Saturday, January 26, 2013

Kofa National Wildlife Refuge

Named after the King of Arizona mine, the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge takes in about 1,000 square miles of mountains and desert between Yuma and Quartzsite, Arizona. About 80 percent of it is managed as wilderness and there are no prepared camping areas. While it's close to Quartzsite, it is a very different experience than the highly popular BLM camping areas there.

Boondocking is allowed in the Refuge as long as you remain within 100 feet of designated roads and at least 1/4 mile from any water source. There are no paved roads in the Refuge. The Palm Canyon road leads to - surprise - Palm Canyon, and was well maintained when we visited. There were 5 RVs of various sorts scattered along the 7 mile plus road.

We're staying for the better part of a week (14 days max per year) in the Crystal Hill area. The road was not as nice as the Palm Canyon road and was marked at the intersection with the highway as "no camping beyond this point" but that referred to BLM land. Once you cross the Kofa NWR border 3 miles from the highway, boondocking is an option. There are five units scattered within 1/2 mile of Crystal Hill and very little traffic.

There are a number of wells in the Refuge that are equipped with windmills to provide improved water resources for the Desert Bighorn Sheep that live in the area.

One of the other people camped in the area was clearly a solar advocate. In addition to the panels visible in this picture, there were 4 more panels on the street side of the motor home and some on the roof as well.

It's a very beautiful place, with minimal traffic and a view of the night lights in Quartzsite about 12 miles northwest.  We had 24 hours of rain (very unusual) but the sun is out now.

Zero bars of Verizon on the phone, but 3 (sometimes 4) bars with the antenna & amplifier.


  1. Looks like a very nice area! I have never seen so many solar panels on one rig... especially a smaller one like that!

    1. I hadn't either! I can't imagine why a rig would need that much wattage, and they cover all the windows except the windshield. Glad it meets someone's needs but it's not my ideal.