Sand dunes dominate the landscape in the North Algodones Dunes Wilderness Area.
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Cadiz Dunes Wilderness

Shadows move across the dunes. Photo Courtesy of Murl ShaverShadows move across the dunes. Photo Courtesy of Murl Shaver
Legal Description
7.5 Topo Map 1, 2, 3, 4
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Size: 19,935 acres Cadiz Dunes

Location: San Bernardino County; 40 miles east of Twentynine Palms, California (Note: Boundary set backs from roads or trails are 30 to 300 feet)

Area Description :

The 21,298-acre (approximate) Cadiz Dunes Wilderness encompasses a major portion of the Cadiz Dune system and desert shrub lowlands just east of the dunes.  These small dunes were formed by north winds pushing sands off the Cadiz Dry Lake.  Due to the remote location these dunes, they had very little OHV use prior to their designation as wilderness.  The pristine nature of the dunes and the beautiful spring display of unique dune plants have made the area a favorite for photographers.  Borrego milkvetch occurs in the sand dunes and is listed by the California Native Plant Society as rare and endangered in California.  Wildlife is typical for the Mojave Desert; including coyote, black-tailed jackrabbits, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats, quail, roadrunners, rattlesnakes, and several species of lizards.

Getting There : Travel 62 miles east of Twentynine Palms on State Highway 62. Turn north and follow the graveled Cadiz Road for 26 miles. The next 5 miles of the Cadiz Road forms the eastern boundary of the wilderness. Cadiz Road is passable by two-wheel drive vehicles, but the southern and northern bound routes require four-wheel drive vehicles.

Nonfederal Lands: Private lands may lie within the wilderness area. Please respect the owner and do not use these lands without permission.

Additional Information :

Recreational Opportunities

Hiking, horseback riding, hunting, camping, rock hounding, photography, and backpacking are examples of activities that can be enjoyed in this wilderness. 

Climate and Special Equipment Needs

Temperatures are fairly mild in the early spring, late fall, and winter; generally 30-80?F.  Summer temperatures are extremely hot.  Temperatures are commonly over 115?F and can get well over 120?F.  Always carry water; desert springs are not reliable water sources.

Signs indicating "Wilderness" and "Closed Road" or "Closed Route" are placed at various intervals.  Vehicles can be parked outside the wilderness boundary; however, the boundary is set back 30 feet from unmaintained dirt roads and 300 feet on paved roads.

Mechanized or motorized vehicles are NOT PERMITTED in a wilderness.

Hunting, fishing, and non-commercial trapping are allowed under state and local laws.

Pet are allowed, but please keep your pets under control at all times.

Horses are permitted, however you may be required to carry feed.

Removal, disturbance, or attempting to remove archaelogical materials is a felony.  Selling, receiving, purchasing, transporting, exchanging or offering to do so is prohibited by law.

CAMPING: Camping is permitted, limited to 14 days.  After 14 days, campers must relocate at least 25 miles from previous site.

Help BLM preserve California's fragile deserts.  Please park your vehicle or set up camp in previously disturbed sites.

Gathering wood for campfires, when permitted, is limited to dead and down materials.  Do not cut live vegetation.

The BLM encourages all desert recreationists and travelers exploring public lands, not only within southern California but through the west, to use propylene glycol based antifreeze/coolant in their touring and recreation vehicles.  Proven safer, it will have minimal impacts on the wildlife and the environment should a leak occur.


  • Desert Access Guide:
    • Sheephole Mountains 
  • USGS 7.5 Quadrangle Maps:
    • Cadiz Lake
    • Cadiz Lake North East
    • Cadiz Lake North West
    • Chubbuck


Bureau of Land Management
Needles Field Office
1303 S. Hwy 95
Needles, CA 92363
Phone: (760) 326-7000
Fax: (760) 326-7099
Office Hours: 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., M-F
Contact us by Email