THE IMPERIAL SAND DUNES
Year-round residents in Yuma, as well as thousands of visitors from out of town, are drawn by the offroading and camping opportunities afforded them in the wide open spaces of the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area each winter.
Located west of Yuma and east of the Imperial Valley agricultural region, ISDRA contains the largest inland sand dunes in the United States, extending in a five-mile wide strip over 40 miles from north to south.
In all, there will be about 165,000 acres open to off-highway vehicle use (OHV) in the 2017-18 season.
The northernmost area, Mammoth Wash, allows off-highway vehicle use in an isolated environment, although offroaders will see more of that area closed off in the upcoming duning season.
The North Algodones Dunes Wilderness Area is found south of Mammoth Wash and is closed to all motor vehicles, although it is accessible by foot or on horseback.Duners in the Buttercup area will see a reduction in areas open for off-highway vehicle use,although duners in the Glamis and Gecko areas will see an increase in areas open for OHV use. Duners in the Gordons Well areas will see a reduced area for OHV use, owing to efforts to protect native plant species.
Parking north of Highway 78 off of the Glamis-Niland Road provides access to a watchable wildlife area.The Osborne Overlook in this area provides scenic views of both the wildlife area and the unrestricted portion of the dunes open to motorized vehicles.
Vehicle camping is permitted in all areas open to vehicle use.All areas offer parking pads, toilets and trash facilities. The two main camping areas are:
• Buttercup, Midway and Gray’s Well off Interstate-8.
• Gecko and Roadrunner along Gecko Road south of Hwy 78.
PERMITS REQUIRED FOR THE DUNES
Permits are needed to be present legally anywhere in the ISDRA and its one-mile planning area boundary.This includes, but is not limited to, Buttercup, Gecko Road, Glamis, Gordons Well/ Dunebuggy Flats, Mammoth Wash, Ogilby, Osborne, along both sides of the Coachella Canal and Ted Kipf Road.
One permit is needed per primary vehicle.A primary vehicle is any streetlegal vehicle used for transportation to the recreation site.A permit is required at all times while in the fee area, must be prominently displayed and may be required to exit the area.
The permit is required immediately upon arrival at the recreation area.There is a discount if purchased before arrival at the dunes.Weekly permits,good for seven consecutive days upon entry,are also available.
ISDRA PERMITS ALLOWING DUNE ACCESS:
• Seasonal, $150
• Weekly permit, $35 for off-site use and $50 for on-site use.
Permits are available from fee collection stations at ISDRA and from various dune-area vendors. Weekly permits cannot be upgraded to seasonal status.Permits will not be replaced if lost or stolen.
If warranted under certain circumstances, a law enforcement officer may revoke a permit or evict parties temporarily or for the season.To avoid such actions, duners are encouraged to adhere to all laws while recreating at ISDRA.If a permit has been revoked, the purchaser will not be refunded.
For more information about ISDRA, log ontohttp://www.blm.gov/ca/st/ en/fo/elcentro/recreation/ohvs/ isdra.html or call the Bureau of Land Management El Centro Office at 760-337-4400.