Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area - Brawley, California

I had thought we would spend the night in Imperial Sand Dunes Recreational Area. What I hadn’t anticipated was the park’s extreme winds and camping permit prices.

Of all the places we have explored, none have required 4-wheel drive as greatly as this. While we see dirt bikes, 4-wheelers, and trucks speed down sand dunes, we also see several vehicles wallowing in the sand. In driving up to a vista point, we roll over a deep patch of sand. Well, we drive into it. Between the steep incline and fine sand, we give up and allow gravity to back us out of the sand drift so that we can approach a shallower section on the other side of the road.

Maybe we aren’t quite set for driving on dunes.

And then there is the matter of getting a camping permit. If you plan to stay at the Imperial Sand Dunes for a week, it’s not bad at all. But, if you just want one night, well, you can do that, but you’ll be paying for the rest of the week you aren’t there. So, we take a moment to enjoy the view and keep moving.

Driving across the Algodones Dunes in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area
Driving across the Algodones Dunes.

Windswept sands of the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area
Windswept sands of the Imperial Sand Dunes

Lexi lives in a truck camper down by the river.

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