The Dirt: Amargosa Big Dune



The Amargosa Big Dune covers about five square miles (3,200 acres) in Southern Nye County, about 29 miles south of Beatty on U.S. 95. Dispersed camping is allowed, but  campsites are not ADA accessible. Firm sand dunes provide good riding, paddle or sand tires recommended for best experience, but not required.

Sensitive Species:

The Big Dune Beetle is listed as a sensitive species and the BLM has posted signs identifying the Big Dune Beetle habitat area. The beetle was proposed for listing as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in 1978 and the entire Big Dune Complex was proposed as critical habitat for the species. Off-road vehicle use was identified as the largest threat to the species at the time.

Please do your part to keep Amargosa Dunes open by staying out of this area and on the designated trails in the area.

The native plants and the dune itself are very important for survival of these rare beetle species. All four Big Dune beetle species rely on dune plants for survival. The plants provide food and mating sites and, when covered with sand, shelter and food for their larvae.

The entire dune is protected as a BLM designated Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). Within the ACEC, a five-acre area on the east side of the dunes has been set aside specifically for protection of these species. More information on the ACEC.

South of Amargosa is the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Only street-legal, licensed vehicles are permitted within the refuge boundary.


From North Las Vegas, Nevada:

  • Take US-95 North for approximately 95 miles.
  • Turn left at Valley View Blvd. You will see a brown highway sign for Big Dune.
  • Staging areas are five miles West. A secondary staging area exists on the North side of the dune.

From Beatty, Nevada:

  • Take US-95 South for 29 miles. Look for above signage.

Rules of the Road

Land Manager: Bureau of Land Management

BLM Field Office - Tonopah
1553 South Main Street
Tonopah, NV 89049

Telephone: (775) 482-7800

Email: bmfoweb@blm.gov

Motor vehicles are permitted on designated trails only. For local regulations regarding OHV use on county roads, visit the Nye Co. website.

Always plan ahead and prepare for uncertainty. Travel with warm clothing, first aid, food, water and appropriate tools to fix a problem.
Traveling in groups is always a good idea, as well as informing someone of where you will be going.

  • Register Your Vehicle
  • Make sure your vehicle is equipped with a spark arrestor
  • Whip flag that extends 8 ft. from the ground is required in dune areas
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Leave What You Find
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts.
    • Check with local BLM office for current fire restrictions
  • Respect Wildlife.
    • Help Protect Nevada Wildlife. Do not touch, disturb or collect them, and observe animals from a distance. Before moving your vehicle, check underneath to be sure an animal has not sought refuge in its shade from the hot desert sun. Drive slowly enough to see and avoid tortoises and other species.
  • Avoid disturbing any vegetation.
  • Leave plants undisturbed.
    • Even boulders, dead plants and wood provide important habitat.
  • Be Considerate of Other Trail Users

Leave No Trace

Tread Lightly

Historic Preservation

Plan Your Visit