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Palen Dunes is now closed to OHVs!

Palen Dunes

Name: Palen Dunes

Latest News:

Palen Dunes is not available for OHV use.

It has been brought to out attention that your website,, has a web page that promotes the Palen Dunes near the town of Desert Center, CA as an area where people can ride OHVs.  The Palen-McCoy Dunes are federal lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management that are not open to OHV riding. Visitors are welcome to drive  to the dunes and use the area for dispersed camping and hiking, but not riding. Our rangers will be enforcing the regulations in this area and violators will be cited if they are found using OHV's on the dunes.

Additionally, you should be aware that there are no "open" riding areas for OHV's within the Palm Spings-South Coast Field Office which includes all of Riverside County. Our field office provides designated routes of travel, over 1,500 miles just in the eastern part of Riverside County, between Blythe and Indio specifically for OHV recreational opportunities.  

Please remove the web page directing OHV users to this area as soon as possible to avoid the distribution of misinformation and potential conflicts between the rangers and OHV users.

Dan Westermeyer
Outdoor Recreation Planner
Bureau of Land Management
Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office
Ph: 760-833-7115


North East of Desert Center, CA


Small rolling dunes mixed with hard pack.


Palen Dunes - Google Maps satellite image/map

Interstate 10 to north on State Highway 177 (Desert Center Rice Rd.).
Stay on  Highway 177 for 7 miles.  Look for the Desert Lily Sanctuary signs.  Turn at the Desert Lily Sanctuary and go east for about 3 miles.



Camping Area:

Camping is allowed.  No facilities.

Area Managed By: 

BLM - Palm Springs

Fees: None


Other Photos:

Palen Dunes NE of Desert Center, CA   Palen Dunes NE of Desert Center, CA   Palen Dunes

Palen Pass

Palen Pass   Palen Pass   Camp Coxcomb Monument - Palen Pass Marker

Other Information:

  • GPS Coordinates: 3346'46.26"N, 11514'58.64"W

  • Joshua Tree National Parks lies just to the west (protected)

  • Desert Lily Sanctuary lies near the turnoff to the dunes (protected area)

  • Palen McCoy Wilderness Area is to the north east (protected)

  • Palen Dry Lake ACEC is just to the south east

  • Ford Dry Lake and Dunes lie to the south east (closed to OHVs)



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