|BLM campground in northern Arizona|
Camping facilities operated by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management make it easy on an RVer's budget with dirt cheap, even free, fees.As we drove through Arizona and Nevada, we’d see RVs parked in the middle of nowhere, with no other rigs in sight. Camping like this on BLM land is free. Slightly more organized are BLM campgrounds like those on the outskirts of Lake Havasu City and Quartzsite in Arizona. At Quartzsite, especially, you’ll see hundreds of rigs in BLM campgrounds that cost $140 for three months during the winter season. Rigs must be self-contained; businesses selling propane and potable water, or collecting waste water in the black and gray tanks, come to you. I don’t know what these services cost, but they should be factored into the budget.
We boondocked a couple of days at a BLM campground a few miles out of Lake Havasu City. Located just off a major highway, you had to drive over a very bumpy road to get there. The camping area itself was not level and covered with a fine, almost sand like, gravel. We stayed there two nights, enjoying the peace and beauty, and would have stayed longer if we could have had a level spot where the trailer jacks didn’t sink into the ground.
BLM campgrounds generally aren’t very fancy, like those operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, but they’re workable. Not all of them are like the BLM campground at McKays Bend, about 20 miles east of Lewiston, Idaho, on Highway 12 to Missoula, Montana.
|McKays Bend campground in Idaho|
And did I mention McKay Bends is on the Clearwater River? The river is just a short walk away. Strolling along the river bank at sunset is a nice way to end the day.
There's another BLM campground a few miles east of McKays Bend. We took a look at it. Sites seem bigger, but there's less shade and green grass. Still, it's nicer than some private parks we've been in, But, clearly, McKays Bend is going to ruin us for other BLM campgrounds.