Sandboarding at Algodones Dunes (Imperial Sand Dunes)

Algodones / Glamis Dunes. Photo courtesy of Joshua Brown.

Los Algodones (Spanish for “cotton plants”) are a system of dunes resembling a sea sand bordering the U.S. states of Colorado and Arizona, and the Mexican state of Baja California, and about 17 miles west of Yuma, Arizona. The long, narrow dunes system extends for approximately 45 miles in a 5-to 8-mile wide band and are often referred to as Glamis Dunes, because of their proximity with the Imperial County town of Glamis. They are also the closest option for sandboarding near San Diego. The Algodones are incorporated in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, where off-roading is also practiced. 

The Imperial Sand Dunes area has become somewhat of iconic because its dunes are features in countless blockbuster movies, such as Star Wars and The Scorpion King.

Sandboarding Imperial Sand Dunes

The best spot for sandboarding is in the North Algodones Dunes wilderness area where off-roading cannot be practiced. Keep in mind that dune boarding and sledding are only allowed away from vegetation. You can also sandboard the area known as Mammoth Wash or the southern dunes closer to the Mexican border, keeping in mind that you will likely have to share your space with countless off-road vehicles.

Glamis off road rentals

The Imperial Sand Dunes are considered a Mecca for sand duning in the States and there are plenty of opportunities to rent an off-road vehicle in Glamis. During peak season (October to April) a seasonal OHV permit may be required. It is prohibited to practice off-roading in the area known as North Algodones Dunes where vegetation has sprung, in order to protect the local habitat.

Next: Sandboarding in Southern California’s Beach Dunes

USA Sandboarding Map

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