Monahan's Sandhills consist of approximately 3,840 acres and is located in three Texas counties Winkler, Ward and part of Llano Estacado. As part of the Permian Basin there is some oil production that is continuous within the Sandhills, both inside and outside of the park's boundaries. Most of these Sandhills are on private property. Monahan is part of a semi-arid ecology with an average of 12.3 inches annually of rainfall. Even though one would think that these sandhills are part of a dessert, however, they are not a desert. There is a variety of small rodents living within the dunes that support several packs of Sandhill Coyotes.
Most of the park's property which consists of approximately 3840 acres that are leased from Sealy-Smith Foundation, the leasehold will expire in 2056. Monahan is the closest town to this popular state park that opened to the public in 1957. To get to the park take exit 86 off of Interstate 20 a limited-access road that will take you to the park entrance.
Visitors enjoy playing sand football, sand surfing, sand tobogganing and sand boarding. Sand discs are available for rent at the park office and are a very popular past time for visitors to the park. Easter Sunday finds many visitors for Easter egg hunts, a very favored time for all ages. There are several camp sites available with electric and water, with a dump station close by. Covered picnic shelters are available on a first come first serve basis. There have been many weddings performed at the park and after dark; there is the "Lady of Oil" legend to learn more about. While visiting the park there is a quarter mile nature trail where many Chihuahua Desert plants thrive. There is also an equestrian day-use area, for those who have their own horses to ride. The dunes with their tips of white reach as high as seventy feet in places with limited vegetation and grasses, shin oak bushes help maintain the ground cover for the cacti and varied yucca-like plants. Inside the visitor, center is a nice gift shop and exhibits detailing the desert wildlife and the dynamics of the dunes.
In 1960, a lost wagon train was discovered twenty-four miles North of Monahan State Park that was going from West to East. Monahan's Sandhills measures forty-eight to fifty-two miles wide the park measures about thirty miles wide, and it starts to spread out the further north you go. Native Indians of the area were Comanche, Mescalero and Lipan Apaches, and they had a pathway moving through the sands. It is believed the wagon train ran into the winter camp of The Comanche unit was later under the leadership of Quinta Parker. There were only bones of males found, with no women or children found among the remains, leading to the conclusion that they were taken captive by the Comanche. The Indians stripped the wagons of all personal belongings and took the Oxen and horses. The sand came in and completely covered the remains of the train which was in a V formation which was typical for traveling across sand and soft dirt. The train is dated between 1857 and 1859 and because of the sand, the train was well preserved the wagon train remains on private land. Because the train was too far North for an established wagon train, it is believed the train was made up of families returning from the California gold mines, with very little to show for it. The majority of wagon trains stayed south of the Pecos River, and this one is about sixty miles north of the Pecos River.
In 1881, Surveyor John Thomas Monahan was hired by the Texas and Pacific Railway, after discovering the lack of water needed for the crew and their animals, he dug a water well that produced some 250,000 gallons daily. It was instrumental for the success of the city. Prior to the well, water was hauled in from around Big Springs Texas approximately one hundred miles from Monahan.