monahans Sandhills” as the destination, but the exact address is Park Rd. 41 Monahans, TX 79756. The closest airport is Midland International Air and Space Port. It has rental cars available.
- Midland: 52 miles, 45-minute drive
- Lubbock: 170 miles, 2-hour 30-minute drive
- San Antonio: 350 miles, 5-hour drive
Entrance to Monahans Sandhills State Park is $4.00 for adults, those thirteen years and older, and is free for children, those that are twelve and younger.
If you plan on visiting other Texas state parks we highly suggest purchasing the Texas State Park Pass. For only 70 dollars a year, you and anybody riding in the vehicle with you, can gain entrance to all 89 state parks.
How Long to Stay:
Monahans Sandhills is a relatively small park and shouldn’t take you longer than a day to complete. It is a great stopping point for a road trip to the Guadalupe Mountains or Big Bend National Park.
- Big Spring State Park
- Guadalupe Mountains National Park
- Big Bend National Park
What to do:
Explore the Sandhills:
There are no designated trails through the sandhills. You are allowed and encouraged, to explore the beautiful landscape at your own will. Because of this, it is advised to always understand your surrounding and keep in mind where you came from. This will prevent you from getting lost.
Sledding, or for the less coordinated tumbling, is a great activity for both the young and the young at heart! You can bring your own or rent sleds from the park’s headquarters.
Monahans Sandhills is a popular spot for photographers. It is a beautiful area and the seemingly endless sea of sand makes for wonderful pictures. During our visit, we saw several couples getting their pictures taken engagement pictures.
Watch the Sunset:
There is honestly nothing that can compare to a Texas sunset. During our visit, we grabbed a blanket, walked to the top of a dune, and watched the sun illuminate the sky in deep reds and golden hues. It was our favorite part of the day and the perfect way to end our visit.
The Dunagan Visitor Center is a great resource to learn about the history, animals, plants, and culture of the Monahans Sandhills.
Horse Back Riding:
Horses are allowed within the park. You can bring your horse and explore over 800-acres of land. There are no maintained or specific trails to follow, so make sure to be prepared for high grass, bugs, and thick sand.
Where to stay:
Inside the park, there are 26 campsites available. Each campsite is set up with an electricity hookup, water hookup, picnic table, fire ring, grill, shaded shelter, and a nearby restroom with showers available. Each campsite is $15.00 a night and can hold up to eight people. You can book your campsite online here. If camping is not your preferred method of travel, the closest city to find other accommodations is Midland.
Tips for visiting Monahans Sandhills State Park:
Pack Plenty of Water and Sunscreen:
There is absolutely no shade in Monahans Sandhills State Park. When you combine that with the reflective sand, you need to be extra careful of the sun’s harmful UV rays. Additionally, this part of Texas is notoriously hot. It can easily hit triple-digit temperatures during the summer. Make sure to always hydrate your body, and drink plenty of water.
Wear Proper Clothing:
To protect your skin from the sun, we highly recommend wearing protective clothing. Due to the harsh heat, your best option is going to be wearing athletic clothing that is light-weight and sweat resistant. Additionally, make sure to wear proper footwear. The sand can get very hot making it very uncomfortable to be barefoot in.
Monahans Sandhills is a dog-friendly park! Make sure to be a responsible pet owner and keep your furry friends on a leash and always clean up after them.
Practice the Leave No Trace Principles:
Keeping our parks clean is so important. By following the Leave No Trace Principles you can do your part to protect our lands and wildlife. A great rule of thumb is to always leave it better than you found it. By staying picking up after yourself and your pets, respecting the vegetation and wildlife, and taking out any found trash, you can help keep Monahans Sandhills State Park a beautiful place for future visitors.
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