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IMPERIAL DAM
( California )
 LONG TERM VISITORS AREA

IMPERIAL DAM

This site is located at Imperial Dam on the Colorado River approximately 20 miles north of Yuma AZ (see Long-Term Visitor Areas map).

To get there from Yuma :

Exit Interstate 8 north at 4th Avenue then North east on Imperial County Highway S-24 ( California ) to Senator Wash road. Watch for the S-24 sign posts as this road winds and is comprised of Picachio, Ross, York, Mehring and Imperial roads. 

Also from Yuma you can exit east on US 95 ( 16th Street ) and drive approximately 20 miles to Yuma Proving Grounds turnoff. Turn left at the two large cannons and proceed west to Senator Washroad (7.3 miles -11.8 km).

From Quartzite:

Proceed south for 57 miles (92 km) on US 95 to the same Yuma Proving Grounds turn off.  Proceed north on Senator Wash road past LTV Areas marked Quail Hill, Cozy Cove, Kripple Creek, Skunk Hollow until you reach South Mesa (2.55 mi -4.1 km) which is the main area with dump, water, showers, and outdoor washrooms (see Special BLM Rules). This is where you'll find volunteer gate personnel for paying of fees etc.

(The dump at Imperial Dam has been temporarily closed for upgrading. All waste is being removed by truck for a fee of $4. It will also cost you $2 to dump a Blue Boy, which is a waste container on wheels that is commonly used by boondockers.  Gray water can be dumped free.)
 

A $5 per day fee is now charged between April 15th and September, 15th. Further explanation can be found in the rules section. 

Also, the north and south shores of Senator Wash are have been changed to fee areas rather than 14 day free areas.
 

There is also water pick up and telephone at Lazy Lane just before the Senator Wash turn off on S-24. A garbage disposal and sanitary dump can also be found at Kripple Creek.

Propane can be obtained at the Christian Service Center ( private land ) just off the paved road which exits left from Senator Wash road between Quail Hill and Cozy Cove.

Although Imperial Dam is in California the local people use Arizona time.

Additional information and directions can be found at the official Imperial Dam BLM site in Yuma, Arizona. Another excellent source of detailed Imperial Dam LTVA area campground service information can be found at the U.S. Public Lands Information Center website. (Please be sure to click on your browser's BACK button to return to the Boondocking Guide.)

MITTRY LAKE WILDLIFE AREA (maintained by Fish and Wildlife) Elevation 300'.

Being that the 14 day  free areas in and around Imperial Dam are now fee areas, one might consider Mittry Lake as a choice spot for rest and relaxation. It is a small reeded lake that is part of the Imperial Dam system with access to the lake from each camping area (see Imperial Dam detail map). (Use your browser's BACK button to return to this page.)

The camping areas are along the road and are accessible by all size recreation vehicles.  The camping areas themselves can accommodate up to six RV's depending on the size. Fishing, peace and quiet are the main considerations. There is no water or dumpsite available, but water can be obtained from the Lazy Lane LTVA areaoff S-24 as described for Imperial Dam LTV Area. There is a permanent pit toilet and garbage disposal bin on the hill to your left as you first arrive.The boat launch is to your right. ( BLM Picture  - Please be sure to click onyour browser's BACK button to return to the Boondocking Guide.)

To get there follow the directions for Imperial Dam LTV Area. Once you are on Imperial Dam road the directions are as follows. From the US 95 turn off (two large cannons) drive approximately 8.9 km (5.5 mi) to the first canal crossing after the Yuma Proving Grounds main entrance. Immediately after you cross the bridge turn left on the gravel road along the dike. This is a well maintained gravel road.  You will see the Mittry Lake sign to your right approximately 0.9 km (.55 mi) in. At 3 km (1.8 mi), just as you pass the white access gate, you'll now see a 10 day area to your right. At 7.8 km (4.8 mi) you arrive at the area. From the S-24 route, as describe for the Imperial Dam LTV Area, you drive approximately 2.9 km (1.8 mi.) from the Senator Wash turnoff on Imperial Road to the last canal crossing before the Yuma Proving Ground main gate.

SENATOR WASH (3 Sites)

I have not yet had an opportunity to visit these sites but they may be worth looking into. The Imperial Dam fee structure applies. For the location, see the Imperial Dam detail map. Additional information is available on the official Senator Wash BLM web site in Yuma, Arizona. (Please be sure to click on your browser's BACK button to return to the Boondocking Guide.)

OTHER LOWER COLORADO RIVER VALLEY INFORMATION

Additional information about this area is available from the Bureau of Land Management, Yuma District Office web site. 

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Last Updated: November 18, 2001