Before coming to American Girl Mine road to boondock, I didn’t know about the Imperial Sand Dunes. (Sometimes referred to as Glamis Dunes.) Well, in a roundabout way, you and I sort of knew about them.
It was the planet Tatooine in Star Wars. Many other movies, TV shows, and commercials have been filmed here.
The dunes came into my life abruptly. They hit me while caravaning in California down I-8.
On the drive, the landscape consisted of rocky sand and a few small shrubs.
A dust storm loomed in the distance so visibility was very low.
Once we got into the sandstorm, we were in the dunes! We found ourselves looking at a TOTALLY different landscape.
We were surrounded by giant mounds of sand on both sides of the interstate. (These photos were taken on another, clearer day.)
The sandstorm had blurred the view of the dunes until we were right on top of them.
I knew I had to explore this place.
Exploring the Imperial Dunes
A few days later, Marshall and I took The Girls for a dunes excursion.
We were VERY glad we did! If you go anywhere near Yuma, don’t miss this.
It was actually the best day out of the three days that we went because it was windy and so the tire tracks were minimal. We got the best photos on that day because of it.
It reminded The Girls of the beach in Florida. Trixie got the ‘racy-chasies’ right off the bat!
Gizmo got the racy-chasies as well!
Dogs are allowed on the dunes but they recommend for them to be on leash. Dogs have gotten lost because of running away from fear of the dune vehicles.
People are allowed to drive on the dunes so dune buggies, motorcycles, and vehicles I don’t know the name of all play on the dunes. We got quite a show by one of the buggies I cannot name. (See video below)
I wish I got a full video of the sand he kicked out as he gunned it down the hill. Also, we were glad he didn’t kick the sand right at US!! (Would have been a dick move.) Instead, he gave us front seat tickets to a cool show.
Anyway, who knew Tatooine was so beautiful without the sand pit monster? Here are some photos of why you will want to go.
Behold, the beauty of the dunes.
On visit 2, we brought along friends John and Becky. I got playful on this day and hence we got shots like this:
How about some sand dune handstands?
More Imperial Dune Antics
Things to know about staying at American Girl Mine Rd and visiting the Imperial Dunes
I’m not going into the rules and regulations of riding the dunes. You can already get that here. I am catering to RV’ers and visitors.
- You are supposed to have a pass to park at the dunes. The cheapest pass gives you a week of access. (We did not opt in.) However, when you exit on Grey Wells Rd, there is a parking lot on the right just before the Buttercup Ranger Station. It’s 30-minute parking. We parked there without incident. I heard the rangers generally tolerate people to park for a while to walk the dunes for a bit.
- If it’s very windy, COVER UP! The sand stings. You will need glasses as well to protect your eyes.
- Photos are best in the evening a good hour or so before sunset. In the morning, the sun was softer so not as much contrast in the dunes. If you go RIGHT at sunset, there are too many shadows.
- You can camp at the dunes off of Grey Wells Rd. There is an on-site host. It’s just an open area and I’ll state the obvious- you’re going to hear a constant drone of off-road vehicles if you stay here. You are also right on the Interstate. More info on camping there Here.
American Girl Mine Rd
- Traveling West on I-8, if you pass Exit 156, or Grey Wells Road, there is a rest station in the median. You can dump your trash and get water there. No dump, though.
- The road in (Ogilby Rd) can flood. It was barricaded one day when I went home. Sure, I went through it and the road was fine by then, but just know flash floods can happen. We had friends who were stopped by a wash ON American Girl Rd. They parked for an hour and had lunch in their RV. #Benefits.
- There’s a TON of space. Explore. Don’t just go to the first place you see other RV’s at.
- There’s a train. Choose to park close to it or far depending on your like for the sound. It certainly carries out there. I liked it. Depending on the way the wind is going, you will or won’t hear it.
- Sunsets are AMAZING out there.
- Don’t have dental insurance? Get a cleaning in Los Algodones, Mexico. It only cost me $20!! Perfectly safe, cheap, practitioners have just as good training as US dentists. State of the art facilities. This is why we stayed at A.G.
- I got eyeglasses as well. $10 exam. My total was $120. They work GREAT!
- Blazing fast internet out there!
- This place is a much better place to stay than Quartzsite if you need a parking spot to hit Mexico. Much closer, better internet and more nearby amenities in Yuma.
See? Nothing to be afraid of. Clean, state of the art, doesn’t look like ‘Mexico’ at all. (For those of you who are wondering)
Los Algodones, Mexico
I saw this Mexican dude literally jump the fence right at the Algodones border crossing. He jumped then just blended in (Sort of) with the crowd. Got away with it! No border agents were to be found.
To Make Up For Lack Of Funny…
Ok, so this wasn’t one of my funnest or funniest stories, it was more informational. This doesn’t seem fair as most of my shit has a comedic bend. (I think.)
To be fair to you, I’ll leave you with this video that has entertained me for about at least 30 minutes thus far. (I get the giggles just thinking about it. Every time.)
Thanks for following!