Where to go near El Centro
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Information provided by the BLM

The El Centro Office of the BLM administers public lands in the Colorado desert (southern Calfornia) from its El Centro office. Numerous opportunities for off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation exist in the El Centro Resource Area. Miles of trails and open areas await all types of OHV enthusiasts.

This is a very hot desert, and you should not come here unprepared. Be aware of the dangers of desert travel, and review our techniques section for more information on desert driving and survival tips.

Please keep in mind that you are responsible for knowing, understanding, and complying with all OHV regulations. Please obey all signs regarding the management of public lands and routes. BLM-administered public lands are designated in several vehicle use categories. For general information on BLM land use rules and regulations, click here.

Where to ride:

Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area (ISDRA)

The premier OHV area. This open area contains over 118,000 acres of sand dunes for OHV play. This 40-mile-long dune system is one of the largest in the United States. Formed by windblown beach sands of ancient Lake Cahuilla, some crests reach heights of over 300 feet. These expansive dune formations offer picturesque scenery, opportunities for solitude, a chance to view rare plants and animals, and a playground for OHVs. The BLM manages portions of the dunes system for different uses. The portion of the dunes south of California State Route 78, is a popular OHV recreation area. Two BLM campgrounds along paved Gecko Road provide hard surface parking, vault toilets, and trash facilities. Visitor information and emergency medical services are available weekends during the winter season (October-May) at Cahuilla Ranger Station. Other portions of the Imperial Sand Dunes, including Mammoth Wash and Buttercup Valley, extend beyond this map to the north and south, and are depicted on the Salton Sea and Yuma Desert Access Guides.

Plaster City Open Area

41,000 acres of open desert provides a variety of terrain. Beware of adjacent military bombing ranges, limited use lands, and wilderness.

Superstition Mountain Open Area

This open area contains sand dunes, rocky trails, and typical hard pack desert terrain. Watch out for adjacent military bombing ranges and the no camping zone.

Located north of the Plaster City OHV Open Area, this area presents an array of challenging OHV riding opportunities. Cross-country OHV use is permitted within the boundaries of this area. Limited use areas and military practice bombing targets are immediately adjacent to the open area. Please observe all posted signs and do not enter the bombing ranges. From County Highway S80, take Huff Road north to Wheeler Road. Follow Wheeler Road to one of several popular primitive camping areas, or to the base of the Superstition Mountains.

Lark Canyon OHV Area

Located in McCain Valley, Lark Canyon offers approximately 31 miles of trails to OHVs less than 40 inches wide.

Bureau of Land Management

El Centro Field Office

1661 S 4th St

El Centro CA 92243

(760) 337-4400

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