The American Sand Association (ASA) was so pleased to see the excitement within the Dune community at the Sand Sports Super Show! We know many of you are looking forward to heading out in the next weeks and months to experience the world class opportunity the Dunes provide! We have a few reminders for you to help make your visit be safer, more fun and legal.
Some thoughts as you pack and prepare for the dunes:
Be sure your safety gear is all there and still fits properly. Helmets, boots, pants, goggles, etc. as well as emergency communication and first-aid equipment. This is especially important for youth who may not have ridden in more than a year. There are specific requirements for youth riding ATVs in California. Youth safety is your responsibility!
This is the outline of the laws http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=25676. Receiving this training has proven to be problematic throughout the State of California. We encourage you to seek this training wherever possible. Where impossible or impractical to receive in person training we suggest the minimum training for youth and adult to be online courses:
Be sure your off-road equipment meets all the legal requirements. Registration needs to be displayed, a front and rear light for night operation and dune flag are required. You should also check seatbelts, batteries, drive belts and anything else that can deteriorate in sunlight or with age.
As you load and pack make sure all your tie downs have not suffered UV damage. Trailer and tow vehicle maintenance, especially tires, are always important to start the season. Is the registration sticker on your trailer? Any firewood used at the Dunes must be free of nails or other metals, this means no pallets! No glass beverage containers should be brought to the Dunes.
You will need a camping permit; this can be a season or weekly permit. Both are available online https://www.isdpermits.net/ Be sure to allow time for mailing. They are also available at many retailers before you arrive at the Dunes and from vendors once you arrive. Remember a camping permit must be displayed upon arrival at your campsite so plan accordingly.
Camping is allowed along most of the perimeter of the Dunes. You can find maps online or request them from the BLM. There are specific camping rules for the Dunes that may differ from other BLM lands. Beyond the need for a permit, there is a 14 day stay-limit. The regulations also state that there is no saving of sites, no leaving of unattended vehicles, and no dumping of gray or black water or the leaving of trash at any campsite.
All animals must be on leash at all times.
There is also a regulation against unkept campsites as the wind can cause litter to spread and fire to move. It is important to contain both at all times and especially when leaving camp for a ride. Always practice HAUL IT IN HAUL IT OUT!
Ready to ride? All your safety gear in place?
Remember the speed limit is 15 miles an hour around camps and people. This speed limit also applies on most of the sand highways along the Dunes. Not only is this a safety item it is an air quality item. Dust causes visibility issues as well as unsafe breathing issues. Riding or driving an extra minute or two slowly on the hardpack goes a long way toward better air quality.
Know where you can legally ride! There are several map apps as well as printed maps that will give you the riding boundaries. Respect the closures and private property. There is plenty of great opportunity in the open dunes. Have wayfinding maps or technology along on the ride.
Have an emergency communications plan in mind.
Be prepared for changing weather conditions and stay hydrated.
Be sure you account for all the members of your riding group as you go and when you return.
Back in camp
As you return to camp keep your speed down and be extra attentive for other vehicles especially children.
Minimize your camp footprint and never stake the area with anything steel or potentially dangerous.
Be kind to your neighbors with noise especially generators and loud music.
Never burn anything hazardous or dangerous such as magnesium.
Set specific boundaries for children so they don’t interact with moving vehicles.
If you need more information check this website https://www.blm.gov/visit/imperial-sand-dunes/rules-and-regulations
ASA has been on the forefront of protecting your right to ride and making all sand recreation an important part of the OHV experience! We want you to have a wonderful family outing at the Dunes. A few rules go a long way to make a safe and pleasurable camping and riding experience. Never take for granted this will always be here for your pleasure. Respect each other, the environment, and the BLM.