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Imperial Valley Sand Dunes

The Algodones Dunes


North of State Highway 78 in the Imperial Sand Dunes, this wilderness is within one of the largest dunes systems in North America. The wilderness is divided into two distinct zones. The largest and tallest dunes are located on the west side, while the east side contains smaller dunes and numerous washes. A number of unique plant and animal species make their homes in the dunes.

Millions of Acres Protection, Biodiversity Activists (NGO)

Algodones Dunes Monitoring

Phenomena of Desert Winds In Imperial

Aerial Photo Of The Algodones Dunes

Algodones Image

Flora and Fauna

Lower Colorado Valley--Wildflower Flourishes & Flops

Algodones Dunes Life

Pholisma sonorae -- Sand Food

Desert Sand Verbena

The Imperial Dune Wilderness


This 40-mile-long dune system is one of the largest in the United States. Formed by windblown beach sands of ancient Lake Cahuilla, some crests reach heights of over 300 feet. These expansive dune formations offer picturesque scenery, opportunities for solitude, a chance to view rare plants and animals, and a playground for OHVs. The BLM manages portions of the dunes system for different uses. The portion of the dunes south of California State Route 78, is a popular OHV recreation area.

Two BLM campgrounds along paved Gecko Road provide hard surface parking, vault toilets, and trash facilities. Visitor information and emergency medical services are available weekends during the winter season (October-May) at Cahuilla Ranger Station. Other portions of the Imperial Sand Dunes, including Mammoth Wash and Buttercup Valley, extend beyond this map to the north and south, and are depicted on the Salton Sea and Yuma Desert Access Guides.

The Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area

Geology of California's Imperial Valley--Desert Sand and Wind

Imperial Sand Dunes Information

Sand Seas/Ergs/Dune Fields

Need For Imperial Sand Dunes Plan

Off Road Vehicles In Conflict With Dunes