Go ATVing in Ocotillo Wells, A 90 Acre Off-roading Wonderland

It all started when I saw my friend Rachel’s instagram post of a place called Fonts Point. I thought to myself, that’s in the Southern California Desert? It looks like Arizona or Utah. Then the research began. I was itching for a weekend trip close enough to Los Angeles that I didn’t have to get on a plane. After some research I found a spot near the Salton Sea that rented ATV’s. Steve’s ATV Rentals in Salton City in just a 3-hour drive from the westside of L.A., with 90 acres of trails in Octotillo Wells just a stone’s throw away.

We left Saturday morning at 7:30am for the desert and arrived at Dave’s ATV Rentals around 11am. We opted for automatic transmitions since we aren’t pros and haven’t gone ATVing often. The intro to the park sounded intimidating with all the trails and directions—but it was really spot on and once we were in it was easy to navigate with lots of signs.

It was a short ride along and under the freeway to the park entrance, and then, more then 85,000 acres of magnificent desert are open for off-highway exploration and recreation within the boundaries of the park. There are interesting sites to stop at all over the park, as well as bathrooms and open areas to stop and snack at the major stops. In between the trails are long and not too busy. The majority of the time we were alone and flying at what felt like 40 miles an hour! 

Mad Max status. This is definitely a perfect location for filming.

Mad Max status. This is definitely a perfect location for filming.

There are a lot of geological sites all over Ocotillo Wells. We went to see the Pumpkin Patch, a unique landscape that’s the result of wind and water continuously eroding the surface soil. Eventually little sandstone shapes appear that look like pumpkins.

The Pumpkin Patch, a geological phenomenon

We also went to see gas domes, which are volcano-like mud pots of bubbling liquid. Cool gray water bubbles up from gas and builds and deposits more particles on the surface, making the hill grow larger. There are similar to the mud pots near the Salton Sea. 

The Gas Domes: volcano-like mud pots

John striking a pose on the ATV

Dirty sand and dirty sneakers @sunskis @converse

It feels like Arizona out here in the California desert

Overall, this is an amazing place to explore. If you have have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below! 


Steve's ATV Rentals

Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area

Location: 92004


California’s Largest Lake: The Salton Sea


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