… the pavement disappears, and you’re left with a hard-packed sand surface. The road is constantly maintained, so you shouldn’t run into many problems with drifting sand. Every few hundred feet you’ll find a wide turnout, allowing you to climb up a dune, or tumble down it.
The second trailhead you’ll pass (the first being the Big Dune Nature Trail) is the Interdune Boardwalk. This handicapped-accessible trail is the easiest in the park to hike, since you never have to set foot on sand. The walkway takes you 1/6 of a mile into the dunes, with a few shady benches along the way.
Look closely, and you may see signs of life, even here.
For handicapped or easy access, the Interdune Boardwalk is okay, but most likely, you’ll be up for a bigger challenge. We’ll tackle the park’s longest trail on the next page.
On your way around the scenic drive, you’ll notice one of the park’s most common plants, the soaptree yucca. As you continue towards the heart of the dunes, there are fewer plants, then, none at all.
Note: This trip was first published in 2006.