We had the privilege of staying at the Monahans Sandhills State Park, located off of I-20 just a little west of Midland/Odessa, TX. What a fun place! We stayed there on several occasions to be close to work, and came to prefer it to the local RV Parks, and I must mention it’s only $15/night compared to local parks at around $35/night. Sites are only water and electric, but for a short-ish stay, it’s great! We liked staying on site #12. It was great for the kids because we basically had a small dune right outside our door they could play on and I could see them through the window while I was working. I had visited the Sandhills State Park way back when I was a kid, and remembered it being fun, but it was really special to see it through the eyes of my children.
The park consists of 3,840 acres of sand dunes, some up to 70 feet high, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. So much fun to slide down…the bigger, the better! Although, it’s a lot easier sliding down than climbing up! They have disks you can rent in the office, or for about $10/each you can buy your own. We were there for several days at a time up to a week, so it was more cost effective to just buy ours. We also bought sand toys to build sand castles while we were there. We plan to hit the beach in the near future, so I consider that a good buy that we’ll use in the future!
The kids couldn’t believe how much sand there was! It was like a sandbox heaven! I, on the other hand, struggled a little at first with all of the sand that made it into Our Moving House. It was everywhere! Thankfully, the kids respected my requests to try to dust themselves off a little before coming inside. They got a little better at it, and I got over my OCD a little. We also took advantage of the park showers! I sure didn’t want all of that sand in my tanks!
One of my favorite things about this park is the sunsets. Watching the sun go down behind the sand dunes is pretty magical, and the colors….you can’t beat the colors! We also enjoyed walking up the dunes at night to see the stars. There is something about standing way up on the tall, vast sand dunes and looking out at the limitless amount of stars in the sky, that puts everything in perspective. It makes you feel really minuscule in the grande scheme of things. Sometimes we all need a reminder of that. You know…how big God is and how small we (and our problems) are. Some days we just feel like nothing goes our way. When you have one of those days, I highly recommend a walk outside under the stars on a clear night. It clears the thinker and realigns the viewpoint.
There are lots of critters to learn about while there too! We LOVE to learn about our surroundings! The park has a really cool exhibit that gives you all kinds of neat information about the area’s history and features. There is a large scenic-view window that overlooks the little trail below. The day we walked through it, there was a family of javelinas, which most people mistake for wild pigs, that passed by down below. You would have thought we had seen a movie star passing by; we were a little excited! We had just learned all about them in a class we went to at the Davis Mountains State Park, but, that was the first time we had seen them up close like that! They are interesting creatures, and FYI…park rangers get a little annoyed when you refer to them as pigs!
It’s also fun to look at all of the tracks and prints in the sand and try to guess what left them. Many of the prints are birds, but we have also seen lizards, beetles, jack rabbits, and cottontail rabbits. We didn’t catch a glimpse of any, but at night we heard coyotes in the distance. We get really geeked out at such things!
Overall, if you can stand all of the sand, the Monahans Sandhills State Park is a really neat place to visit! We were there in the fall, but I’m told the wild sunflowers are beautiful in the summer. We got a glimpse of a few of them when we were there, but they were on their way out. We also came across a watermelon vine growing in the middle of one of the dunes. I thought that was kind of bizarre, but the kids got a big kick out of it. We left it there, taking nothing but a picture for the next people to enjoy. Happy travels, friends!