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Buttercup Valley

Friday, April 28, 2023

Other Names

Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, Buttercup, Buttercup Sand Dunes, South Dunes

Last Known StatusOpen

This is the southernmost section of the Glamis Dunes, but this dune area is smaller and features three designated campgrounds. There are no hookups, so come prepared.

A permit is required to ride or camp here which can be purchased onsite at the ranger station.

Dune Area Map... Nearby ATV Dune Areas...


Permit RequiredYesCA OHMVR stickers required
Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Permit
Dates OpenYear-RoundCA OHMVR red sticker vehicles permitted year round
Other ATV Stickers AcceptedYesResidents of any state not listed must purchase a Nonresident OHV Use Permit. (AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, IA, ID, IN, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, ND, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, TX, UT, VT, WA, WI, WY)
Spark ArrestorNoA spark arresting exhaust 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)Whip Flags Required For Safety
Maximum Vehicle WidthNo Restriction
Allow Dirt Bikes, Trail Bikes and Motorcycles Motorcycles & Dirt BikesPermittedCA OHMVR stickers required
Allow All Terrain Vehicles / Quads / Four Wheelers ATVsPermittedCA OHMVR stickers required
Allow Utility Terrain Vehicles, Side by Sides (SXS), RZR UTV & 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
2 Stroke EnginesNo RestrictionCA OHMVR restrictions apply
MX Helmet RequiredYeshelmets required by state law
Camping / Overnight RV Parking CampingSome Areas(camp in developed sites only)
Campfire Restrictions Campfires
Night RidingNoNot Recommended
quiet hours from 10pm to 6am
Trail BlazingPermitted
Rule Enforcement


AreaOff-Road Dunes


EntryYes ($50.00 per vehicle)
Permit fee if purchased onsite - $50/vehicle. If purchased at participating vendors cost is $35/vehicle. Both permits good for one week. Seasonal pass is $150/vehicle.
CommentFee permit required October 1 through April 15; remainder of the year is free.


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


Nearest CityWinterhaven, CA
AddressGrays Wells Road, Winterhaven, CA 92283
Go Back To California List
Dune MapGo To Dune Map
From: El Centro, CA
1) Take I-8 East to Exit 156
2) Turn right off the exit ramp onto Grays Wells Road. Buttercup Ranger Station is on the right.


Contact InfoBLM - Buttercup Ranger Station
6808 Grays Well Road
Winterhaven, CA 92283
(760) 337-4400



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Approx Size9,600 acres (15 sq mi)
Climate TypeDesert
Elevation180 to 250 ft.
Trail MaintenanceUnknown
Loose DirtThis dune area has no loose dirt.None
Hard PackThe dune area has no hard pack terrain.None
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 no dust on typical days.None
RocksThis dune area has no rocks.None
TreesThe dune area has no trees.None
Steep HillsThis dune area has some steep hills.Some
Water CrossingsThe dune area has no water crossings.None
Small JumpsThis dune area has some small jumps.Some
Large JumpsThis dune area has many large jumps.Many
BermsThe dune area has no berms.None
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 no roads.None
ShadeThis BLM land has no shaded areas.None
HazardsThis dune area has few hazards.Few(hazards assumed marked but use caution)
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 little expert terrain.Little


Gasoline GasolineWinterhaven, CA
Diesel DieselWinterhaven, CA
Potable Water WaterWinterhaven, CA
RV Hookups RV HookupWinterhaven, CA
RV Dump Station RV DisposalWinterhaven, CA
Primitive Camping CampgroundWinterhaven, CA
Convenience Store Conv StoreWinterhaven, CA
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