Subi & The 5

Imperial Dam Area – Out And About

Imperial Dam Recreation Area – California

As we sit at our site at Mittry Lake and look across the lake we can see what looks like thousands and thousands of RVs. It’s the Imperial Dam Recreation Area.

Those Young Guys - Imperial Dam Recreation Area
View of Imperial Dam Recreation Area (in the distance) from our site at Mittry Lake


We decided to drive up there and check out the BLM camping in that area. We crossed the Colorado River just north of Mittry Lake into California in about 20 minutes and then spent much more time exploring the area.  There are so many areas in which to camp. Here’s just a few.

Those Young Guys - Imperial Dam Recreation Area
Just a few of the BLM areas


It was basically all LTVA dispersed camping with both long term (7 months – $180) and short term (14 days – $40) permits available. We explored the area and noticed the water fill station and dump stations had some very long lines. No fun but the price is right.


It is a very interesting community with several thousand motorhomes in the area. Maybe a bit too crowded for us but it was nice and neat and had fabulous views of the mountains as you sit high atop the mesa.


The developed campground of Squaw Lake is a bit further north and was basically a parking lot on the waterfront perfect for fishermen. But there are lovely views in that area of both Squaw Lake and the Senator Wash Reservoir.

Those Young Guys - Imperial Dam Recreation Area
View looking down on Squaw Lake Campground


All in all there were lots of vehicles but it was peaceful and had fabulous views.


Imperial National Wildlife Refuge – Arizona

Imperial National Wildlife Refuge
View from atop Smoke Tree Point

From there we headed back over the Colorado River to the Visitor Center at the Imperial National Wildlife Refuge and explored around that area. A beautiful area which we did not have near enough time to explore. Definitely on our list to return to when we can take a few days and explore the entire area.


Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) – Arizona

Not far from Mittry Lake, only a few miles as the crow flies, is the Yuma Test Center called Yuma Proving Ground which has an outside exhibit (outdoors and also outside of the installation) and also an indoor exhibit inside the gate at the YPG Heritage Center. Both are free and well worth visiting especially if you have an Army background like us. A fun time and a fun walk down memory lane.

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