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Yuha Desert Recreation Area

BLM Area

Trail Riding in the Yuha Desert

The Yuha Desert of extreme Southern California offers outstanding opportunities. Routes traverse a variety of terrain, from flat desert pavement to sandy washes, to mud hills and other badlands types of features.


What's a Limited Use Area?

Along Highway 98 off the Dunaway Road Interstate exit, and at other access points to the Yuha, you'll see Limited Use Area signs. This means that motorized vehicle travel is allowed, but that it is limited to approved routes of travel. No cross-country travel is allowed; including off-road hill climbs and construction or use of three- and four-wheeler play loops.

The definition of a "route of travel" includes all roads and trails at least two feet wide that show significant evidence of prior vehicle use, and also washes with beds wide enough for passage of your vehicle without damage to the wash bank or vegetation. All routes of travel which fit this definition are approved for use unless specifically posted as closed."

Although the majority of Yuha routes are approved, a few have been closed to protect sensitive wildlife species or archaeological sites, or to prevent soil erosion and degradation of scenic quality. These closed routes are marked by red posts with white lettering, and are closed to all types of motor vehicles. Some approved routes are also posted with a "No Camping" limitation to protect valuable resources.

Yuha Desert Camping Rules

The following rules apply to vehicle-based camping in the Yuha Desert:
ON 01/31/03 THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT (BLM) FINALIZED THE NEW ROUTES OF TRAVEL FOR THE IMPERIAL VALLEY PORTION OF THE EL CENTRO RESOURCE AREA.

TRAVEL CHANGES AFFECTING THE YUHA DESERT AREA OF CRITICAL ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN (ACEC) ARE LISTED BELOW:

** TRAVEL ALLOWED ON DESGNATED ROUTES ONLY.

** ROUTES DESIGNATED "LIMITED USE" SOUTH OF INTERSTATE EIGHT (I-8) ARE RESTRICTED TO STREET LEGAL VEHICLES ONLY.

** ALL VEHICLES ARE ALLOWED ON ROUTES DESIGNATED "OPEN".

** CAMPING IS ONLY PERMITTED IN DESIGNATED AREAS WITHIN THE YUHA ACEC.

**PARKING IS PERMITTED ADJACENT TO ROUTES SOUTH OF I-8 ONLY DURING DAYLIGHT HOURS EXCEPT UNOCCUPIED VEHICLES NEXT TO THE JACUMBA WILDERNESS LEFT BY OVERNIGHT WILDERNESS VISITORS.

** Areas nearby allowing all vehicle travel are the PLASTER CITY OPEN AREA AND THE SUPERSTITION MOUNTAINS OPEN AREA.

Finding Your Way

All routes have been assigned a number -- the primary ones labeled on the "Imperial Valley Southern Desert Access Guide #22" map (with a "Y" followed by three or four digits). Markers have been placed at intervals along the routes and at major intersections. Watch for these brown posts with white lettering.

BLM El Centro Resource Area
1661 So. 4th Street
El Centro, CA 92243
760-337-4400

See Map




Related Books & Gifts - Trading Post
A Visit to Fossil Canyon and Painted Gorge

BLM California Desert OHV Areas
Minerals & Geology Index
Places to Go in California
Outdoor Recreation: Auto Touring & Off-Roading
Outdoor Recreation: Rock Hounding & Treasure Hunting


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