Street Address
11 Frontage Road
Ocotillo, CA 92259
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 2455
El Centro, CA 92244
phone: 760-427-6918
Opening date in 2009 to be announced soon.
Located just SW of the intersection of Interstate 8 and Highway S2.
To Be Announced Soon
Matt Dessert, President


The Desert Museum of Imperial Valley College aims to educate the general public about the prehistory of Imperial County through exhibits that show how humans thrived on the mountains, the basin, and the Colorado River for thousands of years before the Spaniards arrived in the 1540's.


The first person to take an inerest in Imperial Valley archaeology was Malcolm Rogers of San Diego. He did field work out in the desert in the 1920's and '30's. He found ancient indian trails and the ancient Lake Cahuilla shoreline. He established a chronology of the ancient cultures and described their tools. He was also the first to describe their pottery types. In 1970 Imperial Valley College created an archaeology program. Jan von Werlhof was responsible for the program and he is still involved in the museum. His classes recorded more than 6,000 of the 9,000 sites recorded in the county.

Artifacts Collections

anthropology, archaeology, archives, basketry, botany, ceramics, ethnic & tribal art, ornithology, photography

Research Collections

archaeology of Imperial County

Educational Programs

exhibitions, children's classes, lectures, hands-on workshops, performances, demonstrations, research, guided tours, outreach to schools, fundraising


    Access: General Public, Students, Scholars, Members

    Appointment required: Yes


    parking, wheelchair access, re

    free parking