Located in Churchill County, just north of U.S. Highway 50,
"The Loneliest Road in America," Sand Mountain is 25 miles east of
Fallon, Nevada. Managed by the U. S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of
Land Management (BLM), the sand dunes of the 4,795 acre recreation fee area
provide challenge and excitement for off-highway vehicle riders, hikers &
Long steep hill climbs. Sharp ridges. Some sand trail
riding (although BLM has closed most of them).
Elevation - 4000 - 4700 ft.
Backside of Sand Mountain - Panoramic (click to enlarge)
Kids "Track" near first bathrooms
Photo Galleries & Trip Reports
The Butterfly that is behind the closures - Sand
Monuments - Removed by BLM October 1, 2005
Photos from Folsom Lake RV
Mountain Satellite Interactive Image
Fallon Naval Air Station - Home of Top Gun (Naval Fighter
Sand Mountain enjoys frequent visits from military fighter aircraft
Vendors typically setup near the information kiosk on holiday weekends.
The old windmill
In the distance is the road leading to the old windmill. The
windmill is long gone, but the area is still used by cattle ranchers as a
Sand Springs Pony Express Station
Sand Springs Desert Study Area, which includes the Sand
Springs Pony Express Station is closed to OHVs. Please stay on the access
At a time before there were airplanes, telephones, railroads
or even a telegraph, the Pony Express carried the mail 2,000 miles in just 12
days in the summer and 14 days in the winter.
The Sand Springs Pony Express Station was built in March of
1860 and was used by the Pony Express until November 1861. When the
transcontinental telegraph was completed on October 24, 1861, messages could
be sent from coast to coast in just minutes. The Pony was doomed and it died
only twenty-seven days later. The telegraph and the Overland Stage Company
continued to use the station throughout the 1860's. Other freight
companies like Well Fargo occasionally used the building up until about 1900.
Sir Richard Burton, British scholar and explorer, visited Sand Springs
Station on October 17, 1860, and described it in his diary this way:
"The water near this vile hole was thick and stale with sulphury
salts; it blistered even the hands. The station house was no unfit object in
such a scene, roofless and chairless, filthy and squalid, with a smoky fire in
one corner, and a table in the center of an impure floor, the walls open to
every wind and the interior full of dust."
Travelers found a reliable source of water at Sand Springs,
but its poor quality often poisoned animals and probably made people ill.
Abandoned and forgotten, the station was almost completely
buried by drift sand. It was rediscovered in 1975 and archeologists from UNR
excavated the site and removed the artifacts. A historically accurate
stabilization of the site was completed in 1997.
By 1981, the station was listed on the National Register of
The area around Sand Springs has been closed to motor
vehicles. Please respect this closure and stay on designated roads.
About 10,000 years ago, a giant inland sea, now known as Lake Lahontan,
covered some 8,500 square miles including most of northern and central Nevada
and parts of Oregon, Utah, California and Idaho.
The lake was formed from the melting of the great glaciers that once covered
much of North America and has been described not as a solid body of water but
a series of long arms.
In the intervening years, the sea has receded. All that remains are Pyramid
and Walker lakes and a handful of dry lake beds such as the Humboldt and
Carson sinks, the Black Rock Desert and Winnemucca Lake, near Pyramid Lake.
Sand Mountain was created when sand from surrounding flats, once part of
the bottom of ancient Lake Lahontan, was blown against nearby mountain walls.
Over centuries, the sand accumulated into a huge pile. The prevailing
southwest wind continues to push the sand to the northeast and into Dixie