Known for its distinct terrain, this unusual park in West Texas renews its beauty frequently, making each visit unlike the one before.
The Ever-Changing Landscape of Monahans Sandhills State Park
Photos by Caleb Kerr
It’s not every day that you encounter a place characterized by quick and constant change. Yet nestled in the southern reaches of the Llano Estacado mesa, there is a small state park in West Texas that is marked by daily transformation.
Known simply as the Monahans Sandhills State Park, this 3,840-acre reserve is most commonly distinguished for its incredible expanse of sand dunes, which often protrude up to 70 feet high into the horizon. In addition to creating a striking panorama that is unique to Texas, these dunes comprise a landscape that is also unique in time.
The sand dunes in this remote area are subject to a constant wind, which forms, molds, and eventually topples these formations in a continual cycle. Because the dunes are in a state of perpetual movement, the topography of the park is always in flux—meaning that no two visits to Monahans Sandhills State Park will be the same.
Yet the daily change within the park is not so distinct that visitors are unable to enjoy the pronounced slopes and overall majesty of the dunes. The park welcomes hikers, horseback riders, and a variety of other visitors to explore the terrain every day. In fact, Monahans Sandhills State Park is one of the few areas in Texas known for sandboarding, sand surfing and even sand tobogganing. It is also a sought-out destination for birdwatchers and other outdoor enthusiasts who hope to catch a glimpse of local wildlife.
So the next time you’re looking for something different – whether it's a change of scenery or a mid-summer sled run – it may be worth considering a visit to Monahans Sandhills for an experience as unique as the terrain. - JE