BLM LTVA – AZ & CA

The general BLM dispersed camping rules in Arizona are:   Camping is allowed on Public Lands in Arizona for no more than a period of 14 days within any period of 28 consecutive days, unless otherwise identified. Dispersed camping is allowed on Public Lands in Arizona for no more than a period of 14 days within any period of 28 consecutive days. The 28-day period begins when a camper initially occupies a specific location on public lands. The 14 day limit may be reached either through a number of separate visits or through 14 days of continuous overnight occupation during the 28 day period. After the 14th day of occupation, the camper must move outside of a 25 mile radius of the previous location until the 29th day since the initial occupation.  In addition, campers must not leave any personal property unattended for more than 10 days.Camping on public lands away from developed recreation facilities is referred to as “dispersed camping.” Most of the remainder of public lands in Arizona are open to dispersed camping, as long as such use does not conflict with other authorized uses or occurs in areas posted “closed to camping,” or in some way adversely affects wildlife species or natural resources

An LTVA is different, keep reading to find out why.

LTVA’s – What they are and how they work.

This stands for Long Term Visitors Area and here are the guidelines: (see the bottom of the page for the rules)

There are actually 8 of these, 6 in California and 2 in Arizona. They are all part of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

The LTVA long term permit ($180) allows use of Bureau of Land Management designated LTVAs continuously from September 15th to April 15th (a total of 7 months), or for any length of time between those two dates. The LTVA short-visit permit ($40) allows use of Bureau of Land Management designated LTVAs for any 14 consecutive day period from September 15th to April 15th, which begins on the day the permit receipt is exchanged for the official permit and decal. The short-visit permit may be renewed an unlimited number of times for the cost of the permit. LTVA permits are valid at all of the Bureau of Land Management LTVAs.

From April 16th through September 14th, the fee is $10 per vehicle for day-use, $15 per vehicle for overnight use, or $75 annually per vehicle, for up to 5 people per vehicle. There will be a $1 fee charged for each person over the 5 person limit. The maximum stay is 14 days in a 28-day period.

Each Permit comes with up to 3 available stickers. The largest one is affixed to the sleeping rig and the 2 smaller ones are for support vehicles. You are also allowed 1 mobile storage unit and it does not need a sticker. When you purchase your permit they will affix the appropriate sticker to your vehicle(s) and each sticker is numbered with the same number on your permit receipt. If you do not initially use your 3 stickers then the ones unused are affixed to your receipt at the office and kept there permanently. If you  need to use one of the remaining stickers you just need to return to the original place you purchased your permit and bring in supporting documentation for the additional vehicle so they can give you the other sticker. You cannot affix that to a unit which will be used for sleeping in. Bring your original receipt with you to speed up the process.

Visitors must pay daily fees or purchase annual permits on site or at the BLM Yuma Field Office. You may also purchase LTVA permits online at YourPassNow.com.

Midland LTVA:  BLM website for Midland LTVA

LATITUDE/LONGITUDE 33.7296 / -114.661

DIRECTIONS: Midland LTVA can be reached from the town of Blythe by taking the Lovekin Road exit off of Interstate 10 and traveling north for 8 miles. After crossing the railroad tracks, Lovekin Road will turn into Midland-Rice Road. The LTVA will be located on the right side of the road and is marked with an entrance sign. The Midland Long Term Visitor Area (LTVA) is located eight miles north of the city of Blythe and offers the more traditional open desert dispersed camping opportunity with minimal services. Long Term campers experience the mild winter climate of the Arizona desert, as well as the ability to participate in nearby activities such as fishing and boating on the Colorado River, rock hounding at Quartzite, Arizona, or attending local events and shopping in Blythe. Campers must be 100% self-contained for waste and gray water in order to utilize this area since vault toilets are not provided.

Long-term camping trailers and motor homes must be 100% self-contained for waste and gray water.

Short-term camping without self-containment is not allowed within the Midland LTVA camp sites.

An LTVA Permit for Short-term or Long-term camping is required September 15th – April 15th.  Camping is allowed in the LTVA in the ‘off’ season between April 16th– September 14th at no cost, but the standard 14-day limit for dispersed camping on BLM land applies.  There is no Camp Host on site during the ‘off’ season.

The speed limit in an LTVA is 15 mph unless posted otherwise.

Do not collect wood, even downed wood, in the desert for your campfires or any other purposes; please leave it in place, as it provides necessary habitat for desert wildlife.

La Posa LTVA:  BLM LaPosa Website

LATITUDE/LONGITUDE 33.65165 / -114.2169

The La Posa LTVA is split up into 4 areas and has a total of 10 vault toilets, 8 water faucets, 1 dry dump station, 1 dump station with water, trash services, dance floor and ramada. The water faucets and dump stations are located at La Posa South only. The 4 areas are known as: La Posa North, La Posa West, La Posa South and Tyson Wells. The first two are about 1/2 mile south of town and the last two are about 3 miles south of town.

DIRECTIONS: Exit Interstate 10 at the city of Quartzsite, AZ. Take highway 95 south to four LTVAs. The LTVA entrances are approximately 2 miles south of town. The La Posa Long Term Visitor Area (LTVA) was created in 1983 to fulfill the needs of winter visitors and to protect the local desert ecosystem from over-use. The campground is approximately 11,400 acres in size, flat landscape, sparsely vegetated with plants such as Creosote bushes, Palo Verde trees, Ironwood trees, Mesquite trees and various species of cacti.

The La Posa, Imperial Dam, and Mule Mountain LTVAs are restricted to self-contained camping units, except within 500 feet of a vault or rest room

Imperial Dam LTVA:   Imperial Dam BLM Website

LATITUDE/LONGITUDE 32.87057 / -114.47517

DIRECTIONS: Exit Interstate 8 and follow S-24 North approximately 22 miles to the turnoff on Senator Wash road. Turn onto Senator Wash road and follow it for approximately 2 miles to the campgrounds. This Long Term Visitor Area is located North of Yuma on the California side of the Colorado River. The Imperial Dam Long Term Visitor Area (LTVA) was created in 1983 to fulfill the needs of winter visitors and to protect the local desert ecosystem from over-use. The campground is approximately 3,500 acres in size, flat landscape,sparsely vegetated with plants such as Creosote bushes, Palo Verde trees, Ironwood trees, Mesquite trees and various species of cacti.

The La Posa, Imperial Dam, and Mule Mountain LTVAs are restricted to self-contained camping units, except within 500 feet of a vault or rest room

Mule Mountain (Wiley’s Well) – LTVA:   Wiley’s Well BLM website

LATITUDE/LONGITUDE 33.4935 / -114.8881

DIRECTIONS: Take I-10 (eastbound if you are traveling from Palm Springs; westbound if you are traveling from Blythe) to the Wiley’s Well Road (Exit 222) and head south for 3 miles. The paved road ends here and turns right to provide access to two state prisons, Chuckwalla Valley and Ironwood; however, visitors to the LTVA need to continue south on Wiley’s Well Road, which is the graded dirt road to the left. Take the graded road 6 miles south to the Wiley’s Well camp site, or travel an additional 3 miles south to the Coon Hollow camp site. Located in the lower California Desert in eastern Riverside County, Wiley’s Well campground is located adjacent to a desert riparian wash populated by palo verde, smoke tree, mesquite and ironwood trees. There is easy 4-wheel drive access to nearby rock-hounding sites: Hauser Geode Beds and Opal Hill Fire Agate Mine. The historic Bradshaw Trail National Scenic Byway provides access to numerous trails, gem and mineral collection sites, and an historic stage route/mining area. Long term permits cost $180 or a short visit permit for $40.

Amenities

15 trailer sites with tables, BBQ stands and campfire rings (pack in your own fire wood — no wood collecting in the desert); 5 with cabanas; 3 vault toilets; garbage collection; ranger patrols; no electricity; no potable water on site; 1 day use area; RV sewage dump state; information kiosk; camp host during the LTVA season.

Activities

There is easy 4WD access to nearby rock-hounding sites such as the Hauser Geode Beds and Opal Hill Fire Agate Mine.  The historic Bradshaw Trail National Scenic Byway passes between the two campgrounds and provides access to numerous trails, gem and mineral collection sites and historic stage route and mining areas.

Nearest Gas Stations and Public Telephones

The nearest facilities are located in Blythe, which is approximately 7 miles north and 10 miles east of the Mule Mountain LTVA; and Chiriaco Summit, which is located approximately 45 miles northwest of the Mule Mountain LTVA.

Safety

Although these campsites are open year-round, it is best to visit during fall and spring months.  Temperature extremes are a well-known desert hazard.  Always inform someone as to where you are going, your route of travel, and when you expect to return; and carry at least one gallon of water per person per day on your trip.

Campground Rules

Long Term camping trailers and motor homes must be 100% self-contained for waste and gray water.

Short term camping without self-containment is only allowed within the Coon Hollow or Wiley’s Well camp sites but not in the dispersed areas.

A Special Recreation Permit is required September 15th – April 15th.  Camping is allowed in the LTVA in the ‘off’ season between April 16th – September 14th at no cost, but the standard 14-day limit for dispersed camping on BLM land applies.  There is no Camp Host on site during the ‘off’ season.

The speed limit in an LTVA is 15 mph unless posted otherwise.

Do not collect wood, even downed wood, in the desert for your campfires or any other purposes; please leave it in place, as it provides necessary habitat for desert wildlife.

Mule Mountain (Coon Hollow Campground) LTVA:  Coon Hollow BLM Website

LATITUDE/LONGITUDE 33.4479 / -114.9011

DIRECTIONS: Turn south at the Wiley’s Well Road exit from Interstate Highway 10 located about 16 miles west of Blythe, California. Drive southward on Wiley’s Well Road 12.1 miles to reach the Coon Hollow Campground sign at 33°26.737′ N and 114°53.696′ W. Turn right and drive west 0.5 mile to the campsites. From I 10 the road is paved 2.9 miles to the Chuckawalla Valley and Ironwood State Prison where a small sign indicates camping ahead. The road from this point consists of graded dirt and unless it is raining, or it has rained recently, it should be passable for all types of vehicles. If the road has not been graded within the previous two or three weeks, though, it is likely to be seriously wash-boarded.
Located in the lower California Desert in eastern Riverside County, the Mule Mountains Long Term Visitor Area consists of the Wiley’s Well and Coon Hollow camp sites, and the surrounding desert area where dispersed camping is allowed. The Coon Hollow camp sites are located adjacent to a desert riparian wash populated by palo verde, smoke tree, mesquite and ironwood trees.

Amenities

Amenities include: 29 trailer sites with tables, BBQ stands and campfire rings (pack in your own fire wood — no wood collecting in the desert); 6 with cabanas; 3 vault toilets; garbage collection; ranger patrols; no electricity; no potable water.

Activities

There is easy 4WD access to nearby rock-hounding sites such as the Hauser Geode Beds and Opal Hill Fire Agate Mine.  The historic Bradshaw Trail National Scenic Byway passes between the two campgrounds and provides access to numerous trails, gem and mineral collection sites and historic stage route and mining areas.

Campground Rules

Long Term camping trailers and motor homes must be 100% self-contained for waste and gray water.

Short term camping without self-containment is only allowed within the Coon Hollow or Wiley’s Well camp sites but not in the dispersed areas.

The La Posa, Imperial Dam, and Mule Mountain LTVAs are restricted to self-contained camping units, except within 500 feet of a vault or rest room

A Special Recreation Permit is required September 15th – April 15th.  Camping is allowed in the LTVA in the ‘off’ season between April 16th – September 14th at no cost, but the standard 14-day limit for dispersed camping on BLM land applies.  There is no Camp Host on site during the ‘off’ season.

The speed limit in an LTVA is 15 mph unless posted otherwise.

Do not collect wood, even downed wood, in the desert for your campfires or any other purposes; please leave it in place, as it provides necessary habitat for desert wildlife.

Pilot Knob LTVA:  Pilot Knob BLM Website

LATITUDE/LONGITUDE 32.74273889 / -114.7554806

DIRECTIONS: I-8 (West from Yuma, AZ/East from El Centro,CA) to Sidewinder Rd.(Exit 164.) South on Sidewider Rd.

The area in and around Pilot Knob is rich in both human and natural history. At one time, Patton’s troops trained here in preparation for desert fighting in World War II. A State of California Historic Marker lies on the site of Patton’s camp. The marker is located just north of Interstate 8 on Sidewinder Road. The Fort Yuma Indian Reservation borders public lands near Pilot Knob. Every year, thousands of visitors come and enjoy the natural beauty and recreational opportunities offered at BLM’s Long Term Visitor Areas (LTVAs), where visitors can camp for as long as seven months. Fee season September 15-April 15 $180, $80 4-week stay, $40 2-week stay; 14 day camping free April 16-September 14.

Tamarisk LTVA:  Tamarisk BLM website

LATITUDE/LONGITUDE 32.70812222 / -115.1271

DIRECTIONS: I-8 (West from Yuma, AZ/East from El Centro,CA) to Hwy. 98 (Exit 143.) Continue west on Hwy 98 for approximately 2.7 miles. Turn south onto a dirt road. Tamarisk LTVA will be on the west side of the road.

Tamarisk LTVA is the smallest of the three LTVAs managed by the El Centro Field Office. Surrounded by tamarisks, this campground is also the most secluded of the three LTVAs. Due to the remote location, Tamarisk LTVA is quiet and peaceful.

Hot Springs LTVA: Hot Springs BLM website

LATITUDE/LONGITUDE 32.76734444 / -115.2703056

DIRECTIONS: I-8(West from Yuma, AZ/East from El Centro,CA) to 115 North/Van Der Linden(Exit 131). East on Evan Hewes for 3.8 miles

Every year, thousands of visitors come and enjoy the natural beauty and recreational opportunities offered at BLM’s Long Term Visitor Areas (LTVAs), where visitors can camp for as long as seven months. The Hot Springs LTVA is known for it’s historic and still active hot spring attracting both local and winter visitors. Fee season September 15-April 15 $180, $80 4-week stay, $40 2-week stay; 14 day camping free April 16-September 14.

Bureau of Land Management – Long Term Visitor Areas – Supplemental Rules

1. Permit Requirements and Fees

You must have a permit to use a designated LTVA between September 15 and April 15. The permit authorizes you to camp within any designated LTVA using those camping or dwelling unit(s) indicated on the permit between the periods from September 15 to April 15. There are two types of permits: Long-Term and Short-Visit. The long-term permit is valid for the entire season or any part of the season. The short-visit permit is valid for 14 consecutive days, and may be renewed an unlimited number of times for the cost of the permit. LTVA users must pay the cost of the fee indicated on the LTVA permit, in U.S. funds only, before or upon arrival. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will not refund permit fees.

2. Displaying the Permit

To make it valid, at the time of purchase, you must affix your short-visit permit decal or long-term permit decal, using the adhesive backing, to the bottom right-hand corner of the windshield of all transportation vehicles and in a clearly visible location on all camping units. You may use no more than two secondary vehicles within the LTVA.

3. Permit Transfers

You may not reassign or transfer your permit.

4. Permit Revocation

An authorized BLM officer may revoke, without reimbursement, your LTVA permit if you violate any BLM rule or regulation, or if your conduct or that of your family, guest, or pets is inconsistent with the goal of BLM’s LTVA Program. Failure to return any LTVA permit to an authorized BLM officer upon demand is a violation of these supplementary rules. If BLM revokes your permit, you must remove all of your property and leave the LTVA system within 12 hours of notice, and you may not enter any other LTVA in Arizona or California for the remainder of the LTVA season.

5. Unoccupied Camping Units

Do not leave your LTVA camping unit or campsite unoccupied for a period of greater than five days unless an authorized BLM officer approves in advance.

6. Parking

For your safety and privacy, you must maintain a minimum of 15 feet of space between dwelling units.

7. Removal of Wheels and Campers

Campers, trailers, and other dwelling units must remain mobile. Wheels must remain on all wheeled vehicles. You may set trailers and pickup campers on jacks manufactured for that purpose.

8. Quiet Hours

Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. under applicable state time zone standards, or as otherwise posted. Bureau of Land Management – Long Term Visitor Areas – Supplementary Rules

9. Noise

Do not operate audio devices or motorized equipment, including generators, in a manner that makes unreasonable noise as determined by the authorized BLM officer. Outdoor amplified music is allowed only within La Posa and Imperial Dam LTVAs and only in locations designated by BLM and when approved in advance by an authorized BLM officer.

10. Access

Do not block roads or trails commonly in public use with your parked vehicles, stones, wooden barricades, or by any other means.

11. Structures and Landscaping

a. Fixed fences, dog runs, storage units, windbreaks, and other such structures are prohibited. Temporary structures ofthese types must conform to posted policies.

b. Do not alter the natural landscape by painting rocks or defacing or damaging any natural or archaeological feature.

12. Livestock

Boarding or keeping livestock (horses, cattle, sheep, goats, etc.) within LTVA boundaries is prohibited.

13. Pets

Pets must be kept on a leash at all times. Keep an eye on your pets. Unattended and unwatched pets may fall prey to coyotes or other desert predators. You are responsible for clean-up and sanitary disposal of your pet’s waste.

14. Cultural Resources

Do not disturb any archaeological or historical values including, but not limited to, petroglyphs, ruins, historic buildings,

and artifacts that may occur on public lands.

15. Trash

You must place all trash in designated receptacles. Public trash facilities are shown in the LTVA brochure. Do not deposit trash or holding-tank sewage in vault toilets. An LTVA permit is required for trash disposal within all LTVA campgrounds. You may not change motor oil, vehicular fluids, or dispose of or possess these used substances within an LTVA.

16. Dumping

Do not dump sewage, gray water, or garbage on the ground. This includes motor oil and any other waste products. Federal, State, and county sanitation laws and county ordinance specifically prohibit these practices. Sanitary dump station locations are shown in the LTVA brochure. You must have an LTVA permit for dumping within all LTVA campgrounds.

17. Self-Contained Vehicles

a. In Pilot Knob, Midland, Tamarisk, and Hot Springs LTVAs, you may camp only in self-contained camping units. The La Posa, Imperial Dam, and Mule Mountain LTVAs are restricted to self-contained camping units, except within 500 feet of a vault or rest room.

b. Self-contained camping units must have a permanent, affixed waste water holding tank of 10-gallon minimum capacity.

BLM does not consider port-a-potty systems, systems that utilize portable holding tanks, or permanent holding tanks of less than 10-gallon capacity, to be self-contained.

18. Campfires

You may have campfires in LTVAs, subject to all local, state, and Federal regulations. You must comply with posted rules.

19. Wood Collection

Do not collect wood within LTVAs. You may not possess native firewood (i.e., mesquite, ironwood, palo verde) within LTVAs. Please contact the nearest BLM office for current regulations concerning wood collection.

20. Speed Limit

The speed limit in LTVAs is 15 miles per hour or as otherwise posted.

21. Off-Highway Vehicle Use

Motorized vehicles must remain on existing roads, trails, and washes.

22. Vehicle Use

Do not operate any vehicle in violation of state or local laws and regulations relating to use, standards, registration, operation, and inspection.

23. Firearms

Do not discharge or otherwise use firearms or weapons inside or within 1/2 mile of LTVAs.

24. Vending Permits

You must have a vending permit to carry on any commercial activity. Please contact the nearest BLM office for information on vending or concession permits.

25. Aircraft Use

Do not land or take off in aircraft, including ultralights and hot air balloons, in LTVAs.

26. Perimeter Camping

Do not camp within 1 mile outside the boundaries of Hot Springs, Tamarisk, and Pilot Knob LTVAs and within 2 miles outside the boundary of Midland LTVA.

27. Hot Springs Spa and Day Use Area

Food, beverages, glass containers, soap, pets, and/or motorized vehicles are prohibited within the fenced-in area at the Hot Springs Spa. Day use hours are 5 a.m. to midnight.

28. Mule Mountain LTVA

You may camp only at designated sites within Wiley’s Well and Coon Hollow campgrounds. You may have only one (1) camping or dwelling unit per site.

29. Imperial Dam and La Posa LTVAs

Do not camp overnight in desert washes in Imperial Dam and La Posa LTVAs.

30. La Posa LTVA

You may enter La Posa LTVA only by legal access roads along U.S. Highway 95. Do not create or use any other access points. Do not remove or modify barricades, such as fences, ditches, and berms.

31. Posted Rules

You must observe and obey all posted rules. Individual LTVAs may have additional specific rules in addition to these supplementary rules. If posted rules differ from these supplementary rules, the posted rules take precedence.

32. Other Laws

If you hold an LTVA permit, you must observe and obey all Federal, state, and local laws and regulations applicable to the LTVA.

33. Campsite Maintenance

You must keep the LTVA and, specifically, your campsite, in a neat, orderly, and sanitary condition.

34. Length of Stay

Between April 16 and September 14, you may stay in an LTVA only 14 days in any 28-day period. After your 14th day of occupation at an LTVA, you must move outside of a 25-mile radius of that LTVA.

35. Penalties

Under 43 CFR 2932.56(b), if you knowingly and willfully violate or fail to comply with any of the supplementary rules provided in this notice, BLM will revoke your LTVA permit. You may also be subject to issuance of a citation and/or arrest with a fine under 18 U.S.C. 3571 and/or imprisonment under 18 U.S.C. 3581, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1733(a)).

 

Camping, Boondocking, and Having Fun!