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Glamis Sand Dunes

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Glamis Sand Dunes, CA

The Glamis Sand Dunes are the most popular off-road destination in Southern California. Hundreds of thousands of visitors arrive on various holiday weekends, often grouping in popular areas during specific times of the day, such as Oldsmobile Hill in the afternoon and Gecko Road in the afternoon. The BLM estimates that over 1.4 million visitors come to these sand dunes each year for day-use riding or to camp over weekends and ride in the dunes.

The Glamis Sand Dunes, also known as Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, are located southeast of the Salton Sea in southern California at the border with Arizona and Baja California del Norte, Mexico. The field is approximately 45 miles long by 6 miles wide and extends along a northwest-southeast line that correlates to the prevailing northerly and westerly wind directions. The dunefield is a wilderness area, with the only significant human structures being the All-American Canal that cuts across the southern portion from west to east and the Coachella Canal on the eastern border of the dunefield. The name "Algodones Dunes" refers to the entire geographic feature, while the administrative designation for that portion managed by the Bureau of Land Management is the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area.

The Imperial Sand Dunes are the largest mass of sand dunes in California, with over 118,000 acres of land. OHV activities are permitted on some of the sand dunes, while other areas are permanently or temporarily closed. A camping permit is required upon arrival.

History
The sand dunes are thought to have originated from the beach sands of ancient Lake Cahuilla, a water body created by episodic diversions of the Colorado River into the Imperial Valley instead of the Gulf of California. The Imperial Dunes have formed primarily as a result of opposing seasonal winds. Winter winds come from the northwest, but often reverse to the southeast in summer. The stronger winter winds are slowly pushing the dune system southeastward.

How to Get There:
From Brawley, CA, head east on Hwy 78. After you pass Gecko Road (to the off-road campsites) and Osborne Park Road (the overlook), you will come to the Glamis Beach Store. Just past the store, turn right before the railroad tracks and follow the road that runs parallel to the tracks SE for about 1/2 mile. Look for our camp in a large flat area on the right near the rest room.


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