2014 Winnebago Vista
2014 Winnebago Vista
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Located in Imperial County, about an hour’s drive away from the cities of Winterhaven, Yuma, and Somerton is a lush wildflower oasis known as Picacho State Recreation Area. A remote setting along the Colorado River and among rugged mountain peaks beckons hikers, thrillseekers, RV campers, and anglers from all over Arizona and California.
Thousands of years ago, the Quechan and other Great Basin Culture tribes lived here and used canoes and shallow clay boats in order to cross the river and trade goods. Today, this lush landscape is a recreation area home to different wildlife species such as golden eagles, coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, and mule deer.
Bear in mind that Picacho State Recreation Area has an extreme climate that can go as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit during winter to a scorching hot 120 degrees Fahrenheit in summer. Check the weather forecast before you go and plan your attire accordingly. You can book an RV in Imperial County to ensure an extra level of convenience and mobility throughout your stay. Motorhome camping at Pichaco State Recreation Area also provides the perfect opportunity to visit both the state of Arizona and other towns in California.
Picacho State Park campers with California hunting licenses like to come here to hunt. However, if you plan on hunting a bigger game like deer or coyote, note that this is not permitted within the park’s boundaries. The only animals visitors are allowed to hunt are migratory bird species and quail. You're also not allowed to leave the bird’s carcass anywhere near the river or any other water source. Dogs are welcome to roam the park leash-free for hunting and training activities.
The park’s diverse geology and vegetation make it ideal for hiking and exploring. Hike the Stamp Mill Trail to explore the old Picacho town site and stamp mill. To get a glimpse of the park's volcanic formations, trek the Stewart Lake Trail. If you'd rather explore the region in your off-highway vehicle, take the Railroad Canyon Jeep Road.
Colorado River is a great fishing location but it's also filled with swimmers and boaters. Even though you can swim from any coastal point in the park, you should be careful as there's no lifeguard on duty. If you have a motorboat, you'll be happy to hear that water skiing and motorized boating are allowed here as well. As far as the fishing goes, the game is pretty diverse: you can catch three species of bass, as well as bullhead, crappie, catfish, red-ear sunfish, and more.
Picacho State Recreation Area's campgrounds are located on the eastern side of the park. There are over 50 campsites for tent and motorhome camping, but there are no hookups available here. Nearby, you'll find chemical toilets and solar-powered showers. Other amenities include drinking water, picnic tables, and fire rings.
The sites are pet-friendly, and owners are required to keep their pets on a leash. You can reserve a camping spot via phone. If you're renting an RV for your Picacho State Recreation Area camping trip, make sure its length doesn't exceed 35 feet.
Once your batteries are fully recharged and you've had enough of the rural environment, feel free to drive to Arizona and visit the town of Yuma. This is one of the closest places where you can find gas stations. If you're interested in dining options, Yuma features a number of Mexican and Chinese food restaurants, along with some of the most famous fast food brands, grills, and pizzerias.
If you want to combat the summer heat, you'll definitely want to drop by the city's amusement park, where you'll also find a water park with fun pools, slides, and rides. If the weather conditions aren’t exactly pool-friendly, you can still drop by and treat the kids to a day at the arcade, go-karts, batting cages, mini-golf, and more.
Another place you should visit during your Picacho State Recreation camping trip is the Yuma Conservation Gardens. This lush garden showcases a variety of colorful plants and is also a natural habitat for birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Also located on the grounds is a museum of antique farming tools and machinery.
At the Yuma Historical Society Museum of Aviation and Tourism, you can explore the former home of the Peach family. The Peaches immigrated to Yuma from Czechoslovakia in the early 20th century and owned a hotel, ladies' dress shop, and cleaning company. Their descendants still own the Historic Coronado Motor Hotel, as well as a nearby bar. The museum features an array of displays detailing local history, from ladies’ fashion items and World War II artifacts to tourism pamphlets and photos of Yuma from the last century.