IMPERIAL SAND DUNES RECREATION AREAS
Located in various areas of the Imperial Sand Dunes (American Sahara). These areas are primarily set aside for off highway vehicles and are part of the BLM land administration.
Much of the following fee information and the boundary map was provided to the Boondocking Guide courtesy of http://freecampsites.net/.
fees apply within the entire Imperial
Sand Dunes Recreation Area and its' 1 mile planning area boundary as shown on
the attached (.pdf) map. This includes, but
is not limited to, Buttercup, Gecko
Fees are as follows:
Please note that the America the Beautiful program discounts do not apply to the "non commercial special recreation permit fees" which are charged in this off-highway vehicle area. Please see the back of your America the Beautiful pass for more details.
Permits can be obtained from the BLM California branch offices or from vending machines set up at the sites. (Credit cards accepted)
(See Long-Term Visitor Areas Map for an overview of this area.)
The northern areas (see map) are reached off State Highway 78. To get there from Yuma exit I-8 north at Ogilby Interchange 21.7 km, (13.5 mi.) west of Yuma onto S-34. Travel north 39.1 km (24.3 mi.) to the intersection of State Highway 78 and S-34. Turn left (west) on State 78 for 19.3 km (12 mi.) to the Southern Pacific railway crossing and the settlement of Glamis. Just west of Glamis, south of State 78 you'll see the first campsite called Glamis Flats. A bit further is Garbage Flats. At 6.1 km (3.8 mi.) west of Glamis you'll come to Osborne Overlook. This is a paved area that overlooks the sand dunes at which you can stay if you wished.
3.9 km (2.4 mi.) further on State 78 is the main northern camping area. Turn south on Gecko road. You'll first come to the Cahuilla Ranger station and information center then encounter the camping areas. The first called Camping Pad 1. then Camping Pad 2, Gecko, Camping Pads 3,4 and 5, Keyhole Campground and lastly Roadrunner. Garbage bins and outdoor restrooms only are available.
The southern portion of these areas (see map) are located off I-8 west of Yuma Arizona. To get there exit I-8 south at Greys Well Road exit 26.5 km (16.5 mi.) west of Yuma. As you follow this road west, parallel to I-8, you encounter the first area called Buttercup Campground. Further along are Midway, Plank Road, and the last one, Greys Well. Of interest is the remnants of the original plank road preserved at the Plank Road Campsite. As with the northern sites, garbage bins and outdoor restrooms only available on site.