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Check out these snowbird campgrounds along the Colorado River!

After leaving the Roosevelt Lake area in AZ I drove through the Superstition Mountains to McDowell Mountain Regional Park near Fountain Hills.


There are 76 sites available and I parked in number 5 as the sun went to bed.

McDowell_Campsite McDowell_Sunset

This park is known for excellent hiking and biking with miles of trails. The sites are mostly open and you can pick a spot to face the sunrise or sunset.

I walked the campground the next morning before leaving. Some of my favorites were 6, 52, 54, 58, and 76.

McDowell_Mountain_006 McDowell_Mountain_052 McDowell_Mountain_054 McDowell_Mountain_058 McDowell_Mountain_076

Just be aware that a 60 foot python is known to frequent the area.


I skirted around the north side of Phoenix to another Maricopa County Regional Park called Lake Pleasant.

Lake_Pleasant_Sign Lake_Pleasant_Visitor_Center

For some reason cactus always strike me as comic characters, with their arms upheld in a "What did I do?" pose.

The lake was pleasant if a little low.


The sunrise was spectacular.

Lake_Pleasant_Sunrise Lake_Pleasant_Campsite

Red skies at night, sailors delight. Red skies at morning, sailors take warning.

With that in mind I took a tour of the 151 campsites with an eye towards the sky.

About half the sites here have water and electric and cost $30, same as McDowell. The basic sites run $20 like mine, number 174.

If you want power and a nice view, go for 11, 13, 15,or 18.

Lake_Pleasant_011 Lake_Pleasant_013 Lake_Pleasant_015 Lake_Pleasant_018

49 and 119 were fine for the no-hookup crowd.

Lake_Pleasant_049 Lake_Pleasant_119

That poop in the lower left is from the wild burros that can scare your shorts off at night as they roam the campground. Trust me.

That old sailor saying held true as I headed west to the Colorado River.


The cactus were mocking me, but the rain did not last for long.

Road_1 Road_2

12 miles north of Parker, AZ you will find River Island State Park.


At first I thought it said Free Area but I was wrong. My eyes are getting old, or maybe just hopeful.

I set up camp in site 3 and finished up the last of my chicken and cooked up a fresh batch of cow.

River_Island_003 Last_Chicken New_Tacos

I am an equal opportunity omnivore.

The park is set in a small cove off the river as I discovered the next morning. This is the beach.


And a view of California across the water.


There are only 37 sites here and in addition to mine and numbers 1 and 2, I liked 16 and 29.

River_Island_016 River_Island_029

29 mainly because it had a Honda Element.

If you have a tent, 30-37 are closest to the water and you pitch on grass.


All the campers I met here were very friendly but none more so than Walt and Beverly. They had a cool trailer and car.


Travel on my friends!

A mile south is Buckskin Mountain State Park.


The 68 sites set near the main body of the river.

Here is the beach and another look at California.

Buckskin_Mountain_Beach Colorado_River

They even offer a store and gas pumps inside the campground.


Every site has water and electric for $30, same as River Island.

I was taken with 9, 31, 58, and 66.

Buckskin_Mountain_009 Buckskin_Mountain_031 Buckskin_Mountain_058 Buckskin_Mountain_066

Cabanas are also available for $35 per night but they won't handle any kind of rig over 15 feet. I think they are for tent campers.


Not quite sure.

Anyway, I pulled out of River Island on Thursday and did a quick stop at Lake Havasu State Park.


Two miles before you reach the park is this thing.

Bridge_Sign Bridge_1 Bridge_3

The park is being renovated and it looks quite dandy.

Of the 46 sites, 2, 3, 10, 34, and 38, were close to the water.

Lake_Havasu_002 Lake_Havasu_003 Lake_Havasu_010 Lake_Havasu_034 Lake_Havasu_038

From there I drove 80 miles north (including my quick dip into SoCal) and entered the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.


It includes areas surrounding Lake Mohave as well as Lake Mead.

I spent one night at Katherine Landing just north of Bullhead City.


Days are so short in the winter that just after I parked the sun went down.


And I mean parked. Did not even unhook my trailer. Because Brother Mike happened. In a good way.

I will explain in a minute. First let's look at the campground pics I took Friday morning.

There are 156 spots available in the NPS campground. Of those I was taken with 2, 8, 76, 83, 114, and 141.

Katherine_Landing_002 Katherine_Landing_008 Katherine_Landing_076 Katherine_Landing_083 Katherine_Landing_114 Katherine_Landing_141

These spots and all the rest in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area are $10 per night. There are also several concessionaires that run RV parks, but those are geared towards the seasonal visitor.

You will also find a marina, store and restaurant nearby.

Katherine_Landing_Marina Katherine_Landing_Store_and_Restaurant

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from!


Regards, Park Ranger


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