Rusty’s Summer Road Trip: Monahans Sandhills State Park
Ready to surf the sand or see one of the largest oak forests in the nation? Check out this popular state park near Midland and Odessa.
MONAHANS, Texas (KBTX) - There’s a place in Texas where you can surf without water. It’s called the Monahans Sandhills State Park and this unique spot is located right off Interstate 20 in far west Texas near Midland and Odessa.
Monahans Sandhills State Park is one of the more unique parks in the state. It’s a nearly 4,000-acre state park located in the southern Llano Estacado in Ward County and Winkler County, Texas. The park does not have marked trails – you are free to explore at will and find a myriad of creatures, plants, and wildflowers that thrive in what seems to be an inhospitable place.
“We get a lot of people here that also like to camp and cookout and photography is really big. Sunrises and sunsets are great. You get the sand in the air when it gets nice and windy so when the sun rises or sets you can get really beautiful pictures,” said Park Superintendent Alan Crowe.
He says dunes here can get as high as 70 feet and this Texas-sized sandbox is a popular spot for families.
Open year-round, one of the more popular activities here is sand surfing on a disc. They can be rented for a few dollars at park headquarters. There’s also an 800-acre area of the park set aside specifically for horseback riding. You can also reserve one of 26 campsites with water and electricity.
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.
Coming here most visitors don’t realize they’re also driving through one of the largest oak forests in the world. This park is home to about 50,000 acres of Harvard shinoaks. The tiny trees stand only 3-4 feet tall but their roots can go about 90 feet deep into the ground.
“The best time to visit the park is probably in the spring or the fall. That’s when the temperatures are a little bit milder and it’s a little bit more enjoyable to be on the sand,” said Crowe. “The park is open 365 days a year. Our offices are closed on Christmas and Thanksgiving but we’re still open. So people can come out year-round. It’s a four-dollar entry fee into the park and we have camping available for $15.”
If you and your family are traveling this summer, be sure to share with us your family vacation photos for your chance to win one of three VISA gift cards courtesy of RV Station. Click here to submit your pictures!
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