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Places to Ride: Ocotillo Wells SVRA

Offroading at Ocotillo Wells
Offroading at Ocotillo Wells
Matt FInley

Thousands of Diverse Desert Acres for ATV and OffRoading Adventure

Some of the most diverse, challenging and impressive off roading I've found in Southern California is at the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area located on State Highway 78, right near the San Diego/Imperial County line.

With over 50,000 acres of different types of desert and mountain terrain it satisfies every aspect of my riding passion with the exception of trail riding in the woods. The ability to wander so far from camp is a great reason to plan your trip and to have a good emergency repair kit for your ATV in case you break down.

Ocotillo Wells gives me access to desert trails, dirt roads and washes, technical canyons, wide-open desert, mountains and even a small sand dune. There's also plenty of easy riding, perfect for the kids on their smaller quads.

One of my favorite gathering spots at Ocotillo Wells is Blowsand Hill. Blowsand Hill is the small sand dune created naturally by relentless desert winds carrying sand for miles before it gets piled up against this small mountain. At the base of this hill you will find the ranger's station, bathrooms, and the most popular camping spot in the entire area.
Ocotillo, the Town

The town of Ocotillo is a small community of like-minded people who enjoy the desert and everything it has to offer, including the influx of thousands of off-roaders every weekend during the cooler part of the season.

It has a store, gas, food, restaurants, a repair shop and even an airport. A dirt airport, but an airport none the less. The residents of Ocotillo are friendly to visitors, and many off roaders have made life-long friends with residents there.

Ocotillo Wells is run by the California State Parks department, and it borders some pretty big sections of OHV area to the South across the 78 which is controlled by the Bureau of Land Management.

Admission to the off road area is free, but registration is still required for your quad. There is a ranger station and camp ground there, with un-improved camping just about anywhere you can drag your trailer.

General Contact and Emergency Information

Ocotillo Wells Ranger Station: 760-767-5391
State Park Dispatch: 911

Pioneer’s Memorial Hospital: 619-344-2120
207 West Legion Rd.
Brawley, CA

Ocotillo Wells
State Vehicular Recreation Area
P.O. Box 360
Borrego Springs, CA 92004
760 767-5391

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