The Dunes are formed from the erosion of pink-colored Navajo Sandstone surrounding the park. High winds passing through the notch between the Moquith and Moccasin mountains pick up loose sand particles and then drop them onto the dunes because of the Venturi effect. The Dunes are estimated to be between 10,000 and 15,000 years old.
The park allows camping, hiking, off-road vehicle driving and photography. There is a conservation area of , and the total grounds include . It was established as a park in 1968.