Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Camping on Public Lands - 02/18/15 - Yuma, AZ

Wednesday – February 18, 2015
Camping on Public Lands
Yuma, Arizona

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) provides Long-Term Visitor Areas (LTVA) in the Arizona and California deserts and along the lower Colorado River. Thousands of snowbirds flock to these public lands to camp during the winter months, enjoying the mild winter climate. Visitors may camp in the LTVA’s for as long as seven months.

Winter visitors who wish to stay in an LTVA must purchase a long-term permit ($180.00), or a short-visit permit ($40.00). The long-term permit is valid for the entire season (September 15 to April 15), or any part of the season. The short-visit permit is valid for 14 consecutive days with the option to purchase an unlimited quantity of short-visit permits. Both permits are valid in any of the designated LTVA’s. Permit holders may move from one LTVA to another without incurring additional fees.

LTVA’s in Southwestern Arizona and Southeastern California

LTVA

Telephone

Trash

Dump Station

Water

Restrooms

Hot Spring

No

Yes

No

No

Yes

Imperial Dam

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

La Posa

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Midland

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Mule Mtn

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Pilot Knob

No

Yes

No

No

No

Tamarisk

No

Yes

No

No

No

Hot Spring & Tamarisk
Dump station and water are available for a fee at RV Storage in Holtville, California (5 miles west of Hot Spring LTVA). Free water is available at the Rest Area on I-8, east of Hot Spring LTVA.

Midland
Water is available nearby for a fee.

Pilot Knob
Dump station and water are available at Imperial Dam (about 20 miles northeast of I-8 on S-24).

La Posa, Midland and Mule Mountain are located near Quartzsite, Arizona (70 miles north of Yuma, Arizona). Quartzsite is a very popular destination for thousands of snowbirds. Quartzsite is a very small town with limited dining and shopping opportunities.

We prefer to spend the winter at the Imperial Dam LTVA. If this is your first time boondocking in the desert, we recommend you camp here first. It is close to an urban area that allows you numerous choices for dining out, shopping and to enjoy the local festivities scheduled throughout the winter months.

Imperial Dam LTVA Features
4 Dump Stations
6 Double-Faucet Water Stations
2 Restroom Facilities with Flush Toilets
2 Vault Toilets at the Senator Wash Camping Area
1 Vault Toilet at the Gravel Pit Camping Area
4 Restrooms and 16 Pay Shower Facilities at Squaw Lake (2 miles west)
Boat launch at Senator Wash Reservoir
Boat launch at Squaw Lake
Mail, FedEx & UPS Delivery Service Available at Christian Service Center (3 miles)
Propane, Solar Panels Available at Christian Service Center
Close to U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground (5 miles)
Close to Yuma, Arizona (20 miles)
Emergency Medical Service Nearby

The Imperial Dam LTVA covers an expansive area in the desert and is accessed via Senator Wash Road which intersects with Imperial County Road S-24. South Mesa is the main entrance where the Contact Station, Dump Stations, Water Stations and Restroom Facilities are located. The South Mesa branches off into the following sectors:

  • North Mesa
  • South Shore
  • East Florida Flats
  • North Florida Flats
  • South Florida Flats
  • Gravel Pit
  • Blueberry Hill
  • Hermans Horsepath
  • Northwest Territories (Mesa’s 1, 2 & 3)
  • Murphy Flats
  • Boot Hill
  • Fish Tale Flats

Along Senator Wash Road there are these nearby camping locations:

  • Kripple Creek
  • Skunk Hollow
  • Hurricane Ridge
  • Squaw Lake Campground

Senator Wash Road intersects with Ferguson Road. Ferguson Road leads to the Christian Service Center and the following camping locations:

  • Quail Hill
  • Quail Valley
  • Lonely Hill
  • Dogpatch
  • Lonesome Ridge
  • Lower Beehive Mesa
  • Upper Beehive Mesa
  • Coyote Ridge
  • Rocky Knoll
  • Ocotillo Flats
  • Snowbird Mesa

Cell phone and Internet service can be problematic in the southwest regions of the U.S. Fortunately, there is a library and bowling center at the Yuma Proving Ground that offers free WiFi. In addition, the Yuma Main Library at 32nd Street and 21st Avenue also offers free Wifi.

We arrived at the Imperial Dam LTVA on November 18, 2014 and have thoroughly enjoyed our stay here. We will be departing this LTVA in March to explore other areas of California and Arizona.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

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