Picacho State Recreation Area

This park unit is partially open. Please take the time to read the information contained on this webpage to find out what is open and closed, and what COVID-19 guidelines are in place. - (June 1, 2021)

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.

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.

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

***PLEASE BE ADVISED:

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.

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.

***Please Note:

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.

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.

Park Videos

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.