Camping in the Yuma area can be make you feel “away from it all,” whether you’re a handful of miles from the city limits or waaaay out there. Many visitors enjoy the desert scenery and rugged mountains around Yuma, and overnight camping adds a look at starry skies undimmed by light pollution.

Camping is permitted at Imperial Sand Dunes National Recreation Area, and Picacho State Recreation Area in California, and at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona, but not at our other wildlife refuges. No camping is allowed within one-quarter mile of water sources, and vehicles must remain within 100 feet of the road.

You can also camp overnight in areas administered by the Bureau of Land Management, including Imperial Dam Recreation Area, Senator Wash, Squaw Lake (some services, fees apply), Mittry Lake, and Fortuna Pond (no services, no fees).

Get more info about these camping areas, as well as BLM’s eight Long Term Visitor Areas around the region (seasonal recreation permit required but stays of more than 14 days allowed) at BLM’s Yuma Field Office, 928.317.3200. 

Do your part to Keep your food in animal-proof containers so they don’t learn to associate campsite with “dinner,” and pack out what you pack in. It’s best practice to take your trash out with you. Not only is it not very healthy to burn man-made packaging and things with chemicals as part of their composition, but the residual half-charred cans or bits of unburnt food wrappers are where the concept of “trash begets trash” starts. If you come upon a campsite where there is a bunch of garbage in the firepit, it may feel like that’s ok to do. Please do your part to leave your campsite in better shape than when you arrived. Practicing the notion of “take only pictures,” can be helpful also. Please leave sensitive desert plants as they are. Even pulling off a flower blossom could yank or damage the roots. Some desert plants grow slowly over years, so they may not “repair” as quickly as plants that you’re accustomed to where you’re from. When it comes to rocks, it sure seems like Arizona makes lots of them. Please leave them where they are. Some ecosystems need to not be stripped of rocks, while others, where stacked rocks or cairns built by people, can also impact the area around the stacks. Many areas around the desert are still considered pristine and not highly damaged by human interaction, so let’s all do our part to keep it that way!

Outdoors & Nature

The wide-open spaces in and around Yuma lend themselves perfectly to outdoor adventures in the desert or on the Colorado River. Social distancing? No problem! Fresh air and nature? Lots of it! Sunny and warm weather? Undoubtedly, since Yuma is the Sunniest City on Earth, according to Guinness World...

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