Monday, March 4, 2013

Sand all around: the Imperial Dunes


Date: December 27, 2012
Place: Osborne Park Rd. Imperial dunes, Brawley, California
Coordinates: 32.98347, -115.13269

After three days of hiking in Anza Borrego State Park we continued east into Imperial County. We passed the night in Brawley and in the morning we drove eastward on Hwy 78 toward the Colorado River. Our road crossed a HUGE area of inland sand dunes: the Algodones Dunes. This is the largest area of sand dunes in California and it is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Many people visit these dunes for fun. The vast majority of them enjoy vehicular recreation of all sorts. They camp in large, transient RV camps, and ride the dunes. They print tire marks on the sand all day long and by night the wind erases them, cleaning the slate for yet another day of fun. The shifting nature of the sand allows people to enjoy an high-intensity activity that would be destructive on any other terrain.
All we wanted was to find a peaceful dune where the chikas could play in the sand. The Officer directed us to the Vista Point at Osborne Park Rd where we got off the car, took off our shoes and took a short walk southward on the dunes. The chikas and myself had a great time jumping and rolling in the sand. Then the Dune Buggies came and despite their protests, I hurried my girls off the dunes and away from the buggies' path.

In short, the dunes are a wonderful place for recreation, but if you are not a buggy rider, it might be better to find a more quiet sand dunes area, such as in Mojave Preserve. 


  1. wow! the pictures are amazing.
    But I'm a little concerned for the local animals. Probably there are any.

    1. Thank you!
      I am not concerned for the animals because the human use area is tiny compared to the entire dune area. There is no easy access to the main body of the sand dunes.