Squaw Lake Campground
Guide

Introduction

Squaw Lake Campground is a magnificent camping location on the backwaters of the Colorado River in California. The campground is managed by the Yuma Bureau of Land Management office and is a fantastic outdoor camping destination for water lovers. All the campsites at this campground are by Squaw Lake, offering quick access to its cool and clear waters.

Squaw Lake Campground is like a small marina with one-day paddle trips, kayaking and canoeing opportunities awaiting you. For those who love angling the lake is a safe haven for plenty of fish species. There are also buoyed swimming areas to complete the entire mini island-like vacation. Many visitors start their adventuring from upriver and Squaw Lake Campground is their last stop before heading back home.

This BLM campground offers all kinds of outdoor activities including RV and tent camping, boating, swimming, wildlife viewing, birdwatching, stargazing, fishing, picnicking, and hiking, among many others. The best thing about this Campground is its location, right in the midst of the most happening place in Winterhaven, CA.

You can camp here for 14 days and enjoy nearby spots such as Picacho State Recreation Area, Colorado River State Historic Park, and Joe Henry Memorial Park that are all at less than an hour’s drive away from Squaw Lake.

RV Rentals in Squaw Lake Campground

Transportation

Driving

Yuma, Arizona is the closest city to Squaw Lake Campground so head over there first via Interstate 8 and take the 4th Avenue exit to get onto Imperial County Road S-24. Drive north for about 22 miles until you reach the Senator Wash Road. From there, take a left and you’ll spot signs directing you to Squaw Lake Campground. Follow these signs and in about four miles, you’ll reach your destination.

Another route to the park is via the Arizona-95 Highway from Yuma. Keep driving north and take a left at the Imperial Dam Road, take a right at Senator Wash Road and again, follow the signs to your destination.

Reaching the Campground is very easy primarily because of BLM’s very active placement of signs along the route. The road is also paved and well-managed, making this destination fairly easy to reach.

Parking

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Squaw Lake Campground

Campsites in Squaw Lake Campground

First-come first-served

Squaw Lake Campground

Squaw Lake Campground boasts 125 RV sites in addition to plenty of dispersed tent sites. The campsites are located close to the shores of Squaw Lake and the Colorado River and offer amazing waterfront views of the surrounding woods, vast skies, and calm waters.

Amenities at the campground include four restrooms along with flush toilets and showers. Drinking water is also provided to the campers at the center of the campground. RV campers will appreciate the fact that this campground also has an RV dump station and gray water disposal facilities. Easily accessible from the campground are two boat ramps, two swimming areas with buoys, cartop and trailered BBQ grills, and picnic tables.

Payphones, trailer parking, and hiking trail cans also be found at the campground. The restrooms also have ADA accessible stalls. Camping at Squaw Lake Campground is limited to 14 days and the sites are only provided on a first-come, first-served basis. It is a pet-friendly campground.

Seasonal activities in Squaw Lake Campground

In-Season

Boating

Squaw Lake Campground is a haven for boating, canoeing, and kayaking enthusiasts with plenty of amenities to make the experience comfortable and enjoyable. Located on the backwaters of the Colorado River, at Squaw Lake, the campground provides easy access to the lake and river waters.

Campers, as well as day-users, can enjoy boating via the two boat ramps located at the campground. You’re free to boat wherever you want as long as you follow the legal boat speed limit of Squaw Lake, which is five miles per hour. Cartops, trailers, and boat parking trailers are also provided.

Fishing

Squaw Lake offers some excellent fishing opportunities to visitors. Whether you’re a fan of fly fishing, baitcasting, or spinning, you’re most likely to return home with enough fish to last you a month. Some of the most common fish species found in Squaw Lake include striped bass, black bass, common carp, channel catfish, flathead catfish, and sunfish. Visitors can either enjoy their fishing from the docks or they can grab a boat and enjoy fishing while floating.

Swimming

The clear and deep waters of Squaw Lake make it nearly impossible to resist taking a dip. Fortunately for visitors, there are two designated swimming spots at the lake and they are buoyed for safety. There aren’t, however, any lifeguards on the campground so we suggest you use the buddy system.

The shallow end of the lake is an excellent place to teach young swimmers and allow them to have some fun as well.

Off-Season

Wildlife

Squaw Lake is part of the Colorado River and is located in Yuma County, which is known for its rich wildlife population. Some of the most common species that can be spotted roaming these parts include bighorn sheep, coyotes, desert tortoise, reptiles, cactus wren, quail, waterfowl, American kestrel, northern flicker, Say's Phoebe, and phainopepla, along with many others. Hundreds of migratory birds also frequent the area.

Make sure to keep your distance and do not disturb the wildlife. Some animals can be threatening and could hurt you when provoked.

Picnicking

The day-use area has several picnic tables that allow picnickers to have a great time outdoors albeit for a short time. A lakeside picnic experience has its own charm and appeal. The calm and serenity of Squaw Lake help settle down any frayed nerves and allow picnickers to just sit back and relax.

In addition to enjoying snacks and lounging by the lakeshore, picnickers can also take advantage of all the boating facilities provided at the campground or indulge in other recreational activities like fishing.

Hiking

There are various popular hiking trails nearby that allow campers to stretch their legs and enjoy the beautiful Yuma County landscape. The closest trails to the campground include Betty’s Kitchen, John Muir Trail, and Little Picacho Peak Trail. The hiking trails are not too challenging and make for a pleasant walk amidst woods, grasslands, and creeks.

Find the perfect campsite.