Wilderness visitors must pack in all drinking water and be prepared for large temperature swings. Proper sun protection such as a wide-brimmed hat is recommended, even in early spring and late fall, along with sun screen lotion. There are no sources of ground water in the Wilderness.
Be aware that road access past the first "P" symbol (for "Parking") on the map when traveling northbound on Peterson Road (where Peterson Road ends and Juniper Dunes Road begins) is typically difficult due to loose sand road conditions and potentially some large roller-coaster like "whoops" in Juniper Dunes Road. Vehicle travel past this point normally requires, at a minimum, a high clearance vehicle, preferably 4-wheel-drive.
It is recommended that visitors to the Wilderness park their vehicles no farther up Juniper Dunes Road than the upper off-highway vehicle (OHV) "Open" area parking/staging area (identified on the map with the 2nd "P" symbol and "?" symbol), which itself is loose sand, and therefore potentially a place where vehicles could get stuck.
Access to the Wilderness Gate is via the one-mile stretch of Wilderness Road where it starts ¾ mile north past the upper parking/staging area off of Juniper Dunes Road. There is a Wilderness Road sign at that intersection but it is easy to miss. Travel on Wilderness Road requires a high clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle to reach the Wilderness Gate in the best of conditions, i.e. in late fall/ winter/early spring or soon after significant precipitation when the loose sand road has moisture and some compaction. As stated above it is recommended that people do not attempt turning off of Juniper Dunes Road onto Wilderness Road to access the Wilderness Gate, especially when sand conditions are dry. If you get seriously stuck it will be very difficult to get towed out.
Vehicles pulling trailers should never attempt driving past the upper OHV "Open" area parking/staging area. Visitors to the Wilderness can hike or ride on horseback across the OHV "Open" area from the upper parking/staging area to the Wilderness, or via Wilderness Road to access the Wilderness Gate.
The area is approximately seven miles northeast of Pasco, Washington. From Ritzville and Spokane, Washington:
- US 395 South to Pasco. Exit onto Hwy 12 East (towards Walla Walla).
- Just under 2 miles, exit onto Kahlotus Road (ramp north towards Kahlotus).
- Continue NE on the Kahlotus Road for approx 5 miles.
- Turn left onto Peterson Road. First 2 miles is Private Road.***Note: there is a huge yellow mailbox on the opposite side of Kahlotus Road at the entrance to Peterson Rd.
- Continue straight approx 4 miles on Peterson Road. At the Juniper Road intersection, turn right.
- Park in this area or continue for approximately 2 more miles.
- There is a second large parking area with a metal information Kiosk at this point; this puts you next to the play area dunes. Be aware of sandy conditions in this parking area.
- From here use an area map to get to the Wilderness Gate +1 mile away via Wilderness Road. Please sign in at the kiosk.