Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) Star Gazing and Overlanding


Adventure Rating: Epic

Distance from San Diego: 90 miles

Season: Year round, but higher elevation roads may become impassable during the occurrence of unusually heavy snow (a rare event). There are typically go arounds using paved lower elevation roads.

Avg Technical Rating: 1

Peak Technical Rating: 4

Typical Terrain: All dirt road Expect driving through gravel washes, wide dirt roads, and narrower, unmaintained jeep tracks. Washouts are a common occurrence, so check with local regarding road conditions.



Recommended Vehicle: No special vehicle needed to Overland close to highway. Dirt roads are well travelled and hard. A 4x4 with special tires is needed if you want to go deeper in the soft dune areas or you want to go 4x4'ing. Recommended Gear: n/a

Adventure Vans: Yes! Sprinter 4x4s is fine

History: The 'Wells' in 'Ocotillo Wells' is said to be derived from exploratory oil wells that existed here from 1919 to 1984. During WWII, portions of the area were used for military training. After the war, surplus Willys Jeeps were bought by civilians and used here for recreation. In April of 1976, Ocotillo Wells was officially designated as an SVRA (State Vehicular Recreation Area).

Access Description: Take State Route 78 to Ranger Station Road about halfway between Borrego Springs and Highway 86. If coming from Highway 86, Ranger Station Road is west 18.5 miles. Head north on Ranger Station Road about 0.2 miles to Quarry Road on right. Before you turn, you'll see the Discovery Center and Ranger Station just ahead.

Where to Camp: You can camp just about anywhere in the park. Lots of areas with shelter, fire pits, picnic tables and so on.

Price: Free to camp





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