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Picacho State Recreation Area, CA

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Guide 3 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List CA > Inland
4 of 5 by 1
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Distance Round Trip 0 miles
Trailhead Elevation 192 feet
Interest Off Trail Hiking
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
28  2014-02-16
Colorado River - Walter's Camp to Squaw Lake
10  2009-07-02 gummo
10  2009-06-04 gummo
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Dec, Jan, Feb, Nov
Sun  5:23am - 5:44pm
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby

Overview: Picacho State Recreation Area is located on the lower Colorado river at the site of Picacho, a defunct gold mining town. Now it's over-run by wild burros left over by the miners.

The park offers diverse scenery, including beavertail cactus, bighorn sheep, desert tortoises, coyotes, foxes, beavers, speckled rattlesnakes, and thousands of migratory waterfowl. The park is on one leg of the Pacific Flyway. Eight miles of the lower Colorado River are the recreation area's eastern border. Most people are there to fish.

Day use, fishiing, and campground are open all day and night. First-come first-served camping, contact the park directly for information and fees - 760-996-2963. Driving to the park is possible in a car risky due to the loose sand, especially after a storm. AWD or 4x4 is recommended.

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2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Review
    Picacho State Recreation Area
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I stopped at Picacho SRA on my way to San Diego. I had the whole place to myself and decided to look for wildlife along the river at night. At dusk, I walked about 2.5 miles up river and swam about 4 miles back to camp. I've never done this before and have never heard of anyone doing this, so I was not sure what to thing. I had a small headset light, my camera, and a backpack with a bladder that I filled with air.

    As I floated, I did not see anything until around midnight. I saw about 10 beavers and a lot of them swam up to me. I thought that they were being curious when they approached me, until I read how territorial they were and saw that deadly beaver attack on youtube. :? I'm glad that I thought that, because many of them were within 4ft, and I was not scared. When I pulled out the camera from the ziplock bag tho, the beavers would dart away, occasionally smacking their tails on the water. Not all the beavers approached me. Some of them swam beside me and one swam in front of me and appeared to be obviously to my presence.

    Of course, I was not able to get off any shots, but I wasn't interested in beavers. I actually was focused on the river banks, hoping to find some animals that were on top of the food chain. I heard a plethora of coyotes, saw a few deer, and saw one fox, but night photography while trying to stay afloat and not get the camera wet was challenging.

    Anyway, I ended the trip around 3am, and slept for 2 hours, and went looking for snakes. I looked everywhere for them, and ended up finding one at my campsite in front of my car eating a mouse. The snake let go of the mouse and retreated to a hole. I placed the mouse in the hole, so it can enjoy it later.

    Permit $$
    CA State Parks - Fee: typically $2-$15 per vehicle, view more information

    Map Drive

    To hike
    Take the 24-mile (mostly unpaved) road north from Winterhaven near the Mexican border. The road to Picacho from Winterhaven is paved only for the first 6 of 24 miles. The last 18 miles is over a dirt road that is passable for cars and vehicles with trailers and motorhomes. At times during the summer thunderstorms are likely to cause flash flooding in the washes, temporarily making short sections of the road impassable.
    page created by gummo on Oct 26 2011 8:59 pm
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