State Recreation Area - California
Picacho State Recreation Area is a camping, boating, and general recreation area located on a 9-mile stretch of the lower Colorado river at the site of Picacho, a defunct gold mining town. Picacho is a popular wintertime/springtime destination for boating, fishing, hiking and camping. This remote park is located in the far southeastern corner of California and includes 54 campsites, 3 boat launches, and 5 river camps. Favorite activities at the park include stargazing, and bird and wildlife viewing (including the famous desert resident, the Bighorn sheep). The mining town of Picacho sat on this spot in the early 1900s. The remains of a stamp mill that was used to crush the gold ore during mining operations is a popular hiking destination. This section of the Colorado River is a popular stopover for migratory waterfowl - ducks, geese, ibis and cormorants - usually seen by the thousands in spring and fall. Other waterfowl are found here year round.
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Map of Routes of Travel for Eastern Imperial County in El Centro Field Office area. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=641 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picacho_State_Recreation_Area Picacho State Recreation Area is a camping, boating, and general recreation area located on a 9-mile stretch of the lower Colorado river at the site of Picacho, a defunct gold mining town. Picacho is a popular wintertime/springtime destination for boating, fishing, hiking and camping. This remote park is located in the far southeastern corner of California and includes 54 campsites, 3 boat launches, and 5 river camps. Favorite activities at the park include stargazing, and bird and wildlife viewing (including the famous desert resident, the Bighorn sheep). The mining town of Picacho sat on this spot in the early 1900s. The remains of a stamp mill that was used to crush the gold ore during mining operations is a popular hiking destination. This section of the Colorado River is a popular stopover for migratory waterfowl - ducks, geese, ibis and cormorants - usually seen by the thousands in spring and fall. Other waterfowl are found here year round.
Our Mission Picacho State Recreation Area The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. Rich in natural wonders, the park is a winter and springtime haven for campers, anglers, hikers and those who love a desert landscape. California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park at (760) 996-2963. This publication can be made available in alternate formats. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (916) 654-2249. CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800) 777-0369 (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service www.parks.ca.gov Discover the many states of California.™ Picacho State Recreation Area Interpark Road at Picacho Road 33.023089, -114.609885 Winterhaven, CA 92283 (760) 996-2963 or (760) 393-3059 © 2005 California State Parks (Rev. 2013) I n the lower Colorado River Basin 25 miles north of Yuma, Arizona, Picacho State Recreation Area lies along the Colorado River on California’s southeastern border. The park’s remote setting beckons hardy adventurers to enjoy year-round fishing and water sports. However, Picacho’s climate can be extreme — ranging from a low of 20 degrees in winter to as high as 120 degrees in summer. The best times to visit are from midOctober through April. The Picacho adventure begins with its 24mile Picacho Road approach, which is paved only for the first six miles. The next 18 miles, composed of rough dirt, are usually passable for cars and vehicles towing small trailers. However, sudden flash floods sparked by summer showers have been known to temporarily flood parts of this road. As would be the case with any desert location, visitors are reminded to carry extra water, fuel and other essential supplies. PARK HISTORY For thousands of years, the Quechan and other native people of the Great Basin culture lived along this part of the Colorado River — the western fringe of the much larger Southwest Indian culture area. Picacho Peak was important in Quechan myth and legend, much of which was passed from generation to generation in narrative song cycles. The people crossed the river on logs, rafts, and in shallow clay vessels, traveling as far as the coast and the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley to trade with other groups. Though they hunted and gathered as other native people did, they were also sophisticated agriculturists who cultivated wild plants, set controlled fires to replenish the land, and planted corn, beans, squashes and other crops to supplement their diet. Today the federally recognized Quechan — one of California’s largest inland native groups — consist of about 3,000 people, many of whom still speak their native language. In 1540 Spanish soldiers, under command of Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, traveled as far west as the Colorado River Basin. Other early contacts by the Spanish were more or less friendly, but a later attempt to establish a mission and settlement at Yuma in 1781 met with failure when the Indians rose up and destroyed the mission, killing all of the Spaniards. Over the years, some people had successfully mined nuggets out of the desert sands. However, around 1862 José Maria Mendivil — a young prospector from Sonora, Mexico — discovered gold in the hard rock surrounding Picacho Peak. By 1890 a successful, large-scale gold mining operation was booming, and Picacho became a mining Gold mining stamp mill town. At the turn of the 20th century, steampowered paddlewheel boats traveling the lower Colorado River delivered mining supplies and passengers to Picacho. Visitors can hike to the ruins of the mine and mill sites from the trailhead near the Lower Dock day-use area. NATURAL HISTORY Vegetation The seemingly empty landscape actually teems with vitality and growth, forming habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. Even in the most barren places, plants take root and thrive in their own specialized ways. In the spring, the rugged mountains and washes of the Colorado Desert come alive with acres of wildflowers, blossoming beavertail cactus and ocotillo. Marsh tule and carrizo cane line the numerous backwater lakes near the river, and the oasis-like flats are invaded by non-native tamarisk trees. Desert ironwood, palo verde, cottonwoods, willows and mesquite are among the area’s native plants. five smaller campgrounds with no available drinking water. Wildlife The Sonoran Desert abounds with wildlife. Bald and golden eagles soar above, while the handsome, ground-dwelling Gambel’s quail sings its entire repertoire. Swallows, great blue herons, snowy egrets, gila woodpeckers, phainopeplas, greater roadrunners and white-winged doves flock
Picacho State Recreation Area P.O. Box 848 • Interpark Road at Picacho Road • 33.023089, -114.609885 Winterhaven, CA 92283 • (760) 996-2963 (Park Office) 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 border the recreation area’s eastern edge. Vehicle usage is strictly regulated to protect and preserve this fragile desert environment. When you arrive at Picacho by motor vehicle, you may camp and/or leave your vehicle overnight ONLY in designated camping or parking areas. PARK USE FEES Fees are due upon entering the park. Park users who enter without paying may be cited. Self-register as you enter. There is no charge for non-motorized vehicles, but they count towards the campsite limit of three. Contact the park for the most current fees. Picacho Main Campground has 54 family campsites. Facilities include tables, fire rings, drinkable water, chemical and CXT toilets, a solar shower and a dump station. Each campsite is limited to eight people and three vehicles. Reservations are not accepted for these sites. Drive-In Group Camps are located near the Main Campground. The sites are secluded to allow group activities away from the family site areas. Reservations are accepted and recommended. Call the park office at (760) 996-2963. River Parking Lot. Overnight parking and camping are not allowed at either boat dock. If you plan to camp on the river, please leave your vehicle in the designated parking area across from the Group Boat-In Camps near the lower dock. Nightly parking fees are due and must be paid in advance. BOAT-IN CAMPING Boat-in camping is allowed along the California shoreline at designated developed campsites within the boundaries of Picacho SRA. The shoreline at the Picacho docks and the Historic Stamp Mill site are closed to camping. Boat-in campers must self-register upon arrival at the campsite. Minimum boat fees apply at all upriver and group boat-in camps. Overnight parking for boaters camping on the river is permitted only in the designated parking area across from the group canoe camps at the lower dock, and fees apply. Camping and overnight parking at either dock area is prohibited. The following boat-in camping areas have picnic tables, fire rings and chemical or CXT toilets. There is no potable water. All sites are first-come, first-served except the group camps (see below). There is no trash collection at these sites: pack it in, pack it out. Minimum fees apply. Outpost Camp: Three sites, cars or boaters okay. Limit of eight people and two vehicles per site. 4S Beach Camp: Four designated sites and large open area for overflow, cars or boaters okay. Limit of eight people and two vehicles per site. Carrizo and Paddlewheeler Camps: Two large sites each, boater/canoe campers only. No vehicles allowed. Carrizo is ADA accessible. Taylor Lake Camp: Four family sites – limit eight people and three vehicles per campsite. Cars or boaters okay. Small vessel launch ramp. One ADA accessible campsite. Group Canoe Camps: Two group boat-in camps at the Picacho lower dock are for use by large canoe groups – 15 or more people. Reservations are highly recommended. Call (760) 996-2963 for reservations. Trash is collected at the group canoe site. PARK RULES AND REGULATIONS Off-highway vehicles are NOT allowed in the park regardless of the type of registration. An OHV = all rhino, quad, gator, golf cart, ROV, etc. Vehicles must be licensed and CA streetlegal. All operators must be licensed. All California vehicle laws apply. Off-road vehicle travel is not permitted. Mountain bikes are permitted on roadways only. All bike riders under 18 must wear a helmet. Campfires are permitted only in park-provided fire rings. Do not move the fire ring in your site. Dead and downed wood cutting or gathering is NOT permitted. Do not bring or burn whole pallets, painted or treated wood, or wood containing nails. Do not throw trash or food into the fire ring. Quiet hours are between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., but AT NO TIME may the sound of radios, voices, etc. extend outside of the individual day-use area or campsite. Be considerate of your neighbors and enjoy the sounds of the desert. Generators may be operated between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. only. DOGS must be on a leash no more than six feet long at all times. They must be in a camper or tent at night and may not be left unattended during the day. Pick up and place dog waste in the trash daily. Natural scenery, plants and animal life are fully protected at Picacho. All features of the park are protected by law, including snakes, scorpions and tarantulas. No killing and no collecting. Fireworks are prohibited at all times of the year! Possession is illegal. F
PICACHO STATE RECREATION AREA GENERAL HUNTING INFORMATION This is a synopsis for general information only. All sportsmen are encouraged to read the complete California Hunting Regulations Booklets available where hunting licenses are sold or from the Calif. Dept. of Fish & Game (520) 783-2866. This sheet is hunting specific information only. Ask for a list of the California State Recreation Area general rules and regulations. Picacho has specific requirements for payment of fees, vehicle usage and other restrictions to help us protect all aspects of the fragile desert environment. NO HUNTING IS PERMITTED WITHIN THE ONE SQUARE MILE area centering on the Picacho main campground. No hunting is permitted within 150 yards of any occupied campsite. CALIFORNIA HUNTING LICENSE IS REQUIRED. Federal and state duck stamps are required to take migratory waterfowl. An upland game stamp is required to take dove or quail. ARIZONA HUNTING LICENSE REQUIRED to hunt the AZ side of the Colorado River and its backwaters. Check Arizona State requirements. For AZ and federal information call the Imperial National Wildlife Refuge at (520) 783-3371. HUNTING HOURS: In season, one half hour before sunrise to sunset, California time. METHODS AUTHORIZED: Shotguns 10 gauge or smaller, plugged to hold no more than THREE shells in the magazine and chamber combined. ONLY migratory game birds and quail, in season, may be taken in Picacho SRA. NO other hunting is permitted within our boundaries. (deer, rabbit, coyote, rattlesnake etc.) It is unlawful to place any bird carcasses within 150 feet of any water source. WITHIN PICACHO SRA, IT IS UNLAWFUL TO POSSESS ANY LOADED RIFLE OR HANDGUN. These weapons may be possessed in the park only when encased, unloaded and taken apart. Shotguns may be possessed loaded while hunting with a valid license only. Unload all shotguns before entering the campground area. Store your weapons safely and discreetly. STATEWIDE CALIFORNIA WEAPONS LAW It is unlawful to hunt while intoxicated. It is unlawful to shoot from a vehicle. (Some exceptions for the disabled – see regulations.) It is unlawful to shoot from or near any road. It is unlawful to shoot within 150 yards of any occupied dwelling, residence or occupied campsite. It is unlawful to possess any loaded weapon in a motor vehicle or its attachments. ADDITIONAL INFO FOR HUNTERS NONTOXIC SHOT IS REQUIRED for waterfowl, American Coot and Common Moorhen hunting. DO NOT have lead shot anywhere in your blind or in your boat!!! Lead shot is banned against pheasants. Lead shot can still be used against quail and doves until July 1 st, 2019. Rifle ammo must be steel shot when hunting for fur bearers. It is unlawful to hunt while your scull boat or similar is under motorized power. This does not prohibit using motorized power to retrieve downed birds.
GPS READINGS FOR PICACHO SRA #658 4900 Picacho Rd., Winterhaven, CA 92283 LAND POINTS FROM MAIN CAMPGROUND TO "NORTH/WEST" END OF THE PARK Lower Dock N 33 01.56' W 114 37.03' Upper Dock N 33 01.17' W 114 37.06' Park Office N 33 01.35' W 114 36.96' Taylor Lake Camp N 33 01.73' W 114 38.24' Taylor Lake Overlook N 33 01.86' W 114 38.42' Donald Duck Overlook N 33 01.93' W 114 39.02' Paddlewheeler Boat-In Camp N 33 02.86' W 114 39.34' Bear Canyon Overlook N 33 01.47' W 114 39.69' Bear Canyon Tank N 33 01.02' W 114 40.29' Bear Canyon NW Gate N 33 01.92' W 114 39.80' Carrizo Boat-In Camp N 33 02.20' W 114 40.19' Mouth of Carrizo Wash N 33 02.38' W 114 40.36' Indian Pass Rd. Iron Ranger N 33 03.10' W 114 40.99' 4-S Beach Camp N 33 03.37' W 114 40.51' Para Wash (midwash) N 33 03.79' W 114 41.40' Outpost Camp N 33 04.22' W 114 41.23' PICACHO ROAD FROM THE PARK TO THE CANAL (YUMA, AZ) Fee station (park entrance on Picacho Rd.) N 33 01.086' Park Boundary Sign N 33 00.501' The Narrows N 32 58.792' Hyduke Mine Rd. Intersection N 32 59.644' Picacho Mine Entrance N 32 58.012' 7 Mile Hill N 32 56.730' 9 Mile Hill (No Name Wash) N 32 55.225' Powerlines N 32 50.099' Picacho Dump N 32 48.734' All-American Canal N 32 47.894' W W W W W W W W W W 114 36.908' 114 37.192' 114 38.169' 114 38.053' 114 38.158' 114 38.052 114 38.542' 114 38.395' 114 37.295' 114 36.823' POINTS ON THE RIVER FROM THE S/E BOUNDARY HEADING UPRIVER Southeast Buoy Line N 33 01.571' Lower Dock N 33 01.17' Upper Dock N 33 01.56' Ski Beach N 33 02.139' Paddlewheeler Boat-In Camp N 33 02.86' Bear Canyon Bluffs (Chimney Rock) N 33 02.004' Carrizo Boat-In Camp N 33 02.20' 4-S Beach Camp N 33 03.37' Hoge Rock (AZ side) N 33 03.189' Outpost Camp (The Point) N 33 04.182' Northwest Buoy Line N 33 04.984' Catfish Cove (AZ side) N 33 04.984' Refuge Beach (AZ side) N 33 05.210' Julian Bluffs N 33 05.193' W W W W W W W W W W W W W W 114 35.212' 114 37.03' 114 37.03' 114 37.914' 114 39.34' 114 39.496' 114 40.19' 114 40.51' 114 40.436' 114 41.250' 114 41.279' 114 41.300' 114 41.335' 114 42.222'