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Closed Sand Dune Areas

Thousand Palms Dunes

Thousand Palms Dunes - circa 1976
Thousand Palms Dunes are now closed to vehicles


Ten miles east of Palm Springs, CA


Interstate 10 to east on Ramon Rd., then north on 1000 Palms Canyon Rd.


For thousands of years, particles of sand from the San Bernardino Mountains and Indio Hills washed into the Coachella Valley, forming a system of dunes. 

The Coachella Valley was once dominated by nearly 100 square miles of sand dunes; today there is fewer than 5% of that habitat remaining in viable condition.

Managed By

Jointly managed by the BLM - Palm Springs, The Nature Conservancy; California Department of Fish and Game; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and California Department of Parks and Recreation.

Size: The preserve is 20,000 acres.

Date of Closure

Type of Closure: Permanent

Reason for Closure

The dunes and surrounding area became part of the Coachella Valley Preserve and Coachella Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Both areas were designed to protect the Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard, (Uma inornata).

Other information:

The 13,000 acre Coachella Valley National Wildlife Refuge was established by the USFWS in 1985 to protect the lizard. The 20,000 acre Coachella Valley Preserve, encompasses an additional area adjacent to the refuge.

The Coachella Valley Preserve has three separate dune systems, Thousand Palms, Willow Hole, and Whitewater River, each with separate sand sources. The Thousand Palms dune system is the largest of the three.

Simone Dune is another name for one of the dunes within the preserve.

Endangered or Threatened Species:



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