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Jupiter Dunes Wilderness

Posted on Jun 4, 2024 in Washington's Wilderness Areas

The 7,140-acre Juniper Dunes Wilderness preserves the northernmost growth of western juniper, some of which have been around for 150 years. Strong and persistent southwest winds have formed sand dunes as vast as 1,000 feet wide and 130 feet tall. Despite the harsh conditions—dramatic temperature swings and lack of water—plenty of animals thrive here: mule deer, bobcats, coyotes, badgers, skunks, weasels, porcupines, pocket gophers, kangaroo rats, several species of mice, hawks, owls, ravens, quail, partridge, pheasants, doves, numerous songbirds, and rattlesnakes. 

The Juniper Dunes Wilderness was protected in 1984 by the Washington State Wilderness Act. Washington Wild was founded in 1979 with the goal of building a local grassroots movement to protect Wilderness areas throughout Washington. After five years of advocacy and organizing, the Washington State Wilderness Act of 1984 marked the organization’s first major victory. 

Public access to Juniper Dunes Wilderness is very challenging; surrounded by private land, the only access point is via a gate maintained by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) at the southern end of the Wilderness.