Imperial Sand Dunes


What are the Imperial Sand Dunes?

Located in the southeast corner of California, the Imperial Sand Dunes are the largest mass of sand dunes in the state.

Formed by windblown sands of ancient Lake Cahuilla, the dune system extends for more than 40 miles in a band averaging 5 miles wide. Dunes often reach heights of 300 feet above the desert floor, providing outstanding opportunities for recreation. A favorite place for off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts, the dunes also offer fabulous scenery, opportunities for solitude, and home to rare plants and animals.

OHVs are permitted on the dunes from October 1 through April 15 each year. Permits are required and are sold in a weekly or season capacity:

  • Advanced weekly permits are $35  
  • Season permits are $150. 
Permits can be purchased at participating Cycle Gear locations.


What stores are participating in the program?

 


Instructions and Permit Rules:


Weekly Permit


  • This permit must be displayed properly in your vehicle at all times while in the required permit area of the ISDRA.
  • Place permit on your rearview mirror with the front side (date validation grid) clearly visible from outside your vehicle. Permits hidden by sun visors or screens are invalid.
  • Failure to properly display this permit while in the ISDRA will be punishable by citation and fine.
  • Unlawful reproduction of this permit is punishable by arrest, imprisonment and/or fine.
  • This permit is non-transferable. Every primary vehicle within the ISDRA fee area must display a permit unless exempted by PL 108-447. When visitors tow street-legal vehicle for OHV use, and have it attached to the primary vehicle, they can receive a free “towed in” permit from the ranger station for OHV recreation only.
  • This permit is non-refundable.
  • ISDRA will not be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, in any way for any loss or damage of any kind incurred to your vehicle. Always secure your vehicle and protect your permit. Lost, stolen or damaged permits will NOT be replaced.
  • Failure of the permit holder and/or members of your group to comply with all applicable regulations in the ISDRA is grounds for revocation of your permit and/or group eviction by law enforcement officers (BLM, Imperial County Sherriff, Border Patrol). It is your responsibility to know all of the regulations.
  • OHV speed limit is 15mph within 50ft. of people.

Season Permit

  • Placement: Place the permit on the exterior driver’s side, lower corner of the front windshield. If the permit will be hidden due to a windshield cover, then adhere it to the exterior side of the window directly behind the RV driver.
  • How To Apply: Thoroughly clean window. Peel back ½ of the liner paper, and apply permit to the window. Hold down the edge with finger and remove the rest of the liner paper.
  • Press permit down firmly for 25 seconds, giving special attention to the edges. Do not expose permit to any moisture for 72 hours.

Rules & Regulations:


  • Season Permits are non-transferable and non-refundable.
  • Season Permits must be adhered directly to your vehicle at all times.
  • Unlawful reproduction of this permit is punishable by arrest, imprisonment and/or fine.
  • Failure to properly display this permit will be punishable by citation and fine.
  • Failure of the permit holder and/or members of your group to comply with all applicable regulations in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area are grounds for its revocation and/or group eviction by law enforcement officers. It is your responsibility to know all of the regulations.

Directions


Access to the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area is best made along Highway 78 located East of Brawley, California or along Interstate 8 west of Yuma, Arizona.