Sunday, February 22, 2015



Over the President's Day Weekend I joined two fellow photographers on a venture to the Imperial Dunes near Glamis, CA; and onto the Salton Sea.

The Imperial Dunes are mostly a destination for those who like to ride dune buggies and motorcycles. It is located in Imperial County and is bisected by State route 78. Motorized vehicles are allowed on the South side of State Route 78. However on the North side the only access is by foot or horseback. This makes for some pristine dunes. We were looking to photograph in the North Section.

We scouted the area, took pictures of the motorized fun, 

 and then retreated to the Glamis Beach Store for a cold drink and a couple of pieces of pizza. We then headed out to find a place for capturing the late afternoon and sunset light on the dunes. After walking from the Overlook and crossing the Highway, we quickly found a couple of spots. As there has not been any rain lately the dunes were quite soft and we were glad that we did not have to stagger up a very steep dune. It was a fun evening and the sunset was good. 
Dry Grasses and Ripples

Dunes and Grasses

Dune Detail

Dunes Sunset 1

Dunes Sunset 2

Dunes Sunset 3

After a good night’s sleep at the Brawley Inn we were off early to the Salton Sea which is to the North for sunrise and bird photography. Sunrise was not particularly noteworthy, but we did enjoy seeing the Sea in soft light .   

Cormorants and Moon

Tree Skeletons

Salton Sea Morning

We went in search of the burrowing owl, but were not successful in seeing any. I was able to spot a couple of burrows though. Then it was onto Unit 1 where we did succeed in capturing some birds –

Black-Necked Stilts —

White Pelicans – 


and high overhead some Sandhill Cranes --

The drive home was through the Southern part of Anza-Borrego State Park, Julian, and Ramona via the Old Julian Highway and Wildcat Canyon Road which my passengers were not really familiar with and they enjoyed the back roads tour.


  1. Nice action shots at the the dunes but I prefer the natural side where you scored a magnificent sunset. I haven't stopped at the Sea yet. Were you on the south side at Sony Bono? Maybe I should stay on the shore before heading into Joshua Tree this week. Trying to photograph birds would be a good challenge.

  2. Yes, the quieter side of SR78 is my preference as well. What are you going to do in the middle of the afternoon when the sun is too high?
    We visited both the Headquarters of Sonny Bono as well as Unit 1. Most of the birds were around Unit 1.