North Algodones Sand Dunes: Dreaming of African Sahara

North Algodones Sand Dunes, Imperial Glamis Dunes
Algodones Sand Dunes resemble the Sahara
On my 1st and only trip to the North Algodones Sand Dunes located in the Imperial Valley of California, I was hoping to experience some untouched sand dunes.  The Algodones Dunes are segregated into the North and the South.  The North is designated wilderness and off-road vehicles are forbidden.  The South is a designated site for off-road vehicle fun.  When I drove into Glamis that was quite clear that the South receives a lot more attention than the North.

I slept in my car beside the North dunes and got up well before sunrise so that I could hike out onto the dunes and be there when the sun came up.  I was surprised at how much walking I had to do simply to reach the dunes.  It was very flat but seems to take about twice as long as I expected.  The dunes began fairly abruptly on the edge of some brush and trees.  Yet a few questions and even a tree or 2 are located in the midst of the dunes as far as I can see.  There was never a location where the dunes were completely 100% sand without vegetation.

I certainly enjoyed taking pictures at sunrise.  After about an hour it started to get quite hot and I started making my way back towards the edge of the dunes.  It was at this time that I discovered this lonely tree which actually has a nest.  I was careful to make a wide circle around this tree because I did not want my footprints in the picture.  This shot was taken with an 85 millimeters lens which I thought was a good choice to include the tree and the surrounding areas but also to give a perspective of the distant dunes seem to go on forever.

In postprocessing I must admit there were a few small rocks and pebbles in the sand that I removed using Photoshop so that I could have a very clean sand dune appearance.

A few hours on the dunes I felt like I was in Africa.  Sand dunes are quite spectacular in person and in photography.