The Mammoth Wash camping area is a BLM-managed, dispersed camping area located on the north end of the Imperial Sand Dunes complex in Southern California’s Imperial Valley sand dunes. Mammoth Wash offers access to the North Algodones Dunes Wilderness Area, which is located to the south of the area where the camping area is located, as well as access to the popular Glamis dunes area.

Off-roading is one of the more popular activities at Mammoth Wash, but it is less popular than the southern end of the Imperial Sand Dunes since it is a little smaller and a little more out of the way. However, the Mammoth Wash area has a number of basins down the center of the area that offer small amounts of shade from palo verde and mesquite trees in the sea of sand. These basins are flat areas that are accessible for camping and hiking.

Mammoth Wash is bordered by the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks to the east, and the New Coachella Canal on the west. The area is also largely surrounded by live fire bombing ranges used by the military, so do not venture beyond the dunes area. However, do not let the bombing range scare you from visiting Mammoth Wash, it is pretty far from the camping area.

All of the camping at Mammoth Wash is backcountry camping and you should come prepared; bring plenty of water. There are no amenities at Mammoth Wash.

Inexperienced backcountry campers and people not familiar with the harsh desert environment should not camp here. Be on the lookout for poisonous snakes among other things.

Mammoth Wash Features

Campground Type: Dispersed
Number of Campsites: Virtually Unlimited
  • $50/Week from October 1 – April 1
  • $150/Season from October 1 – April 1
  • Permits may be purchased off-site at vendors or on-site at the ranger stations
Use Level: Low
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Fire Rings: None
Drinking Water: None
Toilets: None
Showers: None
Trash/Dumpsters: None – Pack it out
Hiking Access: Yes
Beach/Lake Access: None
RV/Trailer Length: Not Specified
RV/Trailer Amenities: None
Cell Phone Service: None
Wifi: None
Operating Season: Campground open year-round

Getting There

Geo Coordinates: 33.106060, -115.281946
Nearest City/Town: Brawley, California
Elevation: 100 – 400 Feet
Location: Imperial County, California
Paved Road Access: None
Proximity to Stores: Approximately 10 Miles to Brawley, CA depending on where you camp
Located north of State Highway 78, Mammoth Wash extends from the east side of the Coachella Canal to railroad track on the west. Access the east side of the Dunes from Glamis on the Niland/Glarnis County Road.


Phone: (760) 337-4400 Facebook:
Web: Bureau of Land Management – El Centro Twitter:
Reservations: Not Accepted – First-come, First-served

When To Go

Winter – The dunes are most popular in the winter, especially around the long holiday weekends.

Do not camp here in the summer. Temperatures usually exceed 100 degrees daily.

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What To Do

OHV Riding – The dunes are very popular for off-roading and OHV driving.

Image Credits: Cobalt123 via Flickr

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Justin is an IT Professional, focused on cloud, mobile, and infrastructure management and security with his consulting business, as well as chief bottle washer for this website. In addition to, Justin also runs and writes for the technology infrastructure-focused blog, and the mobile device-focused blog


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