We got back from our big trip in January and once March rolled around, I started getting a serious case of itchy travel feel. Two months and not even a short weekend trip might not sound that bad to most people, but I guess I just can’t sit still for that long. What made it worse is that we really didn’t have anything lined up for summer either, so I started feeling a little caged. However, we couldn’t go anywhere since we had a few events in town we really didn’t want to miss as your friends only have so many weddings and baby showers. Luckily, April came around and with it a travel opportunity: friends invited us to join their family for a weekend of camping and riding ATVs near Kermit, TX. Perfect! It’s only about 2.5 hours south of Lubbock and thus totally doable for a Friday through Sunday weekend trip – after all, I do have to hord my days off since we don’t get that many in the US.

When we arrived Friday night our friends had already parked their RV. We set up tent pretty quickly and then enjoyed a nice BBQ together. The next morning I woke up with the sun, had my breakfast consisting of granola and Frappucino, and explored the camp a little. It was beautiful with the sun just coming up. That morning light tints everything in such a soft light! I usually don’t get to see it since I sleep too long, but I enjoyed it thoroughly that morning. After everybody got up, some went on the first ride of the day and I stayed back with the other preparing the real breakfast: bacon, sausage patties, tortillas, eggs – in short, deliciousness! I went on my first ride shortly after breakfast. It took me a while to get used to the clutch and shifting gears, but once I got a handle on it, it was so much fun.

There are trails around the park that you can follow if sand dunes aren’t your thing. I liked the trails, because they are easy to follow and it gave me an opportunity to get to know the ATV a little better. The sand dunes are lots of fun though! I kind of took it easy and went through some bowls and up and down the dunes. Marco went a little more crazy and followed our friends along the ridges of the dunes and sideways on some steeper dunes. I guess I’m just too much of a chicken, because I was always afraid that the ATV was going to fall over sideways :)

This was only my second time in sand dunes without a large body of water anywhere nearby (the first time was in White Sands New Mexico which was gorgeous). It’s weird as I always half expect to see the sea after the next set of dunes. It’s no less pretty though.

Overall, we had a great time and I am so thankful to our friends for letting us tag along on their family weekend. Marco and I even got a little Easter basket filled with American goodies like Girl Scout cookies and Mini Whoppers since it was Easter weekend. Seriously! Texans are the nicest people. Where else do people just make you part of their family this quickly if even for a weekend? Talking about Girl Scout cookies… I finally tried my first thin mints. I now understand what the big fuss is about :) They are so good! On a less fun note… there was a guy with a big swastika tattoo in the park and that kind of freaked me out. I’ve written before about my thoughts on that topic and it’s one of my most popular posts (which I really didn’t expect), so I won’t go into it other than to say that it made me seriously uncomfortable to have such a sign be portrayed so openly so close to me. And really, the guy was there with his family and friends and they didn’t do anything to anybody. It just made me very uncomfortable. Anyways, they were there just for the day, so by the time Saturday evening rolled around, it was just us and a few more overnighters in the park. Luckily our friends’ parents have an RV! Rain and thunderstorm came in out of nowhere and we all happily sought aylum in the RV. I guess that would be the downside if you just went with a few tents. Even before the thunderstorm came in, it was very windy and we spent most of the afternoon in the RV hiding from the wind. By the next morning, luckily things had calmed down again and we went for more rides before driving back home to Lubbock. What a weekend!

Know before you go: 

  • Kermit Sandhills is located about 10 miles north of Kermit, TX, and not to be confused with the Monahans Sandhills State Park. The difference? Kermit Sandhills is pretty much exclusively for ATVs (and similar off-road vehicles) and Monahans State Parks allows almost everything but ATVs.
  • At Kermit Sandhills you can just put up your tent on the sand beside the RVs somewhere or, if you have one, bring your RV and hook it up to water and electricity.
  • When we were there in April, there were also quite a few people who just came out for the day and left soon after it got dark.
  • There are some covered areas with picnic tables.
  • There are two porta potties and supposedly some outdoor showers which I didn’t see, but also didn’t look for.
  • Prices: We paid $10 per day per person and $5 per tent per night I think (April 2011). Check their website for up-to-date information before you go: Kermit Sandhills.
  • You have to bring your own ATVs as you can’t rent anything there – or at least not from what I could tell.
  • Bring lots of sunscreen – the sand is pretty light and it reflects the sun, so it’s pretty strong out there.
  • The nearest towns are about 10 miles and 30 miles away, so plan ahead and bring your drinks and food. I didn;t see a shop or anything on the premises.
  • Expect lots of people! When we were there, there was everything from kids with mini-ATVs over dirt bikes to huge caged monster ATVs.

Have you ever gone riding in the sand dunes with an ATV? What was your experience? Similar to mine? Would you jump at the chance to go?

Enjoy some pics from our trip below and head on over to Travel Photo Thursday for more travel pics from around the world.

Kermit Sandhills: Fun With ATVs in the Texas Sand Dunes

Kermit Sandhills: Fun With ATVs in the Texas Sand Dunes

Kermit Sandhills: Fun With ATVs in the Texas Sand Dunes

Kermit Sandhills: Fun With ATVs in the Texas Sand Dunes

Kermit Sandhills: Fun With ATVs in the Texas Sand Dunes

Kermit Sandhills: Fun With ATVs in the Texas Sand Dunes

Kermit Sandhills: Fun With ATVs in the Texas Sand Dunes

Kermit Sandhills: Fun With ATVs in the Texas Sand Dunes

Kermit Sandhills: Fun With ATVs in the Texas Sand Dunes

Kermit Sandhills: Fun With ATVs in the Texas Sand Dunes

Kermit Sandhills: Fun With ATVs in the Texas Sand Dunes

Kermit Sandhills: Fun With ATVs in the Texas Sand Dunes

30 Comments

  • Ooh My Gosh, Sabrina, this looks like crazy fun! Nice way to cure itchy feet, even if it’s only temporary.
    Sorry that guy made you feel uncomfortable – jerks are everywhere, aren’t they? On the other hand, your friends and their parents really extended themselves — thank goodness for nice people everywhere.

  • Yeah, that guy with the swastika tattoo would freak me out, too. But glad it didn’t interfere with your fun at the dunes. I rode an ATV at the dunes in Cabo San Lucas — it was a blast.

  • R. Sherman says:

    Very cool.

    If you get the chance, Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado is definitely worth a visit. I think it’s better than White Sands, though farther away from you.

    BTW, I laughed at the Starbucks Frap bottle. I buy one Mocha per day at the gas station on the way to my office.

    Cheers.

    • Sabrina says:

      Way better than White Sands? Really? I was blown away by White Sands, so it must be amazing up there. I haven’t been to Colorado yet, but that sounds like a great place to visit.

      I very rarely drink Starbucks :) But none of the other campers was a coffee drinker, so I planned ahead. How do people start their day without coffee?

  • WOW!!! What a fun weekend!! To think that is here in Texas! So cool!

    • Sabrina says:

      I had no idea there were sand dunes so close to us here in West Texas until that weekend. It was so much fun!

  • Jessica says:

    Sand dunes are so intriguing. And it looks like they are a lot of fun too.

    • Sabrina says:

      Yes, they are :) In White Sands we just walked a lot, in Kermit we explored much further into the dunes with the ATVs.

  • So glad to finally see your sand dunes and ATV experience photos. It does look so fun and will need to show this to my husband (which means an Arizona trip soon). What an awesome trip! Hurray for Thin Mints – my absolute favorite! =)

    • Sabrina says:

      It took me a while, didn’t it? :) It’s such a fun experience! The problem is that I don’t think they rent those in many places. I guess they just expect people to own them. Thin Mints rock!

  • Aubrey says:

    Sandhills are lots of fun! As kids we would go visit family in Monahans and that was the highlight (not that there are too many entertainment options in Monahans). We would bring plastic disks, like trash can lids, smear wax on the bottom, and “sled” down the dunes. :) It’s a great workout climbing back up the hills, especially when the sand is hot!

    • Sabrina says:

      That sounds like a blast! We saw many families do that in White Sands and it looked like lots of fun. And I thought at the time about how tired those kids must be at night with all that climbing up the dunes :) I heard you can do horseback rides in Monahans. Wouldn’t mind trying that either.

  • Nancie says:

    What a great way to spend the weekend!

  • Lisa says:

    Sounds like a great weekend! I’d be worried about tipping over on one of those things too!

    • Sabrina says:

      I know, right? Or flip them backwards for that matter. I didn’t really push it for enough for that to be possibility though :)

  • Anna says:

    Looks like loads of fun.. would love to go there, and if it is jsut for the name :-)

  • Sophie says:

    We did a crazy desert ride in the UAE; kinda scary. I think I would like this better. Much better to have control of the vehicle.

    • Sabrina says:

      Sounds cool though! Was it is a car or on ATVs? I imagine that it would be pretty cool in that huge desert!

  • Jenna says:

    Looks fun although I’m not a fan of camping. Sand dunes are beautiful in their own simple way.

    • Sabrina says:

      Me neither, Jenna! Two nights are the max for me – preferably one night. This was “camping light” though since our friends’ parents had an RV. That allowed for much more variety in the food, a place to hide out from sun and wind, and even a place to sleep the second night when the weather got bad.

  • How fun! You picked a time of the year when the weather is still nice to go there,I wonder how hot it gets in the summer…

    • Sabrina says:

      I’m sure it gets unbearably hot :) You’re right, we were lucky with the time. I think it might only be fun during spring or late fall.

  • Denise says:

    mmm itchy feet you say? I’ve been in Australia for three weeks and my itchy feet have been miraculously cured. I guess at the moment I just want to stay put for a while (shock!)

  • That looks like such a GREAT time. I’ve only been riding on ATVs once and it was in the sand dunes in Cabo. So much fun!

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