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Monahans Sandhills State Park, TX

Monahans Sandhills State Park, Texas

Monahans Sandhills State Park consists of 3840 acres of sand dunes, some up to 70 feet high, in Ward and Winkler Counties, about a half-hour's drive west of Odessa. The park is only a small portion of a dune field that extends about 200 miles from south of Monahans westward and north into New Mexico. Most of these dunes are stabilized by vegetation, but the park is one area where many dunes are still active. Active dunes grow and change shape in response to seasonal, prevailing winds, so the visitor may experience a dynamic landscape.

More than 400 years ago, Spanish explorers were the first Europeans to report the vast hills of sand. Later, various Indian tribes used the area for temporary campgrounds and a meeting place, finding game, abundant fresh water beneath the sands, acorns, and mesquite beans available for grinding into paste with their stone tools. The area remained a favorable environment for Indians until the 1880s, when the Texas and Pacific Railroad selected Monahans as a water stop between the Pecos River and the town of Big Spring. In the late 1920s, oil production began in the area, now commonly known as the Permian Basin, and today Monahans is a marketing center for more than 800 square miles of oil and cattle country.

Activities include camping; hiking; picnicking; equestrian; bird and wildlife watching from the interpretive center windows, as they come to the watering stations; and sand surfing.

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Monahans Sandhills State Park Camping

Monahans Sandhills Camping
Monahans Sandhills CampingMonahans Sandhills State Park offers 26 campsites with water; electricity, and shade shelters at $10 per night; campsites with water for tent campers; an equestrian day-use area, of approximately 600 acres, that has a staging area with hitching posts and water for horses; a group dining hall (constructed in 1903 first used as a railroad section house) with a kitchen and a restroom; an interpretive center with restrooms and a snack machine; a self-guided, 1/4-mile nature trail; and one working oil well. The Group Dining Hall is available for family reunions, birthday parties, etc.

Also, there are picnic sites with shade shelters; a group picnic pavilion; a trailer dump station; and restrooms with showers (heated in the winter). Sand toboggans and disks can be rented at park headquarters.

Monahans Sandhills State Park Equestrian

Monahans Sandhills Equine Trails
Monahans Sandhills Equine TrailsMonahans Sandhills State Park has an 800-acre day-use equestrian area with no marked trails. A trailer parking area is provided and has a fenced corral where riders can tie and water their horses. Potable water is available in the area. The general terrain is heavy sand, with brush and a few mesquite trees. Visitors must provide their own horses.

Monahans Sandhills State Park Visitors Centers

Monahans Sandhills Visitor Center
The Dunagan Visitor Center at Monahans Sandhills State Park features hands-on exhibits of the cultural and natural history of the Sandhills, including Dune Dynamics, Permian Basin Heritage, and Wildlife Habitat. Scenic windows offer spectacular viewing of birds and other wildlife as they come to food and water. Park orientation is available. The Visitor/Interpretive Center is built to ADA specifications.

Park Area Events

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