Bloggers Report on Quartszite Camping Activity
Editor's Note: Russ and Tina De Maris, authors of the RVing Quartzsite blog, posted this blog about Quartzsite, Ariz., a popular winter destination for RVers.
A big question this time of year for Quartzsite: How many RVers are here? How many more will come? If an informal census from a BLM (Bureau of Land Management) official will answer that question, here’s your answer:
The number of “short-term” visitors – those who are RVing on Quartzsite’s 14-day areas – seems to be down. While quite a number showed up in early November (probably higher than normal for the time frame), just before Thanksgiving the numbers dropped substantially. “I think maybe they went home for Thanksgiving,” an unidentified BLM official told us, “But I think they’ll be back.”
The Long-Term Visitor Areas are a different story. Here, the feeling of our BLM buddy is that the numbers are up a bit higher than usual for this part of the season. The colder than normal weather hasn’t seemed to have been a big detriment: “It’s a lot warmer here than it is back home,” is the usual comment from Snow Bird RVers.
Quartzsite’s huge influx of winter visitors – said to exceed 1 million folks passing through during the season – is supported by the Bureau of Land Management’s creation of camping areas. Five short-term areas allow free camping for up to a two-week period. While RVers are asked to obtain a permit, the agency doesn’t charge for the paperwork. The areas are most decidedly “primitive,” and RVers here will need to be prepared to “boondock,” providing their own water and electric supplies. After a two-week stay, BLM rules require moving off the short-term area; campers may not stay on any other free BLM lands within a 25-mile radius, preventing a "shuttle camp" lifestyle.
Four long-term visitor areas, all south of Quartzsite on Highway 95, charge a fee. However, the Long-Term areas provide users with some facilities, including fresh water and dump station access, and Dumpsters for solid waste disposal. Permits for the Long Term Visitor Areas are good at any of the four Quartzsite LTVAs, and also give access to some other LTVAs in Arizona and California.