Dune Surfing and So Much More at Monahans Sandhills State Park

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Tony Maples Photography


Michael Smith, Superintendent and park police officer for Monahans Sandhills State Park, was interviewed for a recent video shared by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on their YouTube channel. The approximately six-minute video features this extraordinary piece of Lone Star State property where you can surf on a sand dune, as the beauty that it is, ever-changing and practically perfect at the same time.

Located in West Texas, not far from Midland and Odessa, Monahans Sandhills State Park is located in the Permian Basin, with sand from both Northern New Mexico and Colorado! The theory is that it was ground into very small, fine particles during the last ice age and found its way to the area, where it settled, forming dunes that change almost daily. In the Permian Basin, the wind can’t blow the sand back out, but it does continue to swirl it around, hence the daily changes. It’s also home to a variety of plants and animals which exist nowhere else in the state of Texas. 800 acres of the park is set aside for equine use, in addition to three campsites as well as a day-use area. Park rangers encourage everyone to get out and explore its natural beauty, given the opportunity.

Video: YouTube/Texas Parks and Wildlife

Tents, RVs, or just plain car-camping is encouraged at Monahans Sandhills State Park. Park staff also rent and sell dune sleds for “surfing” the amazing sand in the park. Not only that, but visitors to the park, when driving from the main gate to the sand dunes, are actually driving through a part of one of the largest oak forests in the world. At approximately 50K acres, the oaks are mature at roughly 3-4 feet. This provides a habitat for much of the wildlife that calls the park their home. There are also a lot of gorgeous flowers in the state park. Smith stated that some of them are similar to those which you would find in the Texas Hill Country, in addition to some which are unique to the West Texas climate. In addition to the flora, he speaks in great detail about the fauna which can also be found at Monahans. He also provides a bit of history for how the nearby town and subsequent naming of the area took place, in what is (although it appears otherwise) a fairly habitable place. Have you been to Monahans Sandhills State Park? Did you know that you could do dune surfing here in Texas?