Winter camping is great here. Hunters, fisherman
& RVers alike, all know the best kept secret.. Picacho Peak
on the Colorado River is prime spot for outdoor recreation &
camping. Canoe, kayak, fish, hunt, mtn. bike, hike, & off
road. All this, less than 3 hour drive from San Diego.
Ancient volcanic peaks surround this area of the Colorado
River. Good stopping point on a river trip between Walter's Camp
and Martinez Lake. A century ago Picacho was a mining town with
100 citizens. Now it is a State Park, offering diverse scenery,
including cactus, burros, bighorn sheep and thousands of waterfowl.
The impressive lower Colorado River is the recreation area on
the eastern border of California.
Take the 20+ mile dirt road north from Winterhaven, off Interstate 8 (W of Yuma
AZ). The road to Picacho is paved only a few miles, then becomes graded dirt. The last
18 miles is over a desert road that is easily passable for passenger cars &
motorhomes. In the summer months thunderstorms can cause flash
flooding in the washes, making sections of the road impassable. Check weather forecast before traveling into this flash-flood region of the California desert.
Enjoy several long days of hiking old mine-train rail
lines, exploring the river bank, and doing a little peak bagging
of some desert outcrops (Picacho Peak, 1947', is a standout).
Mountain biking is good here because the track beds that lead
into the mountains are quite level.
Hike straight from the main campground to
many areas along the scenic rivers edge. Stroll thru old graveyard
& read about the areas history.
Picacho Desert Campgrounds
All are first-come first-served basis
click on campground name for photos & more description
Senator Wash - south end of park, open dispersed camping
between Squaw Lake & Senators Wash.
BOAT IN CAMPING > No back road dispersed camping
inside park boundaries. Small campgrounds for boat in camping
Colorado River Back Roads
majority of this desert scenic area is dirt back roads, so get
prepared & take precautions: water, warm clothes, matches,
tune up. Also get your SUV out & ready to explore. Many roads
could require 4wheel drive, but there are still plenry suitable
The main road up the Picach Campground is fine - for RVers that
don't mind the long haul on a wash board road.
The main attraction here is the Colorado River, fishing, hunting, easy freeway access & the off roading options are an added bonus.