My friends and I made a short stay at Monahans Sandhills State Park on our way to Guadalupe Mountains National Park. We made a reservation online because we knew that we would be arriving late considering that we were leaving after work at 6pm and out drive would be at least 5 hours. It is possible to pick up supplies or eat in the town of Ozona or Fort Stockton.
Upon our arrival, it was fairly easy to find our assigned campsite because all of the campsites appear to be located along a loop road.
Each campsites has water and electric hookups. There are also a sun shade, picnic table and grill. The bathroom was located a short distance from our campsite and contained sinks, toilets and showers.
The main attraction of this park is definitely the sandhills. One can explore the sandhills freely, but I think that it might be a good idea to not venture too far from the main campground unless you are familiar with desert navigation or are equipped with a GPS. One can walk up the sandhills, roll down the sandhills or just stand in awe within them. I was surprised to find a variety of flowers thriving amongst the sandhills. How does that happen?
There are not any marked or designated trails at this park. There are not many facilities or activities to do. The main attraction is the sand, the sandhills and the sunrises. Even though our stay was short, I really enjoyed staying at this park and watching the sunrise in the morning.
It gets very cold in the winter, which was terrible when tent camping but the sand dunes were a unique experience and we would’ve stayed longer if we could have. There’s a drop box for late arrivals and it isn’t busy in winter at least. The sand is very hand to stake into, you will need extra long stakes and a good technique.
If you have a problem with everything you own being covered in sand, this may not be the best place. Lots of birds and wildlife. Very hard to set up tents unless you get those paddles they use in snow camping. During the summer you will need the spf 50. If the wind is blowing it will get dusty. Lots of photography opportunities. You can hear the traffic on I20 at night in a tent. Expect to be visited by skunks and raccoons.
Monahans was a blessing on our trip down to a different park near El Paso. It is in the Midland/Odessa area and should not be missed!!!! We stopped there in September and there were sunflowers EVERYWHERE! It was the most amazing site considering that there is sand covering most of the park! Be forewarned, sand gets into everything while your camping here so come prepared! And don’t miss out on the Sand Dune sledding!!!! It was such a treat! The hike up is a little hard (and if it’s super hot wear closed toe shoes so you don’t burn your feet!) but the ride down is a blast! High recommendation! And, the bathrooms were clean :)
Some of my best photos of our road trip happened here at this state park. But it was one of my least favorite places to camp. Just because of the sand. But that is what you get when you camp at a place called Sandhills.
The sites are pretty close together and there is nothing to break up the view between you and the other sites. Covered picnic tables but if it's windy, the sand is everywhere. Also when it's hot out the sand just adds to the temps.
Now on the plus side, the sunsets and sunrises are amazing. Because of the sand you get clear views of the horizon.
There was a lack of wildlife, matter of fact we saw zero critters.
The air is so dry and it's so far from light pollution that the milky way reaches down and embraces you at night time. I have never seen the stars so bright, and so purple a swath of contrasting colors in the midnight sky.
Just an hour west of Odessa, we stopped here for a couple of hours to play in the sand. We rented the plastic disks and played in the dunes. It tires the kids out quick since it difficult to march up and down sand hills. The rangers were helpful in pointing out the best places to slide. The disks are rated up to 150, so it's not very effective for larger adults. Also, you will get lots of sand in your car no matter how much you try and dust off before.