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Monahans Sandhills State Park, Monahans

(4.1/5 based on 120+ reviews on the web)
The Monahans Sandhills State Park is a 3840acre state park located in the southern Llano Estacado in Ward County and Winkler County, Texas. The closest major town is Monahans, Texas, and the closest limited-access highway ingress is Exit 86 on Interstate 20.FeaturesMonahans Sandhills State Park is noted for the presence of sand dunes up to high. Although desert-like, the Monahans Sandhills are not a desert; they are a part of a semi-arid ecosystem (average annual rainfall 12.3in) characterized by the presence of both groundwater and relatively nutrient-poor windblown sand. The Shinoak is a local climax shrub, an unusual type of oak tree which because of local conditions often achieves full growth of only in height. Most of a Shinoak's biomass exists in the form of a lengthy root system reaching down to groundwater. If a Monahans sand dune has become stabilized and has stopped blowing about in the wind, that is often because a small grove of Shinoaks have stabilized the dune with their extensive root systems. Despite the sterility of the landscape, various rodents are relatively common, and several packs of Sandhills coyotes feed upon them.Much of the Monahans Sandhills are privately owned property. The state of Texas is operating a 99-year lease with the Sealy-Smith Foundation for the ranch on which most of the land of the state park is located; the park opened to the public in 1957, and the state park has leasehold rights to this parcel of the sand hills until 2056.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • There isn't another Texas state park like this one. The draw for most folks is the large area of "active" (e.g. unvegetated) sand dunes. The visitor's center rents out plastic snow sledding discs for ...  more »
  • Beautiful sand dunes park in mid-Texas. Although there are some picnic spots along the road in, the best area to visit is all the way back- gorgeous sand dunes! For families with younger children, you...  more »
  • We were on our way through the area and found this to be a convenient park right off of Interstate 20. It turned out to be a unique place to stay in the midst of large sand dunes. Although the entranc...  more »
Google
  • Giving Monahans a 5 star rating if you are visiting in the cooler time of the year say like in November. During the cool season the unique sand retains enough moisture to stick just enough so that the dunes can build very tall. The sand flows really good so surfing is a blast when the weather is cooler. Avoid this place in the middle of summer unless you like extremely dry heat, lots of wind, and thousands of wasp invading your camper. We were there last August for only about 30 minutes after setting up the camper and decided to leave after numerous stings. The place is really busy during Easter. Best experience is to visit in November if you have kids in school.
  • This is a great place to kill a little time while getting an up-close experience of the desert. I stopped here while taking a cross-country road trip. A nature trail winds its way through desert fauna near the park's entrance, and the sand dunes are great for exploration and surfing. However, they do stretch on for many miles, so I wouldn't recommend trekking too far from the road.
  • Bring sled wax if you decide to rent a sled. The sand dunes are absolutely amazing and very fun to go sliding down , we are still getting sand out of objects that we took with us. But that's to be expected. Our family will definitely be back..
  • We really enjoyed this stop. Rent the sand sled! It's one of the oh so few opportunities for everyone to play like children.
  • What a beautiful little park. Our children loved exploring the sand dunes barefoot. We got a good workout hiking around. We saw lots of fascinating nature: sand-collored burrowing crickets appear at dusk, we saw quail, cicadas, a ground squirrel, and a kangaroo mouse. We will never forget our visit.