• Plank Road - Winterhaven, California

      Around the turn of the 20th century, the desert between El Centro and Yuma was an insurmountable barrier to vehicles. In 1915, the first road made of planks was laid across a seven-mile stretch of shifting sands. The road was constructed of planks laid side-by-side in 12 foot, prefabricated sections. A team of horses moved them as the sands shifted. Increasing traffic led to altercations as there were few places to pass. In 1926, the plank road was replaced by a paved road. This remnant is protected by the Bureau of Land Management.

      If you go:
      Take Exit 156 at Gray's Well and follow Gray's Well Road along the Interstate about 3.3 miles to the west. Look for the sign for Plank Road after you go down a hill past the Midway Camping Area. The Buttercup Ranger Station, just west of the exit, is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Fees are required to use the recreation area, but a stop at Plank Road does not require a permit.


      Grays Well Road
      Winterhaven, California 92283 USA

      Mailing address:
      BLM El Centro Field Office
      1661 S. 4th Street
      El Centro, CA 92243 USA

      Phone Numbers:

      El Centro Field Office
      +1 (760) 337-4400