BLM Camping Around Quartzsite and the Mysterious Blythe Intaglios

BLM camping Blythe intaglios

There is plenty of free and paid Bureau of Land Management campgrounds across Arizona and California, especially near Blythe and Quartzsite.

Typically, free BLM camping does not include amenities such as water, electric or sewer. You’ll be on your own, out in nature. On the other hand, there is typically a nominal cost to stay at a developed BLM campground, which may have water, a dump station and trash service.

An LTVA campground is for long term visitors and are perfect for full-time Rvers. For $180 you’ll get a pass that allows you to stay for 6 months, and that includes water, a dump station and trash service. There are free BLM campgrounds in the area too, that do not require an LTVA pass.

Bureau of Land Management LTVA Camping

La Posa West and La Posa North and South LTVA Campgrounds

You’ll need to purchase a long-term visitor pass to enjoy BLM RV camping here. But, you’ll have the convenience of water and a dump station nearby, as well as trash service. With the pass, you can stay at these campsites for up to 6-months.

La Posa Tyson Wash LTVA

Like the other LTVA areas in Quartzsite, you’ll need a long-term visitor’s pass. Also, there is water, a dump station, and a garbage service on-site.

Free Camping

Ehrenberg-Cibola Road: Here, you’ll find free BLM dispersed camping off of Ehrenberg-Cibola Road. There is no water and no facilities, so you’ll need to pack out your trash. Also, this area is suitable for larger RVs. There is also a 14-day stay limit.

Levee Road Dispersed Camping: This free BLM camping area is right along the Colorado River. However, spots for larger RVs are limited. There is no water or facilities here, and a 14-day stay limit. Please pack out your trash.

Scaddan Wash Free Camping: This free BLM camping area is off Dome Rock Road, between Quartzsite and Blythe. It’s wide open, level, and suitable for even the largest RVs. There are no facilities, no water, and be prepared to pack out your trash. Like most free BLM campsites, there is a 14-day limit.

Blythe Intaglio

The Blythe Intaglios

Long before settlers arrived to farm along the Colorado River, the native Mohave and Quechan people populated the region. There, at the foot of the Big Maria Mountains, they scratched large, mysterious geoglyphs into the ground. Dated between 450 and 2,000 years old, The Blythe Intaglios depict human figures, animals, and a spiral. The largest human figure measures 171 feet in length.

Researchers believe the geoglyphs formed the center of a ritual site. During antiquity, the people of the region performed Keruk, a pilgrimage in which they traveled to various geoglyphs to reenact their creation story. In addition to the Blythe Intaglios, there are approximately 60 such sites along the Colorado River.

The first thing to remember is that this is a historical site, not a place to camp. The Blythe Intaglios are located around 15 miles north of Blythe, on US 95 near the intersection of I10. You can use these GPS coordinates to find the exact spot: 33.79963, -114.53018. Be prepared to drive down one or more dirt roads.

The Topock Maze or Mojave Maze

This is another Native American geoglyph around 100 miles south, near Needles, California. This site covers 18 acres.

In 1908, Edward Curtis, a photographer and ethnographer, reported that the Mohave Indians recently has used the site as a maze into which they could escape evil spirits. They believed that if they ran in and out through the maze, someone haunted by an evil spirit could confuse it, and thus elude it.

Other Things to Do and See

Hiking and Biking

The Quartzsite area has plenty of opportunities to hike and bike. Just strike out in any direction to admire the unusual desert flora and impressive rock formations. Everywhere you look, there is something interesting to explore.

Fishing and Boating

The nearby Colorado River presents an opportunity to fish and kayak. The best place to access the river is at Ehrenberg, or the Palo Verde Dam, about 10 miles north of Blythe. Here, you can catch catfish, crappie, carp, trout, and largemouth bass.

There are quite a few points along the Colorado River where you can also launch a kayak. Mayflower County Park in Blythe is a good place to launch your kayak, as well as the Riviera Blythe Marina and A-7, a Bureau of Land Management free camping area on the Arizona side of the Colorado River.

Wildlife Viewing

The entire region is great for wildlife viewing. You are likely to see jackrabbits, coyotes, ground squirrels, birds of prey, reptiles, and wild burros.

Also, it’s not unusual for coyotes to come into the BLM RV camping areas looking for scraps and handouts. The same goes for wild burros. While these animals can appear friendly, you need to be cautious; never leave your pets unattended outside.


If you have a metal detector, the area between Blythe and Quartzsite has old, abandoned gold mines. People have found nuggets amongst the slag piles of the abandoned mines. The Dome Rock Mountains between Blythe and Quartzsite is a well-known area to find gold, as well as the Plomosa Mountains east of Quartzsite. However, be careful not to stray onto the Colorado River Indian Reservation to the west, where prospecting is not allowed.

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