Much of the desert land in southern Arizona and California is administered by the Bureau of Land Management. The largest areas of BLM land are located in the western states and are managed similar to national forest land with leases given to individuals and companies who use the natural resources while leaving the land opened for recreational purposes. Although most of the land is undeveloped and available for free dispersed camping (limited to 14 days at one location) the BLM also manages a number of primitive campgrounds. Large sections of BLM land around Yuma and Quartzsite have stricter rules but longer camping limits due to the extreme popularity of the area with snowbirders. A permit, which costs $180.00 for 8 months or $40.00 for 2 weeks, is required to camp in any of the 7 Long Term Visitor Areas.
Squaw Lake is located very near the Imperial Dam LTVA but is managed separately. A fee of $75.00 a year or $15.00 a day is charged and a pass holder is allowed to camp at four different areas – Squaw Lake, Oxbow, Senator Wash North and South Shores and Ehrenberg Sandbowl, an ORV site. Squaw Lake has more amenities than normal including tables, grills, fire pits, flush toilets and $1.00 showers. Free fresh water and a dump station are provided 1.5 miles away at the Imperial Dam LTVA. The area is very pretty but the RV section of the campground is just two large paved lots. Tenters get much nicer sites right on the water however most of them require a long walk from the parking area. We wanted a paved site to make waxing and minor maintenance work easier so this parking lot campground worked out fine. Each site consists of two parking spaces. We were concerned about generator noise when we saw all of the large class As and fifth wheels and a lack of solar panels but most people were very considerate and ran their generators for limited amounts of time. This may be much different in the summer months.
Two sites are marked as accessible but they do not have a paved path to the restrooms and showers. It’s much better to camp in the first parking lot and travel through the day use lot to get to a paved path to the building. The restrooms and showers are accessible but a token is needed for the showers and there isn’t a path from the showers to the token machine. Campground