Day use and campground open all day and all night.
First-come first-served camping, contact the park directly for information.
Picacho State Recreation Area
What is open now?
- Vehicular access on designated routes of travel.
- Developed and boat-in campgrounds.
- Group campgrounds and group picnic areas including Group Canoe Camp #1, Group Canoe Camp #2, and Headquarters Group Camp.
- Boat ramps, docks, and parking areas.
- Motorized and non-motorized boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, and personal watercraft recreation.
- Picnic tables, hiking trails, points of interest, and shoreline areas are available for recreational use.
- Biking, hiking, swimming, wading, and wildlife watching are permitted.
- Most restrooms and shower facilities are available.
- Limited special events, as permitted by County Health Orders.
What is currently closed?
- Park office.
- Some restrooms may be closed in remote areas.
- Large special events, concessions and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.
Protect yourself, family, friends and your community by following these prevention measures:
- Know Before You Go – Prior to leaving home, check the status of the park unit you want to visit to find out what restrictions and guidelines are in place. Have a back-up plan in case your destination is crowded. Stay home if you are sick
- Plan Ahead – Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer.
- Play It Safe – Find out what precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors, especially if this is your first time visiting the State Park System. Learn more at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
- Be COVID-19 Safe – State Parks continues to meet guidance from local and state public officials as COVID-19 is still present and still deadly. Effective March 1, 2022, state guidance recommends that all individuals, regardless of vaccine status, continue masking in indoor settings, such as museums and visitor centers. Universal masking remains required in specified high-risk settings. Please plan ahead as local county guidelines may differ from state guidance and visitors are urged to follow county guidelines when required. Read the latest COVID-19 guidance at COVID19.ca.gov.
- Leave No Trace – Leave areas better than how you found them by staying on designated trails and packing out all trash. Do not disturb wildlife or plants.
Picacho Road has areas with deep sand, it is only recommended for 4-wheel drive vehicle access at this time.
The condition of Indian Pass is unknown at this time, but it is recommended that you approach with extreme caution, in a high-clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle only.
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.
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.
If you are using a mapping device or program make sure you are routed to Picacho SRA via Picacho Road from Winterhaven. The secondary route into the park from Ogilby Road through Indian Pass is a 4X4 ONLY route. Four wheel drive vehicles towing trailers should always access the park via Picacho Road from Winterhaven, CA.
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.
Vista: Parks from Ridge to River
The online video journal of the Colorado Desert District covering Anza-Borrego Desert State Park®, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, Palomar Mountain State Park, Picacho State Recreation Area, Salton Sea State Recreation Area, and Indio Hills Palms Property.