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Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area
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Rules & Regulations

Rules are designed to promote public safety in the Imperial Sand Dunes and have been in effect since 1983.  PLEASE REMEMBER, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO KNOW THE LAW.  These rules apply to public lands within the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area.

RECREATION PERMIT. A permit is required for all primary street legal vehicles used for transportation to the recreation site (unless exempted by P.L. 108-447).  Permits must be purchased and visibly displayed in the windshield with the date side facing out upon arrival to ISDRA.  Permits are non-refundable.

SAFETY FLAGS ARE REQUIRED ON ALL VEHICLES IN THE IMPERIAL SAND DUNES RECREATION AREA (This includes two-wheeled motorcycles.)   All vehicles shall be equipped with a whip mast and a 6x12 inch red/orange flag.  Flags may be of pennant, triangle, square, or rectangular shape.  Masts must be securely mounted on the vehicle and extend 8 feet from the ground to the mast tip .  Safety flags must be attached within 10 inches of the tip of the whip mast with club or other flags mounted below safety flag or on another whip.

A 15 MPH SPEED RULE EXISTS ON THE SAND HIGHWAYS.   No person shall operate an OHV in excess of 15 mph on public lands within 500 feet of Highway 78, Grays Well Road, Gecko Road and access roads within the Gecko and Roadrunner recreation sites.

NO SAVING SPACES.  It is prohibited to reserve or save a camping space for another person. 

  • Does the BLM tow vehicles away if they are left unattended in the camping areas at the ISDRA?  Yes, under the authority of 43 CFR 8365.2-3(c) which says in developed camping and picnicking areas, no person shall, unless otherwise authorized; leave personal property unattended for more than 24 hours in a day use area, or 72 hours in other areas. Personal property left unattended beyond such time limit is subject to disposition under the Federal Property and Administration Services Act of 1949, as amended (40 U.S.C. 484(m))

STAKING AREAS. It is prohibited to place into the ground any non-flexible object, such as, but not limited to, metal stakes, poles, or pipes, with the exception of small tent or awning stakes.

FIRES.   The burning of potentially hazardous materials, e.g. (but not limited to) gas, oil, plastic and magnesium is prohibited.

WOOD PALLETS. It is prohibited to use as firewood, or have in possession, any firewood materials containing nails, screws, or other metal hardware, including, but not limited to, wood pallets and/or construction debris.

NO GLASS BEVERAGE CONTAINERS ARE ALLOWED.   Possession or use of any glass, cup or bottle, empty or not, used for carrying any liquid for drinking purposes is prohibited.  Persons may pick up glass beverage containers discarded by others to remove for deposit in approved trash receptacles.

NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ALLOWED WHILE RIDING ON BLM LANDS.   No person shall drink an alcoholic beverage, have in their possession or on their person any open container that contains an alcoholic beverage while operating in or on a motor vehicle or OHV on public lands administered by BLM within California.  NO PERSON UNDER AGE 21 SHALL BE IN POSSESSION OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES.

QUIET HOURS.   No person shall operate or use any audio, such as a radio, television, musical instrument, or other noise producing device or motorized equipment (including generators)between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am in a manner that makes unreasonable noise that disturbs other visitors;  or operate or use a public address system without written authorization from BLM.

PUBLIC NUDITY. Public nudity is prohibited.

ORGANIZED GROUP ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS.  You may not stage, carry out,participate in, or sponsor an organized event or activity without written authorization from BLM (e.g. customer appreciation days, competitive races, bands, videos, movies, etc.).

RIDING IN PICKUP BEDS AND OTHER UNSAFE ACTIVITIES. No person shall ride in the bed of a pick up truck or any part of a motor vehicle not designed for passengers on or off road.

AIRCRAFT. Taking off or landing of aircraft, including ultralights, is prohibited within 1 mile of Gecko Road.

DUMPING. Dumping of sewage is prohibited. (43 CFR 8365.1-1(b))

CAMPING LIMITATIONS.  A 14 day camping limit is in effect in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area.

PARKING RESTRICTIONS. No parking or camping within 10 feet of pavement on Gecko Road.

FIREARMS/FIREWORKS. It is unlawful to discharge or use firearms, fireworks or other weapons within the recreation area. (43 CFR 8341.1 (d))

LEASH LAW. Animals must be kept on a leash not longer than six feet and secured to a fixed object or under the control of a person, or otherwise physically restricted at all times. (43 CFR 87365.2-1{c})

On public lands under Section 303(a) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1733(a); 43 CFR 8360.0-7; 43 CFR 2932.57(b)), any person who violates any of these supplementary rules may be tried before a United States Magistrate and fined no more than $1,000 or imprisoned for no more than 12 months, or both.  Such violations may also be subject to the enhanced fines provided for by 18 U.S.C. 3571. Those who violate these rules may also be subject to civil action for unauthorized use of the public lands, violations of special recreation permit terms, conditions, or stipulations, or for uses beyond those allowed by the permit under 43 CFR 2932.57(b)(2).