Monday – December 21, 2015
Imperial Dam BLM LTVA
We spent a restful night at a 24-hour Walmart in Las Cruces, New Mexico. We were anxious to get an early morning start, with the objective of arriving in Yuma, Arizona before sunset.
Traveling west of Tucson, Arizona on Interstate 8 showcases the vastness and beauty of the desert region of southwestern Arizona. Saguaro cactus dominate the landscape in some regions while majestic mountain vistas present themselves in the distance.
Border patrol checkpoints on Interstate 8, both eastbound and westbound, provide a measure of security along our southern border with Mexico. All traffic is diverted through these checkpoints. In addition, Border patrol agents are frequently seen traversing the stretch of Interstate 8 between Tucson and Yuma.
Clear skies and warm weather welcomed us to the Imperial Dam, BLM, LTVA in Winterhaven, California (20 miles northwest of Yuma, Arizona). We will spend the winter in this desert region.
Arizona and California have sizeable portions of federal desert land that are operated by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Some regions of these desert lands are designated as Long Term Visitor Areas (LTVA). These are large areas: some with water, restroom, trash and dump facilities and some with no facilities.
LTVAs operate from September 15 to April 15 each year. During this time period, campers can choose to stay in one location or move throughout any of the LTVA’s. The fee is $40 for 14 consecutive days of camping or $180 for any period of time within the September 15 to April 15 timeframe.
Camping on BLM lands, not designated as LTVA’s, is known as dispersed camping. The BLM allows camping on any BLM lands as long as it isn’t posted against camping. There are absolutely no facilities within these areas, campers must pack in and pack out everything. This type of camping is usually free, but there is one major caveat: you can only camp in one area for 14 days out of any 28-day period. Once your 14 days are up, you must move to another site that is at least 25 miles distant.
We choose to camp in LTVA’s. Shortly after setting up our campsite, the sun began to set, reflecting off of the mountains in the distance.
Tomorrow another adventure begins.
Departed: Las Cruces, New Mexico
Departure Time: 6:00 A.M.
Arrived: Winterhaven, California
Arrival Time: 3:45 P.M.
Campground: Imperial Dam
Type: BLM LTVA
GPS Coordinates: Latitude: N Longitude: W
Camping Fee: $180.00 (September 15 to April 15)
Campsite: North Florida Flats
Campsite Hookups: None
Campground Amenities: Flush Toilets, Water, Dump Station
Site Size (length): Any Length
Cellular Service: Verizon - 4G, 3 Bars
Internet Service: Verizon Jetpack, 5 Bars
WiFi Service: Free WiFi at Yuma Proving Ground Library & Bowling Center
Dish TV Satellite Service: Strong signal – receive local networks and all satellite channels.
Total miles traveled today: 520
West on Interstate 10
West on Interstate 8
North on Arizona Highway 95
West on Imperial Dam Road (entrance road to Yuma Proving Ground)
West on Senator Wash Road to Imperial Dam BLM LTV