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Imperial Sand Dunes

Monday, March 20, 2017

Alt Names

Glamis, Buttercup Valley, California Imperial, Gecko, Ogilby, Mammoth Wash, ISD

Last Known StatusOpen

The massively huge Glamis dunes are a bucket list opportunity for all types off road vehicle enthusiasts, spanning a 40 mile stretch with pure sand dunes of all sizes.

Whip flags are a mandatory, and while the park is open year-round, the best time to ride is late September through late April because of the heat. The area can see 200 thousand riders or more on major holidays, but because of it's size, the atmosphere can still range from rowdy to secluded, depending on where you choose to go.

Dune Area Map... Driving Map... Best Nearby Dune Areas...

***ANNOUNCEMENTS*** (March 2017)

 * Glamis Sand Dunes Road Closure 
Gecko Road, Gecko Campground, Roadrunner Campground and Keyhole Campground will be closed beginning April 15 through September 30 for a major repaving project. For more information contact the El Centro Field Office at (760) 337-4451.


Nearest CityEl Centro, CA
Go Back To California List
Street Map
Dune MapGo To Dune Map
From: San Diego, CA
1) Take I-8 east about 115 miles
2) Take exit for SR-111 north, continue about 15 miles
3) Turn right (east) on SR-78. continue 19.7 miles
4) Turn right (south) on Gecko Road. Stage anywhere.




Our RatingRatingGood    
Recommended StayFull Day
Comments(Scroll Down For Visitor Reviews & Comments)


Square Miles34
Climate TypeDesert
Elevation150 to 400 ft.
Trail MaintenanceUnknown
Loose DirtThis dune area has no loose dirt.None
Hard PackThe dune area has little hard pack terrain.Little
SandThis dune area has almost all sandy areas.Allpaddle or sand tire recommended for best experience
MudThe dune area has no mud after it rains.None
DustThe dune area has little dust on typical days.Little
RocksThis dune area has no rocks.None
TreesThe dune area has no trees.None
Steep HillsThis dune area has many steep hills.Many
Water CrossingsThe dune area has no water crossings.None
Small JumpsThis dune area has many small jumps.Many
Large JumpsThis dune area has many large jumps.Many
BermsThe dune area has many berms.Many
Sand/Gravel PitsThis BLM land has no sand or gravel pits.None
Single TrackThis BLM land has no single track trails.None
RoadsThis BLM land has few roads.Few
IntersectionsThis dune area has many intersections.Many
Rider TrafficThe BLM land has many rider traffic on typical days.Many
ShadeThis BLM land has no shaded areas.None
Ranges/GunfireThis BLM land has no shooting ranges or gunfire.None
HazardsThis dune area has some hazards.Some(hazards assumed marked but use caution)
cutaway dunes, razorbacks, drop offs
Easy Terrain NoviceThis dune area has some beginner terrain.Some
Moderate Terrain AmateurThis dune area has mostly intermediate level terrain.Mostly
Difficult Terrain ExpertThis dune area has some expert terrain.Some


Permit RequiredYesCA OHMVR stickers required
Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Permit
Dates OpenYear-RoundCA OHMVR red sticker vehicles permitted year round
Spark ArrestorNoA spark arresting silencer or end cap is not required but is always recommended.
Noise LimitYes (96 dB)CA OHMVR noise limits apply (1985/older limit 101 dB, 1986/newer limit 96 dB)
Whip FlagsYes (96 inches)Safety Flags Required
Maximum Vehicle WidthNo Restriction
Allow Dirt Bikes, Trail Bikes and Motorcycles MotorcyclesPermittedCA OHMVR stickers required
Allow All Terrain Vehicles / Quads / Four Wheelers ATVsPermittedCA OHMVR stickers required
Allow Utility Terrain Vehicles, Side by Sides (SXS), RZR UTVs / SXSPermittedCA OHMVR stickers required
Allow 4x4 Jeeps, SUVs and 4 x 4 Trucks with License Plates SUVs / Jeeps (registered)Permitted
Dune Buggy/Sand Rail
4x4 (unregistered)
PermittedCA OHMVR stickers required
Two Strokes /
2 Cycle Engines
No RestrictionCA OHMVR restrictions apply
Helmets RequiredYeshelmets required by state law
Camping / Overnight RV Parking CampingNo Restriction(camp anywhere)
Campfire Restrictions Campfires
Night RidingYesNot Recommended
quiet hours from 10pm to 6am
Cross CountryPermitted
Emergency / Law Enforcement
Insurance*Disclaimer: RiderPlanet recommends that all riders obtain motorcycle insurance or ATV / UTV insurance before visiting any of the locations depicted.


EntryYes ($50.00 per vehicle)
Permit fee if purchased onsite - $50/vehicle, of purchased online $35/vehicle. Both permits good for one week.
CommentFee permit required October 1 through April 15; remainder of the year is free.


First Aid First Aid30+ Miles (W)Pioneers Memorial Hospital (760) 351-3333
Gasoline Gasoline20-30 Miles (W)Shell (760) 351-061
Diesel Diesel20-30 Miles (W)Shell (760) 351-061
Potable Water Water20-30 Miles (W)Shell (760) 351-061
RV Hookups RV Hookup30+ Miles (NW)Glamis North KOA (760) 354-1010
RV Dump Station RV Disposal30+ Miles (W)Shell (760) 351-061
Primitive Camping CampgroundOn Site
Convenience Store Conv Store20-30 Miles (W)Shell (760) 351-061
Swimming Swim Area30+ Miles (SW)Sunbeam Lake County Park (760) 352-3308
Body of Water Water Body30+ Miles (SW)Sunbeam Lake County Park (760) 352-3308
Boating Launch Boat Ramp30+ Miles (NW)Salton Sea SRA (760) 393-3052


Contact InfoBLM - El Centro Field Office
1661 South 4th Street
El Centro, CA 92243
(760) 337-4400
Contact InfoCahuilla Ranger Station
(760) 344-3919


Imperial Sand Dune Area Photo

Imperial Sand Dunes Dune Area

The dunes are huge and they go on forever.

Imperial Sand Dune Area Photo

OHV at Imperial Sand Dunes Dune Area

Photo Submitted 1/8/2013 (Thanks!)

Imperial Sand Dune Area Photo

OHV at Imperial Sand Dunes Dune Area

Photo Submitted 2/13/2013 (Thanks!)

Imperial Sand Dune Area Photo

OHV doing a wheelie at Imperial Sand Dunes Dune Area

Photo Submitted 2/13/2013 (Thanks!)

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