Update: Primm Valley Resort & Casino is currently the only hotel open in Primm. Whiskey Pete's casino is open but the hotel isn't. Buffalo Bill's is completely closed.

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Land Sailing By Primm

Enjoying the Playa

The Ivanpah Dry Lake bed lies just south of Primm. It is a large, flat valley surface that is thirteen square miles and almost entirely in California.

Its smooth surface, open area, and convenient location are a draw for a reason you might not expect. The Ivanpah Dy Lake is one of the world’s premier destinations for land sailing, blokarting, and kite buggying.

Sand YachtingLand Sailing

The lake bed is closed to cars, which in addition to its large size, helps set the dry lake apart from other lake beds in the area.

Vehicles can leave ruts with their tire tracks and also bring more people out that leave trash and debris further disturbing the natural environment.

What is Land Sailing?

Land sailing, also known as sand yachting or land yachting, is using the wind to travel across the smooth playa (lake bed) in a non-motorized wheeled vehicle through the use of a sail.

While it is also done on more traditional beaches, dry lakes can also work as a great spot to set your sail. To propel the ‘boat’, wind speeds of at least 10 mph are needed.

More experienced riders can typically handle wind speeds up to 50 mph. Top racers can get their yachts up into the triple digits in speed.

Vehicles typically use three wheels and function much like a sailboat. It’s an interesting sport with sailors needing knowledge of wind patterns, sailing techniques, and experience with the terrain.

There is another type of land sailing vehicle called a Blokart that are also popular on the Ivanpah Dry Lake bed. Blokarts are smaller and combine a go-cart like experience with a sailboat for fun land-sailing adventures.

Blokarts have the advantage of being easier to sail, can be quickly assembled/disassembled, and can be packed into a carry-bag.

You can view a video of Land Sailing on Ivanpah Dry Lake below.

Land Yachting Races

Land sailing is a racing sport and competitions are held. Their are different classes of sailors. This allows a wide variety of people to compete.

Before the race, the land yachts are checked for proper tire pressure and sail flexion. Racers can travel at incredible speeds controlling their ‘boats’ with their feet.

In fact, on March 26, 2007, a wind powered vehicle called the Greenbird, clocked a speed of 126.1 miles per hour at Ivanpah Dry Lake, setting a new world land record.

However, there are barriers to getting started with the sport including cost, training, and the time commitment.

You can learn more about land sailing on the North American Land Sailing Association’s (NALSA) website.

In 2022, NALSA held their annual regatta at Ivanpah Dry Lake bed. The Las Vegas Review-Journal had a nice piece on a senior woman who competed for a national championship in the sport.

But even if you’re just getting started, you can still enjoy an evening bonfire, cold beverages, and delights on the desert floor.

Dry LakeIvanpah Dry Lake Bed

Kite Buggying

Similar to land sailing, kite buggying involves the use of a three-wheeled vehicle powered by the wind. The vehicles are typically single-seat and use a traction kite for power.

The traction kites appear similar to those used by kite surfers. Kite buggies can reach high speeds and safety helmets should be worn.

Skilled drivers can reach seventy miles per hour on their kite buggies.


Ivanpah Dry Lake was the host of the 2004 and 2005 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Grand Challenge, which is a research organization of the United States Department of Defense.

DARPA awards cash prizes to driverless vehicles capable of completing a rugged off-road course within a limited amount of time. The goal is to incentivize technological innovation and its use for national security.

In 2005, Stanford University’s team won the competition, bringing home the two million dollar first-place prize for their efforts.

Riding on Dry LakeRiding on a dry lake

Visit Ivanpah Dry Lake Bed

There are lots of activities to do in and around Primm. While land sailing, blokarting, and kite buggying are more thrilling sports, you could just simply hike or bike on the lake bed as well.

Be sure to be prepared and bring the water and supplies you need as you enjoy the playa. Temperatures on the dry lake are usually in excess of 100 degrees during the summer.

You can learn more about Primm's climate here.

While you may not need your swimsuit for the Ivanpah Dry Lake, you could take a dip in the pool if staying at the Primm Valley Resort.

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