It was Presidents' Weekend and I had to go to Las Vegas anyway on business, so why not stop by Dumont Dunes and see what 's going on and maybe get a quick ride in on my new Honda CRF 450 motorcycle? We had some friends out there and it was a beautiful day. Dumont Dunes is about 31 miles north of Baker, CA, on Highway 127.
There are actually two sections. The Little Dunes staging and camping area is right off of Highway 127 and a mile north on 127 is Dumont Road, the way to the BIG dunes with plenty of room for everyone's toyhauler.
Much to my surprise, we had to pay the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to get into the Dunes. We never had to pay before, but now they are charging $20.00 ($18.00 if purchased in advance from BLM or online at ThePermitStore.com) per primary vehicle and/or camp site. This is only for President 's Day and Easter weekends this season, with the possibility of implementing the fee demo program for next season starting in October. I don't mind paying the fees as long as the money stays at the Dunes to keep everything in good condition and running properly.
If you have never been to Dumont, these are some of the biggest dunes you'll ever see. These piles of sand are very intimidating if you are not an experienced dune rider. The first time over the top of the ridge on one of these monsters can be breathtaking. If you are into high speed at the dunes, this is the place to go. The bowls are so big that top gear is the only way to keep up. Competition Hill has plenty of racing and it's so big even the sand cars can have some legitimate racing. Bikes can be seen going 10 wide at the starting line. Seeing all the sand being shot off the tires is just awesome.
The only real complaint that I personally had was that there just aren't enough dunes. On a busy weekend like this the riding areas were literally packed with riders and sand cars making for some close calls. So unless you are going just for the party and/or to be with family and friends, I recommend the off weekends. There are some places outside the sand that you can ride also if you like desert riding, but... I LOVE THE SAND!
There are vendors and rangers at Dumont as well, but no services or stores. The closest fuel and semi-real town is Baker, so come prepared. Ride safe, and make sure when you leave you clean up and make it better than when you arrived so that we don't give the politicians any more reasons to shut our riding areas down.