Thanksgiving weekend camp suggestion for less crowds?

Imperial Sand Dune Recreation Area • Including Buttercup & Gordon's Well

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kwestov
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Thanksgiving weekend camp suggestion for less crowds?

Post by kwestov »

Duners,

I've avoided a Thanksgiving weekend dunes trip over the last 25 years of duning for various reasons that include avoiding the crowds and associated danger especially for the youngest duners. However, we're considering a dunes trip to the south dunes this year. I'd appreciate any suggestions for less crowded areas to camp during this peak weekend that are also good for the kiddies.

Thanks much!

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Post by TEMPORARY INSANITY »

Good luck.
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Post by LoBuck »

Your best bet in the south dunes will be the Ogilby and Runway areas. This is the area West of Ogilby Road, north of I-8, and Southwest of the railroad tracks. Runway is the area right off I-8 & Ogilby. The tower is the upper most end and can be accessed by a dirt/sand road that runs west from Ogilby Road just before where the railroad tracks cross Ogilby Road.

There are baby dunes all through that area that are good for kids. There will be huge amounts of people even there though, so don't expect to be camping by yourself. Be aware that there will be people not only playing in those small dunes, but traveling back & forth through them to get to Test Hill, Patton Valley and everywhere in between.

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Post by crash »

What about Buttercup past the end of the paved road? This is directed mostly towards Glenn or anyone who has been there lately.

We always used to go out past the end of the road and just keep going along the canal berm until there were no more people. Is this still possible now that the entire area looks to be torn up for the canal relining?

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Post by jhitesma »

crash wrote:What about Buttercup past the end of the paved road? This is directed mostly towards Glenn or anyone who has been there lately.

We always used to go out past the end of the road and just keep going along the canal berm until there were no more people. Is this still possible now that the entire area looks to be torn up for the canal relining?
Past few thanksgivings there's no where in that area where you'll find "no more people". Pretty much camps all the way from the pavement to the bridge. Well, the area with lots of shrubs doesn't have a lot of camps...but that's just because it's not really a suitable camping area.

The bridge construction staging is taking up a LOT of space around the south end of the bridge...space that the past few years has had quite a few camps in it. So I would expect Buttercup/Gordon's to be even more packed than the past few years with that in mind.

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Post by crash »

jhitesma wrote: ...but that's just because it's not really a suitable camping area.
Well, that's where I've camped for YEARS and it seemed pretty "suitable". Although since the bridge went in and the canal thing is underway I've only camped at Gordons. I was kinda afraid the canal asshats woulld take all that area for themselves. Sounds like it from what you say.
jhitesma wrote: The bridge construction staging is taking up a LOT of space around the south end of the bridge...space that the past few years has had quite a few camps in it. So I would expect Buttercup/Gordon's to be even more packed than the past few years with that in mind.
Gordons is a pretty big valley and I don't think I have EVER seen it fill up, even on HUGE weekends. You might want to give it a try. There's alot of soft spots so be careful, but if you go up north far enough you're sure to find some privacy.

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Post by gelwell »

I agree with lobuck ogilby is still the best bet for lesser crowding. There still be more people there than usual but at least it wont be as bad as the other areas.
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Post by kwestov »

All - thanks for the comments. It looks like we'll gravitate towards either Ogilby/Runway or way west of Midway.

Thanks again!

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Post by jhitesma »

crash wrote:
jhitesma wrote: The bridge construction staging is taking up a LOT of space around the south end of the bridge...space that the past few years has had quite a few camps in it. So I would expect Buttercup/Gordon's to be even more packed than the past few years with that in mind.
Gordons is a pretty big valley and I don't think I have EVER seen it fill up, even on HUGE weekends. You might want to give it a try. There's alot of soft spots so be careful, but if you go up north far enough you're sure to find some privacy.
"Packed" is a relative term :D It's no where near as crowded as most other parts of the dunes on T-day. But it's still a lot more crowded that Gordon's usually is. Everywhere is pretty busy that weekend.

Oh yeah, as for "Unsuitable" I'm not talking about the open areas over there. Just the areas where it's all tight trails and bushes with no room to park...even without a trailer...without in some way impeding a trali in one direction or the other. It's not much of that area but there are areas over there were camps just don't make sense.

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Post by DunaticSuzyQ »

Ogilby gets packed . . . don't go there. Stay far far away :wink:
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Post by kx250ryder »

As much as I would like to keep this a secret so that it will never get crowded (I feel guilty not sharing) for Glamis try near the eastern bank of the Coachella Canal.

Its hardpacked, a few minutes from restrooms, the ranger station, the drags, and several vendors (including ICE!!!). Its never crowded trying to leave either.

There are some soft spots however. If you are 2wd, or have monster travel trailers there is some risk of getting stuck if you don't keep your momentum and remember to park facing downhill.
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Post by dunes56 »

I agree with DunaticSuzyQ, don't bother with Ogilby, that place has gotten so crowded it's not worth going into anymore, then when you consider driving in on that sand wash and all the people getting stuck, just not worth it.

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Post by Glamisbound »

kx250ryder wrote:As much as I would like to keep this a secret so that it will never get crowded (I feel guilty not sharing) for Glamis try near the eastern bank of the Coachella Canal.

Its hardpacked, a few minutes from restrooms, the ranger station, the drags, and several vendors (including ICE!!!). Its never crowded trying to leave either.

There are some soft spots however. If you are 2wd, or have monster travel trailers there is some risk of getting stuck if you don't keep your momentum and remember to park facing downhill.
There is a strong chance of getting stuck if you attempt to camp in this area. In fact, you are not allowed in this area unless you have at least 20 years of dune experience. There are skeltons all over from people that got stuck and never got out!!! You have been warned!!!
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Post by kx250ryder »

Too true. We camp further down where the sand is softer and there is nobody around.

Since most of the people I camp with are 2WD, if it hasn't rained in a while, its pretty amusing to watch our camp form. Its funny how even the lightest trailer makes a 2WD truck look like its hauling a tractor pull sled out there.

It basically starts with a 35 mph run from the canal bank, swing in to the camp circle, dodge the campfire pit (getting a little sideways), and keep on trucking outward towards a gap in the circle until you start to get stuck. Swerve for the nearest downhill and shut it down until Sunday.

Almost every year there is someone who wanders all the way down to our camp, tries to turn around to go back, gets stuck, gives up and partys with us for the weekend.
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Post by Rekd »

kx250ryder wrote:Too true. We camp further down where the sand is softer and there is nobody around.

Since most of the people I camp with are 2WD, if it hasn't rained in a while, its pretty amusing to watch our camp form. Its funny how even the lightest trailer makes a 2WD truck look like its hauling a tractor pull sled out there.

It basically starts with a 35 mph run from the canal bank, swing in to the camp circle, dodge the campfire pit (getting a little sideways), and keep on trucking outward towards a gap in the circle until you start to get stuck. Swerve for the nearest downhill and shut it down until Sunday.

Almost every year there is someone who wanders all the way down to our camp, tries to turn around to go back, gets stuck, gives up and partys with us for the weekend.
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Post by Washroad »

The only way to avoid crowds this weekend is to stay home and not answer the phone.
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Post by phx450 »

OGILBY or wash 14.

or just stay home and wait for the weekend after.
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