Situated on the Lower Colorado River in California, the Bureau of Land Management's Crossroads Campground provides a small overnight campground and plenty of recreational activities on the river. When you're through with fun on the water, there are excellent OHV areas nearby for some motorized adventures.
The campground has waterfront sites and a beach area with beautiful views of the Colorado River, and access for boating and fishing is located nearby. Steep rocky canyon walls and windswept sand dunes grace the nearby wilderness areas. Wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers will spot a variety of local wildlife from wild burros and migratory birds to small dessert mammals in the region. This BLM campground is especially popular in the winter months when the mild temperatures in the region are conducive to outdoor activities in the region, or you can just sit and relax as you watch the scenic river go by from the beach and river shoreline.
The campground features vault toilets and a host is available on site. This is a dry campground, and there are no hookups or drinking water supply, so be sure to bring your own supplies. The Parker Dam Road provides access to the campground and is a scenic backcountry byway, with access to other recreation sites on the Colorado River waterway. The Rock House Visitor Center is located just one mile up the road and has a boat launch that is open year-round, providing access to the river for floating, boating, and fishing opportunities.
Because the Crossroads Campground is located near the Arizona border, several excellent Arizona State parks are within easy driving distance. Check out Buckskin Mountain State Park, Cattail Cove State Park, or Lake Havasu State Park while you are visiting the region
To reach the Crossroads Campground from sites to the west in California, take Highway 62 east, to just across the river from Parker, Arizona, and then continue along the west side of the river on the Parker Dam Road. Continue six miles to the access to the Crossroads Campground on the right. A BLM sign marks the access. Parker Dam Road is paved and easy to navigate for RVs and tow vehicles. The access road to the campground is gravel and dirt surfaced, and can be dusty and rough, but it is a short road and RVers should have no problem as long as they proceed slowly to avoid jostling the contents of their units.
If you approach from Parker, Arizona you will need to cross the bridge over the river and then turn north on Parker Dam Road. The bridge is wide, paved, and has no overhead height restrictions.
The Parker Dam Road is a scenic byway and you will enjoy views of the Colorado River on your trip to the BLM Campground. If you approach from Lake Havasu City to the north you will need to cross the Parker Dam to get to the California recreation site. Large RV units and tow trailers are not permitted to cross the dam. If traveling with a trailer or large RV, you will need to continue south down Arizona Highway 95 to Parker, cross the bridge there, then backtrack a few miles to get to the Crossroads Campground.
The Crossroads Campground is managed by the Bureau of Land Management, and is located right on the Colorado River on the west bank. There is a beach area here, although swimming is not recommended. A visitor center, less than a mile up the road provides a boat launch for boating, floating, and fishing activities. The visitor center also has information on recreational areas and interesting sites in the region.
The campground's peak season is during the winter months when it is known for its warm comfortable weather. There are 15 individual RV/tent sites at the campground. This is a dry campground, with no water supply or hookups, so ensure you have enough supplies, including water, for your stay. There is trash collection, so you don't have to pack out your trash. You will find one accessible campsite, and all campsites have a picnic table and grill. There is a pit toilet and a campground host is available on site. Online reservations are available and recommended. Stays at the campground are limited to 14 days.
Explore the sand dunes and OHV areas nearby, and keep an eye out for unique rocks on the ground and birds and small mammals living in the area. A herd of wild burros has even been reported in the campground area and may access the river for water.
Visit the Parker Dam, just nine miles north of the Crossroads Campground, while staying in the area. This dam is known as “the deepest dam in the world”. At 320 feet in height, most of the dam is not visible as the bedrock below the dam had to be excavated to support the structure.
The dam holds back the Colorado River to form Lake Havasu, which stretches for 45 miles upstream. Travelers crossing the river can cross over the dam; however, it does not permit trailers and large RVs. Check out Parker Dam for more information. This dam is a unique engineering feat and well worth a trip as it provides spectacular views of the river and surrounding wilderness areas.
Looking to enjoy the scenic Colorado River from the water? There is a free boat launch located just a mile up the road from the Crossroads Campground, at the Rock House Visitor Center. Floating, rafting, and boating on the river are popular pastimes, and the river provides amazing scenery with rocky outcroppings, wildlife, and even some rapids for rafters and kayakers.
Always use caution when boating on a river, as shallow areas, rocks, deadfall, and vegetation can be hazardous. Ensure all passengers on your watercraft have life jackets or PFDs. During the summer months, when other outdoor activities are difficult due to the hot temperatures, floating along the river might be just the ticket!
The Colorado River provides excellent fishing opportunities for sport fishing. Access the river from the boat launch at the Rock House Visitor Center, or fish from the shores and beaches near the Crossroads Campground. You must have a valid state fishing license to fish the river if you are 16 or over.
Fishing is most common here between spring and fall, which is the off-season in this desert region. While the temperatures are very hot in the summer, they are more moderate along the river. Warm water fishing for smallmouth bass, catfish and carp is popular in the lower section of the Colorado River.
While staying at the Crossroads Campground, you can visit two open OHV areas, which are situated on the California side of the river. The Copper Basin Dunes is located five miles north, by the Parker Dam, and the Crossroads OHV Open Area is just three miles up the road from the campground. These sites include vault toilets and parking areas with off-loading ramps.
The park provides hundreds of acres, and miles of off-roading area for ATVs, OHVs, dirt bikes, jeeps, and 4x4s to explore. All vehicles must be registered as street legal or have off-highway vehicle stickers for your home state. The peak season for OHV activity in the area is during the warm winter months when extreme heat takes less of a toll on motorized vehicles.
Browse along the Colorado River shores from the campground, or venture out into the surrounding wilderness areas to look for unique mineral specimens, and colorful rocks. The OHV areas are a great place to look for geological discoveries, and you have the added bonus of being able to cover a lot of ground from an OHV.
When rockhounding on public lands, remember that collecting for personal and recreational purposes only is permitted, and you should limit your collection to a reasonable amount for personal use.
A beach is located at the Crossroads Campground and makes a great place to sit back and relax during the winter months, when the temperatures in this area are warm and hospitable. Soak in some sun and watch the river flow by. There is a sign at the beach that says no swimming, so this may not be a good place to take a dip, although other beach areas along the river at state parks, and farther north on Lake Havasu, do have designated swimming areas. Don’t forget the sunscreen!