Picacho State Recreation Area

Phone Number

(760) 996-2963

Max. Trailer Lengths

Trailer: Up to 30 Feet
Camper/Motorhome: Up to 35 Feet

Park Hours

Day use and campground open all day and all night.
First-come first-served camping, contact the park directly for information.

Dogs Allowed?

Yes
Dogs allowed in developed areas such as roads and campgrounds. Dogs not allowed on beaches or trails. Dogs must be on a leash no more than 6' long and under the owner's immediate control at all times.

Driving Directions to Picacho SRA

Take the 24-mile (mostly unpaved) road north from Winterhaven near the Mexican border. The road to Picacho from Winterhaven is paved only for the first 6 of 24 miles. The last 18 miles is over a dirt road that is passable for cars and vehicles with trailers and motorhomes. At times during the summer thunderstorms are likely to cause flash flooding in the washes, temporarily making short sections of the road impassable.

Online reservations are not available for this park.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

BOATING
Boating
Boat Ramps
OVERNIGHT FACILITIES
Family Campsites
Group Campsites
Primitive Camping
Boat-in/Floating Camps
RV Access
TRAIL USE
Hiking Trails
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Exhibits and Programs
Fishing
Guided Tours
Interpretive Exhibits
Beach Area
Swimming
Vista Point
Family Programs
Geocaching
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Parking
Restrooms
Drinking Water Available

Park is partially open.

If you are planning a visit, please note:

The boat launch at the Lower Dock is closed until further notice.

***  The day use area and kayak-in group campsites at the Lower Dock are open.  ***

To make a reservation for the group campsites, email SpecialEvents.OcotilloWells@parks.ca.gov


Campsites number 17, 18, 19, and 20 at the Main Campground are unavailable from:

October 4, 2023 through February 28, 2024

The sites will be occupied by California State Parks’ Statewide Trail Crew as they work on the Stewart Lake Trail.

Campers at the Main Campground located near the Stewart Lake Trail may experience increased noise due to the trail work.

Stewart Lake Trail will be partially closed in the interest of visitor safety.

We apologize for any inconvenience and invite visitors to revisit the Stewart Lake Overlook upon project completion at the end of February 2024.


Access to the park is possible via Picacho Road.  Picacho Road has areas with deep sand; a high clearance, 4x4 vehicle capable of traversing soft, sandy terrain is recommended.

Access to the park is also possible via Indian Pass Road.  Indian Pass Road includes a steep mountain pass.  A high clearance, 4x4 vehicle capable of traversing steep, rocky, and soft terrain as well as the skills to navigate said terrain are necessary.

***  It is strongly recommended to utilize Picacho Road instead of Indian Pass Road.  ***


If you are using a mapping device or program, double check whether you are routed to Picacho SRA via Picacho Road from Winterhaven or Indian Pass Road from Ogilby Road.

***  Visitors towing a trailer should only access the park via Picacho Road.  ***

100 years ago Picacho was a gold mining town with 100 citizens. Today the site is a State Park, popular with boaters, hikers, anglers and campers. The park offers diverse scenery, including beavertail cactus, wild burros, bighorn sheep and thousands of migratory waterfowl. (The park is on one leg of the Pacific Flyway.) Eight miles of the lower Colorado River are the recreation area’s eastern border.

As in any desert country, travelers on this road should carry extra water and other essential supplies. All motor vehicles are required to stay on the authorized routes of travel in the recreation area. In case of trouble it is best to keep calm and remain near your vehicle and in the shade until help arrives.

Location-Directions
Take the 24-mile (mostly unpaved) road north from Winterhaven near the Mexican border. The road to Picacho from Winterhaven is paved only for the first 6 of 24 miles. The last 18 miles is over a dirt road that is passable for cars and vehicles with trailers and motorhomes. At times during the summer thunderstorms are likely to cause flash flooding in the washes, temporarily making short sections of the road impassable.

For additional information or questions, please call the park office at (760) 996-2963.

Friends4Picacho
Discover important information about Picacho State Recreation Area at this link:  www.Friends4Picacho.org
Find out about current park events, volunteer opportunities and ongoing efforts to save this pristine land for future generations to enjoy. F4P and Picacho SRA have also partnered with the Park Champions Program through the California State Park Foundation.  For current volunteer opportunities please visit www.calparks.org.

Picacho State Recreation Area
Picacho State Recreation Area lies on the state border along the Colorado River which crosses the thirsty Sonoran Desert. The SRA characterizes the topography and geology of eastern California’s Mojave Desert Geomorphic Province which overlaps the Sonoran Desert. This geologic landscape is continuous throughout southern Arizona- home of the northern Sonoran Desert.

Picacho SRA
(Photograph by Mike Fuller)

The full Geo Gems report  |  Geological Gems of State Parks