Monday, November 12, 2012

Quartzsite BLM camping information for newbies

Heading to Quartzsite for the first time? Thinking about boondocking? Here's first-timer information you can use.

The US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) provides some of the most popular boondocking locations in the Quartzsite area. If you're planning a longer-than-two-week visit, you owe it to yourself to check out the Long Term Visitor Areas (LTVAs) south of town. Yes, it costs money for a permit, but you'll get benefits: A place to dump your tanks, take on fresh water, and dump the trash. Buying water and dumping tanks in town is an expensive and time-consuming proposition.

There are four designated LTVAs, all on Highway 95. Closest to town, and in walking distance of popular show venues, LaPosa West and LaPosa North. A few miles farther south, Tyson and LaPosa South. This latter LTVA is "home" of the dump station and watering ports; all four have garbage dumpsters. Costs? For a season-long permit (September 15 to April 15) the cost is $180.00.  Want to 'get your feet wet'? Then a two-week pass is $40. Get them at the entrance station of any of the LTVAs.

Together, the four LTVAs provide over 11,000 acres of "camping area." Nope, don't look for designated "sites," although you'll see plenty of rock rows outlining "camp sites." Everything is first-come, first-served, and stay where you like, provided your rig is self-contained. If not, the BLM requires you to stay in close proximity to a "vault" toilet.

Once you've picked your own 'home away from home,' you can use your site as a jump-off point for your own activities back in town, or just "set a spell," and enjoy the wildlife--coyotes and birds primarily, although some of the other "winter visitors" can be kind of wild--or see how many different types of cactus you can avoid getting punctured by.

For early November, plenty of traffic is showing up in the LTVAs. But don't worry, even if you come late, there's always plenty of room.

All photos R&T DeMaris