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Closed Sand Dune Areas

North Algodones Sand Dunes

North Algodones Wilderness Area - North of Hwy 78 in picture
Dunes North of Hwy 78 are closed to vehicles

Location:  26 miles east of Brawley, California (Southeastern California)

The North Algodones Dunes Wilderness is located between the Mammoth Wash “open” area and the State Highway 78.

Managed By: Bureau of Land Management

Size: 32,240 acres (50 square miles)

Date of Closure: 1994 - California Desert Protection Act

Type of Closure: Permanent

Reason for Closure

  • Wilderness Designation, California Desert Protection Act 1994
  • California Protection Act
    In 1994, Congress enacted the California Protection Act (CPA), that among other things, designated 69 separate tracts of land totaling 3,667,020 acres in the southern California Desert as wilderness and placed them under the jurisdiction of the BLM and the U.S. FWS. These lands are to be preserved in a natural state and access is generally limited to non-motorized, non-mechanized means. The Act also established the Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks, and established the Mojave National Preserve.

Other information:

The Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area (ISDRA) encompasses approximately 159,000 acres of which 32,000 acres is designated as the North Algodones Dunes Wilderness.


Wilderness Act of September 3, 1964's definition of "wilderness."  See 43 U.S.C.  1782(a).  That act, in relevant part, defines "wilderness" as an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, . . . which (1) generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man's work substantially unnoticeable; (2) has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation; (3) has at least five thousand acres of land or is of sufficient size to make practicable its preservation and use in an unimpaired condition; and (4) may also contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value.

North Algodones Dunes Wilderness - Water Guzzler   North Algodones Dunes Wilderness - Water Guzzler   North Algodones Dunes Wilderness - Water Guzzler   North Algodones Dunes Wilderness - Water Guzzler
Maybe Senator Feinstein's definition of "imprint of man's work substantially unnoticeable" is different that the rest of us. When the Wilderness Act is abused like this, it dilutes the meaning of "Wilderness".


Other Photos:

Imperial Sand Dunes Map   

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