Last updated: 2/10/2018
Ocotillo, California
Street Address
11 Frontage Road
Ocotillo, CA 92259
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 430
Ocotillo, CA 92259
phone: 760-358-7016
Sunday, Wednesday - Saturday10 AM - 4 PM
We are currently waiving the admission fee during the construction of our Phase 3: Geology Exhibit. However we are accepting donations in order to continue providing exceptional events, programs, and exhibits focusing on preserving, interpreting, and celebrating the deserts of Southern California.
General Admission: $5
Gift Shop
Special Event Rental
Group Tours
Dr. David Breeckner, Interim Executive Director/Curator
phone: 760-358-7016
Anne Morgan, Head Archivist/Curator
phone: 760-358-7016
Marcie Rodriguez, Education Coordinator
phone: 760-358-7016

The Imperial Valley Desert Museum is a new facility in the heart of the Yuha Desert housing Native American and historic artifacts collected from within the Imperial Valley. Opening a new museum in the twenty-first century, we do not want to be seen as an exhibit within four walls, but we want to engage and interact outside of the limitations of the "box", our new building, both metaphorically and physically.


The mission of the Imperial Valley desert Museum is to preserve, interpret, and celebrate the deserts of Southern California through outstanding collections, research, and education programs.

Artifact Collections

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

Research Collections

archaeology of Imperial County

Educational Programs

lectures, gallery tours- free (unless otherwise advertised)

Field trips- $5 per student (in classroom or at museum available)

Field Trips

The IVDM offers field trips for schools, scout packs, troops, camps, birthday parties, etc. throughout the year. Field trips are designed to meet grade level specific curriculum standards through engaging, hands-on experiences in areas like visual arts, social studies, and the sciences.

  • 1. Hike Students are led on a short walk on museum grounds. One of our most popular modules, students explore the desert, learning about geology, the desert, and adaptation to the desert by plants, animals, and peopl
  • 2. Coiled Clay Students explore the traditional art of making pottery using the paddle and anvil method. This method has been used by the Kumeyaay and other Native Americans on the southwest for over 1,000 years.
  • 3. Geology Students use maps, microscopes, and rock samples to take an in-depth look at the geology that makes the Imperial Valley: volcanoes, earthquakes, plate tectonics, fossils, and volcanic rocks. This section is altered to focus specifically on the sciences being taught in each grade
  • 4. Exhibit Tour New! As our new permanent exhibit is installed, we add a tour of the museum to our field trip. Students will learn about life on the shoreline of Lake Cahuilla through our interactive object theater- a diorama where they will watch the lake fill and recede, discover the desert as a toolbox and see how Native Americans adapted to living in the Imperial Valley both with and without the lake's presence.

Access: General Public, Students, Scholars, Members

Appointment required: Yes


Newsletter: "Society Notes" bimonthly


Wheelchair Accessible



Gift Shop

Special Event Rental

Group Tours

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Charles Town, West Virginia

Established in 1996, iondesign is an award winning design firm that has developed a niche in producing interpretive exhibits for sites nationwide. We are positioned to help clients communicate brand value and interpret history to engage visitors. We bring together a team of high-level professionals for every project to create a strategic partnership with you to support your mission.

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