The Colorado River brings RVers and water recreationists to Parker, Arizona year-round. During the hottest weather, visitors can wait for the desert to cool by spending their time soaking in the water or cruising the river on a boat, creating a natural air conditioning effect. When the sun sets, dock your water equipment and watch the sunset from the comforts of your RV.
Buckskin Mountain State Park sits along an area called the Parker strip. This 18-mile section of the Colorado River stretches between the Parker Dam and the Headgate Dam. The scenery along the river is spectacular, and visitors can stop at any of the viewpoints to witness the ever-changing sunrises and sunsets along the mountainous backdrop.
This area of the state is a popular destination for snowbirds or guests who leave their winter homes to escape the cold. Peak season is during the coldest months in other areas of the country because the desert climate is warm and less volatile. Lake Havasu City, less than 27 miles away, is also a popular destination during the winter months because of its 300 days of sunshine, and endless recreational activities. Visitors to both areas will have sun and warmth, but visitors to Parker will have a more peaceful, and less touristy waterfront vacation.
RV Rentals in Buckskin Mountain State Park
Transportation in Buckskin Mountain State Park
Buckskin Mountain State Park, located in between the cities of Parker and Lake Havasu City Arizona, is a 170-mile drive northwest of Phoenix, and a 233-mile drive southwest of Flagstaff, Arizona. From other states, the park is 180-miles south of Las Vegas, Nevada, and 299-miles south of Saint George, Utah.
Buckskin Mountain State Park has a day-use fee that is payable upon entering the park.
If you are bringing your boats or trailered water equipment, be aware that there is no parking at the boat ramp, and the day-use area only offers limited parking. Campers who have boats and trailed equipment can park their trailers back at the campsite after launching into the water.
Campgrounds and parking in Buckskin Mountain State Park
Campsites in Buckskin Mountain State Park
Buckskin Mountain State Park Campground
Surround yourself with the desert landscape and the blue waters of the Colorado River. Stay waterfront when you reserve one of the basic back-in sites. Each space is paved and has a grill and a picnic table and accommodate RVs less than 24 feet. Since there are no hookups in the waterfront sites, generators are allowed, but they must be turned off during quiet hours from 10:00 pm to 7:00 am. Campers have access to potable water, restrooms, showers, and a dump station. The non-waterfront sites offer paved and pull-through sites with a picnic table and grill. The largest space can accommodate an RV of 85 feet. Each space is different. Some sites have 30 to 50 amp electricity and water, while others do not. Check the reservation page to see if the site you prefer has shade. Some holiday weekends and certain weekends during peak operations, a minimum stay is required.
Seasonal activities in Buckskin Mountain State Park
The park wants all of its visitors to have a good time. During the peak season, the park offers events and interpretive programs for guests of all ages, as well as opportunities for kids who want to earn their Junior Ranger badge. Kids will enjoy the Junior Ranger program because many of the activities and events are created with kids’ interests in mind. Stop by the visitor center to learn more about the events and programs the park has to offer. If something isn’t happening during your visit, you can always ask the park rangers for advice and suggestions about things to see and do inside of the park.
Watersports such as boating and paddleboarding are what brings people to the Colorado River year-round. Whether you own a boat, jet ski, kayak, or stand up paddleboard, you can find something to do on the river. To access the river, use the two-lane launch ramp near the northeastern area of the park. Because the Colorado River straddles both Arizona and the California state line, boaters need to be aware of the boating regulations for both states, since the river is considered an area of shared jurisdiction. Visit Arizona Game and Fish or the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways websites for more information on boating the Colorado River.
Cool off in the river by swimming along the shores of the day-use area. Because the beach is a natural riverside beach, some of the sandy areas are more rocky than soft. Come prepared for swimming in the river by bringing proper footwear as the rocky terrain can be uncomfortable for sensitive feet. Because there are no lifeguards on duty, it is the swimmer’s responsibility to exercise caution in the water. Always stay alert and keep away from boats and boat docks, and do not swim outside of the designated swimming areas. Also, always remember that the desert sun can burn skin quickly, so have a plan for sun protection and proper hydration while visiting the swim beach.
The desert climate is perfect for people who want to spend their time outdoors. Hikers will want to take advantage of cooler mornings and evenings when the weather is too hot during the day. The scenic trails give hikers many things to see such as abandoned mines or views of the Colorado River. All of the trails are under a mile long. People who prefer longer hikes can try hiking more than one trail each day and see the park from many different angles.
Fish the shorelines of the river from two sides of the park. Whether you are a novice or skilled angler, there are plenty of opportunities to catch fish in the Colorado River. Try your hand at catching large and smallmouth bass, catfish, carp, bluegill, sunfish, and crappie. If you need some fishing gear, check out the park store to see if they have what you need. As always, anglers need to be aware of state fishing laws. Arizona Game and Fish requires that all people over the age of ten have a valid fishing license to fish in Arizona waters.
Day Use Areas
Spend your visit taking full advantage of the park’s many resources. Buckskin Mountain State Park has many facilities that provide guests with comfort and entertainment. The day use area, located northwest of the contact station, has a large grassy area with shade trees, picnic tables, and two large grills. Visitors also have access to a dog park, scenic viewpoints, a gift shop, and a small market. Spending time outside while taking advantage of the spectacular scenery is just one of the many reasons RVers stay at this beautiful Arizona state park.