On Saturday you can catch the 16th Annual Four Stroke Wars at Banshee Hill. See some of the world's fastest Banshee's and four strokes battle it out. More info: http://www.dumontduneriders.com/invision/calendar/event/191-16th-annual-four-stroke-wars/
The Dumont Visitor Center will not be open for MLK and the BLM/Ranger station will be manned with a small staff the the weekend. Hopefully those dunes will dry out over the next week and conditions will be great. Have a fun & safe weekend if you're heading out. Don't forget to send us your dune reports via our Dumont Conditions page and pics via Instagram @dumontduneriders or #dumontduneriders!
Forum discussion topic,
New Years Eve celebrations started Saturday. Some started early while others kicked off the festivities with an annual tradition of burning their Christmas Trees. Fire always gets the party started! As the countdown to midnight began, fireworks filled the sky to celebrate the new year.
Sunday was quiet and brought some nice weather. It didn't last long though. Heavy winds came in with a vengeance and blew throughout the night. Hopefully it will be enough to clean things up for MLK weekend. That sand needs it.
Happy New Year, everyone!
Thanks to everyone who submitted the great photos and dune reports.
Dumont New Years Photo Gallery
submitted via social media
Overview & History
The Salt Creek Mining District is just minutes from the camp area at the big dunes. Old stamp mills, mines and ruins still remain from a mining operation that lasted from 1849 to 1920. In 1849, Jefferson Hunt led seven Mormon wagons along the Old Spanish Trail and camped at Salt Creek. Hunt's party discovered gold nuggets in the wash and in quartz ledges along the canyon. In it's heyday, miners produced a large amount of gold from small, rich pockets; however due the isolated nature of the site, the poor quality of water, a lack of readily available wood, and predatory Indians, mining in this area came to a halt.
Salt Creek Massacres
There have been two reports of massacres that occurred here.
1. In the mid 1860's, there was an attack on miners by Paiute Indians. The tribe was camped nearby at Sheep Creek Springs. Eight miners, who were working here spotted the Indians. One of the miners traveled 45 miles to Camp Marl Springs to seek military assistance. The army sent a relief party for the miners. The seven remaining miners were unaware that help was on the way. One early morning they attempted to escape the area and scattered through the desert. The help from the military was unable to arrive in time. The miners were spotted by the Paiute Indians and all seven were killed.
2. Back in 1864, three miners were attacked by a wandering pack of Chemehuevi Indians. Their mill and houses were burned to the ground and one miner was killed. The two remaining miners escaped to the desert, but committed suicide about 20 miles away.
Take a short ride from the southwest area of the main camp area at Dumont. You'll see the cable and post border as you get close to the mountains. There is a sandy trail that follows the base of the mountains over to Little Dumont. It gets a little rocky in some areas, but you don't need dirt tires. Your paddles will do just fine as long as you take it easy on the throttle. There are a couple different trails that run next to each other, but they all end up at Little Dumont. Just follow the trails and tracks. Once you get to Little Dumont, continue a little farther south past the dunes. The Salt Creek Mines are located in a canyon not far from there. Just follow the trail and look for the trail head signage. The mines are nestled in the hills just south of the Little Dunes.
The mines are in an area designated by BLM as "Area of Critical Environmental Concern" to help protect it's historical value, therefore you'll have to take a short hike from the parking area. The trail is well-maintained and clearly marked, therefore it's easy for all age groups. After you walk through the trail head entrance, it's less than a 1/4 mile to the mines and mills.
Stamp Mills & Mines
After walking up the hill, you'll notice a big stamp mill. These stamp mills, built in the 1880's, were used to extract precious metals such as gold or silver from ore. The stamps were heavy metal weights that were lifted and dropped on the ore by a crankshaft.
A little further down the trail you'll come up on multiple mineshafts in the side of the mountain. They are closed off with metal grates to protect people from falling in.
Although they are closed off, you can still go exploring into some further than others.
After checking out the mines, don't turn back quite yet. The best is part is just ahead. If you look up on the hill to the south, you'll notice an old stone building. You can follow the upper trail along the mountainside or you can go down to the left through the wash to get there.
If you take the wash route, you'll be able to see many pieces of old mining artifacts and equipment.
The Amargosa House
Up on the hill you'll find the oldest standing structure in San Bernardino County, the Amargosa House. Built back in the 1850's out of rock and concrete, it's walls still stand today and cast shadows in the Salt Creek Hills. Stand in the middle of the structure and let your imagination paint a picture of how life was back then.
Download the above map as a GPX file and plug it into your GPS device.
The reason for picking an off-weekend in the middle of December to get together is simple. The dunes are empty. Other than our camp, there were only 4-5 other groups in the whole camp area. The dunes were ours and they couldn't have been in better shape. Starting out on Thursday, the sand was untouched with an abundance of razorbacks and witch eyes. You wouldn't think thousands of Thanksgiving weekend duners had just been there 2 weeks prior. @vegas style and @Mike @ GTP OFF ROAD were the first ones to lay some tracks on Thursday.
Friday morning, the rest of the group had their first run and were able to shred some untouched sand. The weather cooperated very well for our trip. Although there was 0% chance of rain all weekend, winter clouds covered the sky. They made for some stunning sunsets though. By Friday afternoon the clouds had broken up and some occasional sunshine came through. The temperatures were perfect during the day and dropped to the low 40's at night requiring a nice fire to stay warm. Sunday was the warmest day with temperatures rising close to 70 degrees. It was t-shirt weather in December!
The idea behind the Buggy Roundup is the meet and run with other buggy owners. We all share the same dunes but rarely ever get the chance to get to know each other. Occasionally you might chat it up with another buggy guy at the north pole or give a wave as you pass each other in the dunes, but what other weekend can you hop in line together to shred some sand without the stress of holiday dune traffic?
In addition to the great group rides on Saturday, we had a buggy weigh off. One by one, everyone lined up with their cars for the chance to see what their buggies weighed. The numbers ranged ranged from 1350 to as much as 3600 lbs. Some were surprised to finally see how heavy their cars were. Most of them were more than expected.
The Saturday afternoon group dune run was huge! The line of buggies stretched over several dunes. We started on the south end, like most of our dune runs, and ended up out at Talladega for a group photo.
Buggy Roundup wouldn't be complete without someone going big! After the group ride, we headed over to the jump south of Comp for a little DDR "huckfest". Everyone hit the jump at least once. Some didn't get any air at all in hopes of not breaking their car while others went big. It's usually the bigger cars that have the suspension to huck it. It's never really a competition, but in the end there is usually 2-3 guys left jumping and everyone else watches and cheers them on. This year Rob, aka @jetjock15, took the win for biggest air and bragging rights.
Saturday night DDR hosted tacos and UFC. It was our way of saying thanks to everyone who came out. We had carne and pollo asada tacos, homemade chili and some ceviche. Everyone grabbed some grub at the taco line and warmed up next to the fire for the fight. UFC was projected on the side of a trailer and lasted most of the night with some good entertainment.
Thanks to everyone who came out this year. We're looking forward to seeing everybody again at Buggy Roundup 5.
This is an annual Dumont trip for all the guys and girls who have buggies. We camp together as a group across from bathroom 10 on the hard pack. This way nobody gets lost or stuck. The Buggy Roundup gives everyone a chance to meet up, hang out, and run the dunes together without the madness of a holiday weekend. New to the Roundup? No problem. Just post up on the forum topic that you are coming and you're in. The circle is big and there's always room for more. We'll make a second ring if we have to. Many of us know each other, but many don't. One thing's for sure...at the end of the weekend, total strangers end up leaving as friends.
Schedule of Events
There isn't one! This is Dumont. We don't look at our watches or have schedules. Sometimes we sleep in, sometimes we get up early to shred the dunes. It all depends on how much fun we had the night before. We usually hit the dunes runs whenever someone in camp yells, let's roll!
Buggy Weigh In: If Ben is able to bring his scales this year like he has in the past, you'll get a chance to weigh your car. Get a full digit readout of the weight at all four corners. Place bets and talk crap about how each others car needs to go on a diet!
Tacos and UFC: This year we'll be hosting tacos and UFC! We'll be grilling up carne asada for everyone and projecting UFC 206 on the side of a trailer. Grab a taco and a beer and find yourself a spot around the fire.
Just post up on the forum topic and tell us you are in. Feel free to upload a pic of your rig and buggy as well.
Side x Sides and Bikes
We don't discriminate, however this is the BUGGY roundup. Everyone is welcome to come camp with the group, but we ask that all bikes and side x sides hop behind the buggies on dune runs. It's for your own safety. Big cars don't mix well with bikes and side x sides.
Last years trip report
This was BLM's first attempt at holding the meeting at Dumont. Usually the meetings are held on a Tuesday morning at the Barstow Field office and it is nearly impossible for the public to attend and offer suggestions or ask questions.
Over Thanksgiving weekend, a small crowd of duners showed up to the meeting at the visitor center. Some attended to get involved and voice their concerns, others didn't know what to expect and just wanted to be in attendance to see what the meetings were all about. A larger crowd was expected, however this was BLM's first meeting at Dumont and they hope that may change at the next one.
For many of those who attended the meeting, it gave them some insight as to how much the BLM actually listens to us duners. As a government agency, sometimes it's easy to overlook what might be a common issue or simple solution to everyday users of Dumont Dunes. Below are some of the topics that were brought up. These items are usually discussed further in detail or resolved at the next meeting.
Single day passes Second vehicle passes The road maintenance, when to start maintaining & how often Vendor Row limitations The coning off of dunes Fireworks enforcement Camp racing, more enforcement Clean up to not fall on the Mint 400 weekend Solar light at entrance road Cell tower
There are a couple of positions in the Dumont Dunes Sub Group open: NV OHV Enthusiast and Biological/Science Issue chair person
The next sub group meeting will be held on Saturday March 18, 2016 at the same location (visitor center) at Dumont.
It was voted: Dumont Clean Up at 8am, Sub-group meeting to follow at 12pm.
Please come help keep the dunes clean and then give your concerns a voice.
As the week went by, the dunes became more and more tracked out, but they were never super busy all at once. Thanksgiving may draw a large crowd, but it is usually spread out. Duners have the the long weekend to play so there is no rush to get out and pound the dunes like you see on weekends like Halloween or President's. There is plenty of time to relax or goof off in camp.
By the time Thursday rolled around, the camp area was filling in, but was significantly less people than Halloween weekend. As seen from the dunes above, the Dune Masters and Sandpipers' camp was easy to spot. Every year they are, by far, one of the largest camps out there.
Thursday was an extremely mellow day. After all, it was Thanksgiving! Feasts were prepped and turkeys were dropped in the cookers.
The one thing about Thanksgiving that is unlike any other day at the dunes is the smell. You can literally drive through the camp area and smell all the food cooking.
Once it was time to eat, camps sat down together in true Thanksgiving tradition.
Those turkey comas didn't stop some duners from having fun though.
Unfortunately, Friday morning started off with a Blackhawk medevac hovering over the dunes behind Banshee Hill. There was a bad accident with a truck crashing and landing upside down in the early morning hours. Full story here, http://www.dumontduneriders.com/news/truck-crashes-in-dunes-requiring-rescue-thanksgiving-weekend-r103/
There were a bunch of duners in the dunes on Friday making for some tracked out dunes. Some chose to avoid the rutted sand by kicking back at Comp Hill to watch the annual waterpumper hill climbs hosted by the DuneMasters and Sandpipers Club.
As mentioned earlier, there wasn't quite as much action as Halloween weekend, but there was still that Dumont holiday buzz in the air. It's a wonderful sound.
Once the sun went down, the party began. Fireworks and lights lit the camp area up.
Saturday's great weather allowed for some more fun in the sun.
The waterpumpers drew quite the crowd along the back stretch of sand highway for the sand drags.
As the day wound down, the weather kicked up. Someone must have mentioned that W word! Around 5PM, 50-60+ mph gusts came up out of nowhere, whipping through camp forcing duners to retreat to their trailers and RVs. Many people got caught right in the middle of it while they were out in the dunes and at vendor row when it hit. Getting back to camp was a challenge since it was a complete white out! There was almost zero visibility but everyone managed to get back safely one way or another.
Then just as quickly as the "W" came, it subsided. It only lasted a few hours. Shortly after 9PM, flags were barely dancing in the breeze. As duners cautiously made their way back outside, they got their campfires built back up to stay warm.
Sunday morning was epic. Mother nature had smoothed out the hammered dunes.
The skies were blue, but not for long. Partially cloudy skies quickly turned into ominous clouds and the storm made a comeback.
And just like that, the beautiful morning turned into another sand storm. That's Dumont for ya! It just goes to chow how quickly the weather can change out there.
That's a wrap for Thanksgiving Weekend 2016. Hopefully everyone had a great weekend. Thanks to all of those who submitted the great photos, videos, and updates from your weekend.
Thanksgiving 2016 Community Album
Post Your Trip Reports and Photos
During the early morning hours on Friday, the truck crashed and landed upside down in the dunes between Banshee Hill and the Superbowl. Around 4:00 A.M. the driver of the Blazer/ Tahoe managed to walk out of the dunes looking for help at the closest camp. He knocked on an RV door for help and those duners warmed him up and asked what was going on. They then rode into the dunes, found the truck and the passenger could not move. 911 was called and a medic helicopter arrived.
The passenger was extracted from the vehicle and airlifted out. There were reports of him not being able to feel his lower extremities. The truck was flipped back over and removed from the dunes.
Update as of 11/27/2016
photos by Jodi Knight, Kyle Clark, and Adam Burnham.
Photos by Cheryl Clark
Post a Dune Report
Post up a pic and fill everyone else in on the conditions out there. Our dune report form is super mobile friendly. Try it out. http://www.dumontduneriders.com/conditions/
Lost & Found
Post lost or found items up here, http://www.dumontduneriders.com/invision/forum/9-stolen-lost-or-found/
If you find something out at the dunes and are trying to return it to the owner, the visitor center at the Ranger Station is the best place to drop items off.
Report Something that Happened
Was there an accident or did something happen worth mentioning? Add it as a dune report or start a new topic about it in Dumont Happenings on the forum. http://www.dumontduneriders.com/invision/forum/5-dumont-happenings/ or remain anonymous and Contact Us
Hill Climbs and Sand Drags
Friday, November 25th, 10am Hill Climbs at Comp Hill
Saturday the 26th, 10am Drags on the back stretch
Not sure about a certain rule or law at Dumont? Here is a complete list. http://www.dumontduneriders.com/rules/
Weekly holiday passes are available ($40) on site at the machine or through a participating off-site vendor.
Season passes are available through Dune Mart on Vendor Row and participating off-site vendors.
Vendor list and more pass info, http://www.dumontduneriders.com/passes/
Lost? Here's directions to Dumont Dunes, http://www.dumontduneriders.com/directions_to_dumont_dunes/
Camp Grid map
Download this to your phone and send it to your friends to help find each other's camps.
Services near Dumont
There are some places in Baker and Shoshone that offer services. http://www.dumontduneriders.com/services/
Got a Question? Still Need Help?
Contact us here, http://www.dumontduneriders.com/invision/contact
The late Milt Clements completing at the Dune Masters’ 1970 Thanksgiving Hill Climbs at Dumont Dunes. Photo courtesy of Bill LeFever
What is a waterpumper you ask? Back in the 60's and 70's, the only buggies you would see at the dunes were cars that were powered by air cooled engines, typically Volkswagens and Corvairs. When the Dune Masters formed in 1968, they were putting together V8 powered buggies originally built from cut-down car frames. Back then, water cooled engines were new to the scene. They soon took on the name, "waterpumpers".
Jerry Miles - a founding member of the Dune Masters club, Whittier, California.
1970 Thanksgiving hill climb competition at Dumont Dunes.
Photo courtesy of Bill LeFever.
As the waterpumper trend grew, the club would host gatherings and competitions in Pismo, Glamis and Dumont. These machines would be best known for their hill climbing capabilities. With their dual paddle setup and hand brakes that help the driver steer the buggy while it's front wheels are off the ground, they would be able to crawl up the steepest hills with their high torque V8 engines. The challenge of the hill climb competition is to be the last one to reach the top without stopping. It's a "snail race" or "slow drags" type of race...very difficult to do on a steep dune. When you see 3 or 4 of these buggies line up on the steep side of Comp Hill, it's quite a sight to see when they battle it out.
As the years passed and technology advanced. so did the buggies. Huge displacement engines were built as well as stronger rear ends and transmissions. One thing remained though, the styling of the waterpumper buggies and their dual paddle tire setup. These buggies have always been known for power and traction.
This buggy, owned by Jeff Cook, cranks out 736 horsepower from it's 434 cubic inch motor.
photo courtesy of Old School Dune Buggies and Sand Rails, Facebook
See the waterpumpers in action this Thanksgiving weekend
The Dune Masters and Sandpipers Club will be hosting their 48th Annual hill climbs and drags. That's right, 48! The club was founded back in 1968 and they have returned to Dumont every year since then with their V8 powered buggies. They make up a big part of the history of Dumont Dunes so be sure to check them out. They will be set up on the steep, left side of Comp Hill for the hill climbs on Friday and then on Saturday the drags will take place along the back stretch of sand highway where you would drive out to the north pole.
Friday, November 25th, 10am Hill Climbs at Comp Hill
Saturday the 26th, 10am Drags on the back stretch
Sorry, Club members only in competition but spectators are welcome at both events.
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