California
70
www.stateparks.com
'Valley Quail' © stateparks.com
Valley Quail
upload your photos
USA Parks
USA Parks
California
California
Region
Region
Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area
Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area
OCOTILLO WELLS STATE VEHICULAR RECREATION AREA
OCOTILLO WELLS STATE VEHICULAR RECREATION AREA
5172 Highway 78
Borrego Springs, California   92004

Phone: 760-767-5391
Welcome to the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area. More than 80,000 acres of magnificent desert are open for off-highway exploration and recreation within the boundaries portrayed on the park map are operated by California State Parks. Outside the boundaries, to the south and east, large tracts of BLM land (U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management) are also open to off-highway vehicles. The western boundary and part of the northern boundary connect with the half-million acre Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, which is closed to off-highway recreation, but open to exploration by highway-legal vehicles along established primitive roads.

The rangers and staff of Ocotillo Wells are dedicated to providing a safe and enjoyable desert riding environment, and to ensuring that a quality experience remains available for future generations.

No fees are collected for camping or day use. Open camping is permitted throughout the unit for up to 30 days per calendar year. Vault toilets, shade ramadas, picnic tables, and fire rings are located in the Quarry, Main Street, and Holmes Camp areas. Water is not available. Vehicle repair shops, fuel, telephones, groceries, a motel and restaurants are available in the neighboring small town of Ocotillo Wells and along Highway 78 where it borders the park.
Camping
Ocotillo Wells is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Open camping is available throughout the park for up to 30 days per calendar year. Camping is not permitted at the Shell Reef, Devils Slide, and Blow Sand Hill areas. If you are in a self-contained vehicle with holding tanks, fill your tanks before you arrive?water filling stations are not available. Also, the park does not have a dump station for your waste water disposal.

Vault restrooms and limited shade ramadas are located in the Quarry, Cove, Main Street, Holly Road, and Hidden Valley areas. Pay showers are available only in Holmes Camp and Ranger Station Road. The pay showers accept quarters.

Vehicle repair shops, restaurants, and motels are available in the towns of Borrego Springs, Salton Sea, and Ocotillo Wells.


Get directions
to this park:

by Town and state
OR
by zip code


Area Attractions
BLOW SAND HILL
Wind-blown sand is a highly effective agent of abrasion, as anyone who has been in a sandstorm will agree. Wind is one of the few agents that can and do carry material uphill. Here, the wind carries sand for miles before piling it up into this huge dune. Perhaps the most popular spot in the park, Blow Sand is illuminated by a circle of headlights on many weekend nights.

DEVIL?S SLIDE
This 200 foot-high granite and sand island is named for the challenge it presents to the OHV enthusiast. It is actually an ancient decomposing mountaintop. A dark coat of desert varnish covers the rocks as a result of exposure to sunlight. There are several old hidden mine shafts along the mountainside. The mines are said to be haunted. People have reported seeing flickering lights near the mines at night after a rainfall.

BARREL SPRINGS
These mesquite sand dunes are an oasis for wildlife. The springs seep from the ground, especially after a heavy rain. Coyotes often dig holes to drink. Part of the area is designated as a cultural preserve. Archeological investigations indicate that several Native American groups and early settlers used the area. The shade and availability of water made it a convenient spot to rest, to meet, and to trade goods. Some of the dunes have been fenced to allow for natural restoration. Please do not ride close to the edge of the dunes as this kills the mesquite roots. Without these shrubs, the sand dunes would blow away.

SHELL REEF
Park beneath the reef and examine the soil. You will find not rock or sand but fragments of fossilized oyster shells. Look closer and you will find entire shells and even pieces of the reef which have fallen down the slope. The reef is estimated to be 4 million years old! It was pushed out of an ancient sea during a time of tremendous upheaval when the distant mountain ranges where formed. Please help preserve the reef. Find other ?hills? to climb, and encourage others to do the same.

GAS DOMES
To reach this natural phenomenon, you must exit the park on the Gas Dome Trail east of Pole Line Road. These mysterious, volcano-like mud pots of bubbling liquid are located approximately one and one-half miles into the public lands of the Bureau of Land Management. Cold to the touch, the gray water releases large bubbles of gas. For information about recreational opportunities and attractions in the BLM area, contact the El Centro office (619) 353-1060.

PUMPKIN PATCH
This unique landscape is the result of wind and water continuously eroding the surface soil and revealing these globular sandstone concretions. Such concretions are believed to be formed by the natural cementing of sand particles to a small object such as a piece of shell, a grain of sand, or even an insect. Please help preserve the Pumpkin Patch and the nearby ridges where new pumpkin-size desert ?pearls? are emerging.
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews


Area Campgrounds
Leapin' Lizard RV Ranch
5929 Kunkler Lane
Borrego Springs, CA
760-767-4526
The Springs at Borrego RV Resort and Golf Course
2255 Di Giorgio Road
Borrego Springs, CA

Current Weather Prediction
Directions
Eastern San Diego and in Western Imperial Counties. Access is via Highway 78, about 35 miles east of Julian or about 20 miles west of Highway 86.

USA Parks
USA Parks
California
California
Region
Region
Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area
Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area