By: Dave Helgeson
Places to Ride:
Plaster City, California
Fun Desert Terrain, Don't Forget Your
If you plan to ride at Plaster City, bring
plenty of gas--you’ll need it to cover the
41,000 acres of open desert riding available.
For those of you that are math challenged,
41,000 acres is equal to over 64 square miles!
That is a lot of ground to cover.
Upon initial inspection, Plaster City appears
to offer little terrain variety, but a little
exploring will reveal a nice selection of
terrain for your enjoyment. In my travels
through the area I found some nice dry washes,
whoop sections, and berms. The dry washes offer
slopes for climbing and banking turns. Along the
west side of the area you will find low rolling
hills with plenty of small climbs. If you don’t
find any trails to your liking, blaze your own.
Plaster City is designated as an open area which
allows all forms of cross-country travel.
Vehicles may be operated anywhere within the
posted boundaries of open areas. I
discovered many places where it appeared no one
had ridden as I cruised through the desert scrub
on a course of my own choosing.
Plaster City is divided into two
sections--West Plaster City and East Plaster
City. The dividing line appears to be the mining
railroad between the two areas. The areas are
clearly marked with staging signs for both the
west and east sections with “open area” signs
identifying the boundaries of the entire area.
Riding Up A Wash
From eastbound Interstate 8:
Take the Imperial Highway S-2 exit to the north
Turn east on S-80 Evan Hewes Highway
Continue east approximately 7 miles to Plaster
City West, 10 miles for Plaster City East
From westbound Interstate 8:
Take the Dunway exit to the north
Turn west on S-80 Evan Hewes Highway
Continue west approximately 2 miles for Plaster
City East, 5 miles for Plaster City West
Services: Food, lodging, fuel, and all
other services are available in El Centro
For a map of the area click see the following
Beware of adjacent military bombing ranges,
limited use lands, and wilderness areas.
Rules & Regulations:
- Camping is allowed anywhere within the riding
area that does not block travel on a road.
Camping is limited to a 14-day stay.
- Draining of holding tanks, littering, and trash
dumping are prohibited. Please take your trash
- All vehicles must have a muffler or spark
arrester and have either a street-legal license
or be registered as an off-highway vehicle.
- Vehicles operated at night must have head and
- Helmets are required on all ATVs. Passengers are
not permitted on ATVs.
- Plaster City is designated as an open area. Open
areas are available for all forms of
cross-country travel. Vehicles may be operated
anywhere within the posted boundaries of open
- Digging or destroying trees and shrubs or
harassing wildlife or stock are prohibited.
- The desert tortoise is a federally protected
species. Please do not handle or disturb these
animals. Look, but don’t touch.
- It is illegal to damage or destroy
For More Information Contact:
Bureau of Land Management
El Centro Field Office
1661 S. 4th Street
El Centro, CA 92243
Or visit them on the web at:
Be safe, enjoy, and I hope to see you on the