I was on my own, so I thought I'd better be more cautious. ... I loved the dunes but I found the whole place quite marvellous, with its wonderful contrasting landscapes in a fairly small area.
Many years ago, I drove the washboard dirt road north, out of Death Valley, in an ordinary low-clearance 2WD car -- and remember the recurrent feeling that this would be a bad time for something to shake loose in the engine.
Dirt roads remind you that Death Valley NP is big.
The more intelligent route to my destination Eureka Dunes
is out-and-back from Big Pine, along the mostly paved road. ("From the Ubehebe Crater Road you must travel 44 miles of graded dirt to the dunes. From the town of Big Pine there are 28 miles of paved road and 21 miles of graded dirt to the dunes. The final 10 miles of both routes is the narrow South Eureka Road.")