Death Valley Dunes at Sunrise

Departing the Los Angeles area at 10:30 pm, we drove through the night in order to catch the sunrise over the dunes in Death Valley National Park.  After unsuccessful attempts at sleep in the Jeep 4×4 rental once we arrived, I gave up, anxiously awaiting 5 am and the beginning of the day.  When the alarm went off, I hopped up and began gathering the essentials for the morning.  Hiking for about 45 minutes, we made it to the highest dune, a 600 foot monster that towers over the rest of the sand.  Here is the view from the “summit”.

After taking some shots from the peak we decided to trek around the sandy hills for a bit.  The sun was just peeking its face over the eastern mountains, spreading its golden light across the dunes.  Views like the one you see below were everywhere.

I absolutely loved watching the dance that the shadows played with the sand.  Walking (more like taking 3 steps forward and sliding 2 steps back) on the spines of these majestic sandy creations was magical, a perfect start to our Death Valley trip!

Thanks for visiting!!


  1. Tim Stanley says:

    What an adventure and totally worth the trouble to get there!
    I really like light and texture of the third image.

  2. LensScaper says:

    Breathtakingly beautiful images of an amazing place

  3. David S says:

    Love the Morning Shadows in the Dunes picture. What do you do when it is not sunrise or sunset?! Post-processing I’m guessing. :-0

  4. Mark says:

    Stunning, that last one Dude, unbelievably good.

  5. ketan says:

    Loved the last shot. So ethereal!

  6. Incredible shots, especially the last two. Amazing work.

  7. Len Saltiel says:

    Great shots Adam. That last one is killer

  8. Mark Neal says:

    Great images, Adam. Everyone is beautiful. Nice job!

  9. Edith Levy says:

    These are just spectacular images Adam. I’m really looking forward to seeing more from your trip.

  10. Ben Tucker says:

    Nicely composed shots Adam, look great large.

  11. Great shots, Adam! Just love the last one.

  12. Wow Adam I really like the second one. Beautiful color.

  13. Great Dune shots Adam, I would LOVE to get to a desert like that, jealous again! I have a new site, please check it out, old blog is going down, Have a great weekend

  14. Gorgeous light and shadows! A beautiful location for such a morbid name. Only in California I suppose! 😀

  15. Tom Brody says:

    Thanks for the inspiring sunrise photos. This is one of the few Mesquite Dunes sunrise photos that I have seen that worked well, where the lens was pointing towards the sun. I found that the easiest route, was leaving from Costa Mesa, CA at one o’clock in the morning and heading towards Baker, and taking the turnoff at Baker. The route passing through Baker, and on through Amargosa prevents the mild stress of having to drive over wiggly mountain roads in the dark, with steep cliffs to each side.

  16. Tom Brody says:

    This is one of the best sunrise Mesquite Dunes photos that I’ve seen, where the lens is pointint at the sun. For my own drives, I leave Costa Mesa at one a.m., turn off at Baker, CA, drive through Amargosa, thus avoiding the need to drive on scary twisting mountain roads in the dark.

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