Our New Home: Monahans Sandhills State Park
We love state parks and they are always our first choice on where to stay while we are on the road. Monahans Sandhills State Park is a 3,840 acre state park near Odessa, Texas. It is right off the interstate but the campground is far enough away and behind the dunes so noise is not an issue. The park was opened in1957 on privately owned land with a 99-year lease. It has a great visitor’s center as you enter the park with some nice displays about the geology, history, and wildlife that live in the area.
This park is impressive with its seemingly never ending sand dunes which are up to 70 feet high. You can sand surf, birdwatch, stargaze, hike, bike, and camp here. We’ve gotten used to temperatures in the 50’s and while we were there it hit 80 degrees, but the wind never stopped blowing. The news says the weather is changing and by the weekend the highs will be in the low sixties but we will be gone on our next adventure.
The Roadrunner Story
One morning we had a roadrunner running around the outside of the rv. The door was open and we could see him stop and look in. His colors were beautiful.
Then he disappeared and came back and left us a cigarette butt. A few minutes later he got on the hood of the rv and looked in through the windshield. I would move to get my camera and he would run away. He did this twice before giving up on us and moving on. I wonder what he was trying to tell us? … Maybe we were in his spot or maybe he has been fed by campers in the past.
Equestrian Camping Area
This was a bit of a disappoint after some of the other places we’ve been – no corral, no shelter – just a place to park, camp, and a hitching post. Plus, the areas surrounding the dunes are a typical arid climate and all the plants seem to have stickers so horses might have trouble walking around.
November appears to be a great time to plan a visit to the park. There are 24 campsites and we were one of only 3 campers throughout the campground so we almost had it to ourselves, just the way we like it. The sand dunes are working to take back their lands. Camping spots are around a loop and all have hook ups.
Day Use Area
There are 3 day use areas. I bet it is busy during the summer with kids (young and old) sand surfing.
Hints for Staying Here
Grocery shop before you come and don’t plan on eating out.
We found out the Monahans Sandhills are not a desert; they are a part of a semi-arid ecosystem. They are also part of the Permian Basin of hydrocarbon formations. (There are oil fields everywhere in this part of the country, even one within the park.)
Climbing the steep dunes is definitely a workout.