Golden white sand dunes stretching across the whole photo with big fluffy white clouds and a blue sky overhead in Texas.

One Perfect Day at Monahans Sandhills State Park: West Texas

Monahans Sandhills State Park is a perfect destination to spend One day in West Texas. It is a fun destination for all ages. Truly it doesn’t look like it’s located in Texas. Monhans Sandhills State Park is genuinely a Texas-sized sandbox that is fun for all ages! The landscapes and diversity across Texas continue to impress me. Who would have thought there were sand dunes in Texas? You have to include at least one day at Monahans Sandhills State Park while exploring West Texas on a road trip!

Let’s review more details of the state park like where it’s located, helpful tips for visiting, and what to do when you’re there.

Don’t have enough time to read the whole post? Here’s a quick recap for you: Monahans Sandhills State Park is located outside of Monahans, Texas (50 miles West of Midland/Odessa). It requires an entry fee of $4 for each individual above the age of 13 years old. Be sure to arrive prepared with proper sun protection, enough water and snacks, and a change of clothes. Spend a fun day exploring the sand dunes but don’t forget to stop into the Visitor Center as well!

Woman far away walking on top of a sand dune in West Texas at Monhans Sandhills State Park

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Where is Monahans Sandhills located?

Monahans Sandhills State Park is located just outside of Monahans, Texas off Highway 20. It’s situated just west of Midland/Odessa by 50 some miles on the way to Barstow and Pecos, Texas. 

From Fort Worth, Texas Monahans Sandhills State Park is about 350 miles and a 5-hour drive. (So you’d want to spend more than just a day here if that’s your travel time!) Driving from Austin, Texas it’s closer to a 6-hour drive. 

From Monahans Sandhills State Park it is a little over a two-hour drive to Guadalupe Mountains National Park driving even more West into West Texas. Alternatively, to the South of Monahans Sandhills, about two and a half hours is Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park. Balmorhea State Park is also an hour and a half from Monahans Sandhills State Park. 

If you were embarking on a more extensive West Texas Road Trip, these are all great stops to explore in this area of the huge state of Texas. But I digress, let’s focus on having a great day at Monahans Sandhills State Park including tips and things to do!

Not into camping, stay in nearby Monahans, TX!

Click here for Monahans, TX Area Hotels

Helpful Tips for Visiting Monahans Sandhills State Park

Monahans Sandhills State Park is a part of the Texas State Park system. Here are all of the helpful tips to ensure you have one enjoyable day at Monahans Sandhills State Park.

Visit in the Fall, Winter, or Spring

Visit in the Fall, Winter, or Spring to avoid the extreme heat (Generally November through April/May is the best timeframe.)

Bring Sun Protection

Be sure to bring sun protection including sun protection SPF clothing, sunscreen, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. Much of the state park is out exposed to direct sunlight. 

Secure Valuables

Secure your cameras/phones in a case or zippered pocket to prevent sand from getting in the small crevices

Bring toys & saucers

Pack your sand toys for small children. Also, be sure to bring your own saucers or you can rent them at the Visitor Center.

Trekking across the white sand dunes in West Texas a man with his back to you and the big Texas sky holding a snow saucer to sand surf
Saucers pictured here were rented from the State Park for day use.


Be aware of possible critters! Regardless of when you visit, there is the possibility of encountering many different animals in their natural habitat. Be careful where you step as there are venomous rattlesnakes known to be in the park. Ensuring you have a first aid kit, with a venom extractor is something I always have in my hiking backpack regardless if I’m visiting a state or National Park

Although there is wild game, Monahans does not have hunting or fishing available within the Texas State Park.

Bring snacks and plenty of water

There were some shaded areas available with picnic tables and grills. Plan ahead with food for a picnic after exploring the park. Alcoholic beverages aren’t allowed in state Texas parks so stick to water, soda, and hydration replacement beverages while exploring Monahans Sandhills State Park.

Bring a change of clothes

Your clothes will have so much sand everywhere once you’re done! Bring a change of clothes so you can shake out the sandy outfit and change into something clean when you’ve called it a day.

Respect Texas State Parks and the Outdoors

Follow leave no trace principles

Plan ahead

You can plan ahead by making a reservation in advance online. If you don’t have a reservation and the park is already at capacity limits, you will not be able to enter Monahan Sandhills State Park. 

Entrance Fees

Be sure to Pay your entrance fee (or entrance fees) or have a TX State Parks Pass. Even with a pass, if the park has already reached its daily capacity you will not be allowed entry. So create a log-in with your Park Pass to easily make a reservation in advance. 

Keep in mind that this Texas State Park Pass is a separate program from the America the Beautiful National Park Passes

Have fun!

Have fun and soak in the unique views of Monahans Sandhills State Park.

Things to do in Monahans Sandhills State Park

Go to Dunagans Visitor Center

In the Visitor Center, you can rent sand discs, pay your entry fees, and also learn about the plants and wildlife you can see within Monahans Sandhills State Park. The history of the park is also highlighted here as well through exhibits. 

Also located in the Dunagans Visitor Center there is a large area with windows where you can observe wildlife located here. 

Any questions or additional information will be available within the Visitor Center upon your arrival to the state park.

Explore the Sandhills walking (and sledding) on the dunes

The most popular thing to do at Monahans Sandhills State Park is to sled or slide down the sand dunes as though it was snow and winter. Or, pretend you’re on a tropical beach and build sand castles.

Monahans Sandhills State Park Campground

Stay here overnight by camping! There are 26 electric campsites with sunshades that are available by reservation. You know the saying, the stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas? Well, camping at Monhans would be a prime opportunity to view some of those early morning and late night big beautiful Texas skies. 

Ride your horse

Monahans Sandhills State Park allows horses. There are over 800 square acres where you can ride your horse in this West Texas State Park. There are no horse rental services, so you will have to bring your own if you plan on riding.

You will be required to pay an entry fee for not only yourself but your horses as well. The horse entry fee is per horse, much like the human entry fee based on age per person. 

FAQs: One Day at Monahans Sandhills State Park 

Are dogs allowed at Monahans Sandhills State Park?

Yes, dogs are allowed at Monahans Sandhills State Park. Dogs are allowed in most Texas State Parks. They aren’t allowed in any buildings or restrooms. You need to ensure they’re always on no longer than a 6 ft leash and you clean up after them. Be sure to have documentation your dog is up to date with rabies vaccinations. 

Are there hiking trails at Monhans Sandhills State Park?

No, there aren’t any marked trails in Monahans Sandhills State Park, but you are free to explore throughout the sand dunes wherever you’d like. Monahans Sandhills State Park isn’t known for hiking, it’s more of a fun activity of sand surfing and sliding down the dunes until you’re exhausted type atmosphere.

Woman standing atop a high white sand dune in West Texas with her arms stretched out to each side.

Final Thoughts: One Day at Monahans Sandhills State Park

Visiting Monhans Sandhills State Park is a great way to spend one fun day in West Texas. It makes you feel as though you’re in another destination completely as all you see are sand dunes as far as the eye can see.  

Be sure to plan ahead and bring all of the necessary items: food and drinks, a change of clothes, proper sun protection, and make a reservation in advance. 

I hope this helped you to prepare for spending One Day at Monahans Sandhills State Park. Travel and Adventure doesn’t have to be far and as I explore even more of my new home state of Texas, I learn how surprised I am by the diversity of the landscape and its beauty. 
Read more articles based on my Texas Travels (by clicking on the highlighted text).

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