Ocotillo Wells State Vehicle Rec. Area
Borrego Springs, CA
In October, Side By Side Stuff made the voyage out to California to partake in the event know as “Camp RZR.” Sponsored by Polaris, “Camp RZR” is a Side By Side rally held in the sand dunes commonly known as Glamis. We got the opportunity to put some time behind the wheel and enjoyed exploring the vast dune system that Glamis has to offer. While we were in California we stumbled upon another one of California’s amazing SVRA’s know as Ocotillo Wells State Vehicle Recreation Area. In December, Side By Side Stuff made the trip back out to California to see what riding in the desert is all about.
Operated by California State Parks, Ocotillo Wells SVRA consists of more than 85,000 acres of pristine desert available for off-road exploration and recreation. Ocotillo Wells is an off-road paradise located approximately 100 miles to the north east of San Diego. Multiple types of terrain and trail difficulty makes Ocotillo Wells a unique place to ride a side by side. Many types of terrain are available from intermediate to advanced including rock climbing, dry riverbed washes to explore, hills to climb, lots of whooped out roads, sand dunes to jump and even some mud on occasion.
What’s nice about Ocotillo Wells is that it’s big and spread out for wide-open riding. There are so many areas where it is pedal to the metal for as far as you can see. We had a riot in the dry river beds drifting the corners at 55 mph plus. We were there on a weekend that wasn’t heavily populated so it was like having our own private piece of the desert at times which was amazing. The riding area is so vast that it is almost easy to get lost, having a gps system is highly recommended.
Ocotillo Wells is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can camp throughout the park. If you are in a self-contained vehicle be sure to fill your holding tanks before you arrive as water filling and waste dump stations are not available however coin operated showers are available. Also be sure to bring food, sunscreen and lots of water to stay hydrated. We had a cold front with rain come in the day before we arrived so the temperature was only in the low 70’s but at times can easily move into the high 90’s and above.
If you are looking to test your skills or just improve them, Ocotillo Wells has an amazing 4X4 training area. The training area includes 22 obstacles designed for you to hone your skills and take your off road abilities to the next level. Huge tire piles, large concrete tubes, large boulders, thick logs and a few big hills to climb were several of the obstacles built for enthusiasts to navigate. We made a valid effort to crawl large tire hill only to break our drive belt in the process. Even with the vehicle being damaged, the 4X4 training area was still fantastic and highly recommended to check out if you visit Ocotillo Wells.
Whether you’re a serious UTV rider or just an enthusiast looking for a great new place to ride, I highly recommend you check out Ocotillo Wells SVRA. We had a great time while we were there and look forward to riding there in the future!