North Algodones Sand Dunes

BLM Wilderness Area, Imperial Valley

The site is located 26 miles east of Brawley, California.

North Algodones Sand Dunes


The Algodones Sand Dune system covers 200 square miles, making it one of the largest dune complexes in North America. The dunes are interrupted in places by basins of flats, which support mesquite, smoke tree, ironwood, palo verde and desert willow trees. The flat-tailed horned lizard, desert tortoise and Colorado desert fringe-toed lizard have all been spotted in the region. The 32,000-acre North Algodones Wilderness Area provides ample opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation.

Mailing Address:
El Centro Resource Area
1661 South 4th Street
El Centro, CA 92243

Phone Number:

Fax Number:

From Brawley, take Highway 78 east approximately 26 miles. The wilderness lies along the north side of the highway.

Visitor Activities:
Hunting, hiking, and nature viewing.

Permits, Fees, Limitations:
There are no fees to enter the site. No commercial uses are allowed. No use of motorized vehicles of any kind (off-road vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, hang gliders, motorized equipment, or motorboats) is allowed. No facilities are available.

Accessibility: None

Camping and Lodging Facilities: Primitive camping is available. There are no developed sites. Developed campgrounds are available along Gecko Road, directly south of the wilderness area and Highway 78 in the designated OHV area. These campgrounds offer restrooms and flat pads, but do not have water. Lodging is available in Brawley.

Food and Supplies: Food, gas and supplies are available at the Glamis store located on the south side of Highway 78, on the eastern edge of the dunes.

First Aid:
Cahuilla Ranger station is open on weekends from October through April. The nearest hospital is located in Brawley.

Additional Information:
The area is open year-round. The best time to visit is from fall through spring. Summer is extremely hot, with temperatures over 120° F during the day, and 100° F at night, so be sure to bring water. Visitors should be aware that the sand limits mobility. This area is a designated Watchable Wildlife site.

-- Source: BLM


Related Books & Gifts - Trading Post
Imperial Sand Dunes

Desert Safety Tips
Desert Survival Primer
Desert Survival: The Solar Still
Outdoor Recreation: Auto Touring & Off-Roading



Share this page on Facebook:

DesertUSA Newsletter -- We send articles on hiking, camping and places to explore, as well as animals, wildflower reports, plant information and much more. Sign up below or read more about the DesertUSA newsletter here. (It's Free.)

The Desert Environment
The North American Deserts
Desert Geological Terms



Dust DevilsView Video about Dust Devils. Born of the battle between the sun and sand, the dust devil is a rapidly rotating column of air that has wrapped itself around a rising thermal. The average dust devil is ten to fifty feet in diameter. The chief ingredients for a good dust devil are clear skies, a bright sun, and a dry hot surface. Click here to view video.

Desert Food Chain Video - A food chain constitutes a complex network of organisms, from plants to animals, through which energy, derived from the sun, flows in the form of organic matter and dissipates in the form of waste heat. The food chain’s biological productivity and species diversification depend on factors such as the daily duration and angle of seasonal sunlight, the timely availability of water, the daily swings of seasonal temperatures, the chemical content of the soils, and the availability of nutrients.
Watch Video



Take a look at our Animals index page to find information about all kinds of birds, snakes, mammals, spiders and more!



Hot temperatures in the desertAre you interested in the temperatures in the desert?

Click here to see current desert temperatures!

DesertUSA is a comprehensive resource about the North American deserts and Southwest destinations. Learn about desert biomes while you discover how desert plants and animals learn to adapt to the harsh desert environment. Find travel information about national parks, state parks, BLM land, and Southwest cities and towns located in or near the desert regions of the United States. Access maps and information about the Sonoran Desert, Mojave Desert, Great Basin Desert, and Chihuahuan Desert.

Copyright © 1996-2018 and Digital West Media, Inc. - -