Boondocking at Imperial Dam Long Term Visitor Area BLM

Posted on Posted in Campground Review, Full time living

We are now Rv boondocking at Imperial Dam Long Term Visitor Area BLM near Yuma, Arizona. This area is covered under the same $180 permit that we bought back in La Posa in Quartzsite, Arizona for the season.  We are definitely enjoying all this area has to offer.  Here is a map of all the Long-Term Visitor Areas covered with the pass.

Imperial Dam LTVA is the best long-term visitors area we have been to yet. As you pull in to the South Mesa Imperial Dam you will see they have 4 dump and 8 fresh water stations on your left so very little wait times, if any. Just past the dump stations you will see the contact station on your left. In this same area you can find a free library book exchange ran by volunteers, several day use areas with grills and fire pits, bathrooms, and even a guy selling wifi! There is a couple picnic shelters in the campground, one that they call “the Ramada” where they hold activities like a music jam every Sunday afternoon. The day we went to watch, there were about 25 musicians.  Down at the south end of the LTVA you will find the Christian Center where you will find all kinds of services such as mail center, propane filling, church service, thrift store, solar store, and even mini golf! They monitor channel 12 on the CB 24 hrs a day for emergencies and have a daily roll call at 7pm, with announcements of daily activities and a weekly swap shop. All services and activities are organized by volunteers and give the area a great sense of community spirit. For an awesome website showing what this place has to offer, go to


Imperial dam is in California, but the nearest town is Yuma, AZ, about 20 miles from where we are. We have been making weekly trips to town for food and supplies and love seeing the vast farmlands full of fresh produce all around the city.  With the water supply around the Colorado River, the area boasts great produce in the winter. We’ve seen fields of lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, date and citrus trees, and so much more. We tried a famous date shake and thought it was pretty good…and the shot of espresso in it probably helped too.

One of the best things about this area is being able to be near water.  The campground is located on Senator Wash Reservoir, with Squaw Lake down the road. Rich happened to catch some coyotes on the shoreline when he snapped a picture of the reservoir. Squaw Lake has 4 shower houses where you can take a 7 minute shower for $1.00.  When you’ve been boon-docking for a few months, a long, hot shower is a super luxury! We have been loving that.

Squaw Lake also offers a day use area with picnic tables along with grills as well as a boat ramp and fishing docks. We enjoy sitting at the water’s edge and watching all the birds.

We are also near the US Army Yuma Proving Grounds where they test out all the equipment for the military. We see some pretty interesting stuff in the sky at night, drones I would guess by the bizarre  movements, but some very strange displays of light for sure. In the day time we see all types of military planes flying over and at times large booms from the testing grounds, I guess either mortars or tank guns being fired.

They just held the YPG 75th year celebration a few weeks back and for the first time opened their doors to the public. They had some pretty impressive pieces of equipment on display with the military personal that test them available to answer your questions. As you can see, you were free to climb right on the equipment, a pretty unique experience.  They also had bands thru out the day with food and beer vendors and a nice fireworks display to end the celebration.

If you are looking for a warm, safe place to escape for the winter, Imperial Dam LTVA is a great place to consider.

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