More than 610 acres of towering 90+ foot sand dunes await your enjoyment in the Mescalero Sands North Dune Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area. The dune field stretches over most of the area and lends itself well to all terrain cycles, sand rails and dune buggies. The dunes are made up of quartz particles and are constantly changing due to the prevailing southwest wind. When the dunes are active, they move about a foot per year.
Among the biggest surprises in the area are the mature cottonwood trees. The combination of a very shallow water table and the sand’s capacity to hold water allows these trees to thrive in an arid environment.
While the road into Mescalero Sands is capable of supporting cars, trucks and buses, the soft sand off established roads and parking lots is not. BLM does not recommend leaving the surfaced areas in any vehicle other than an all-terrain vehicle.
The Bowl Parking Area provides access to the northern portion of the dunes, which includes the “Bowl.” The Bowl is a large depression surrounded by dunes. The Cottonwood Site provides access to the southern portion of the dunes. Trails connect both portions of the dunes.