Imperial Dam LTVA

What’s Here


Upon arriving here at the Imperial Dam LTVA you will want to register. The registration area is located about a mile up Senator Wash Road at the crest of the hill on the left. You will see numerous dump stations and potable water filling areas. Right after them is a small trailer with some solar panels. This is the Contact Station, register here. If no one is there, go and find yourself a spot for the night and register the next morning at around 9:00 AM AZ time. You are allowed 2 vehicles and a trailer. 7 months will cost you $180, 2 weeks $40.


There are 4 dump stations, 8 potable water stations and 7 dumpsters at the Admin area. Additionally, there are 2 bathrooms on Mesa Drive, on the left, beyond the Contact Station trailer. As all of the campsites here are “boondocking” sites, you will want to take advantage of the hot, clean showers at Squaw Lake campground. Tokens cost $1.00 each and will get you a 7 minute shower. The best deal in all the BLMs and National Forests. With the exception of the showers, water, garbage and dump-stations are all included in your fee.

CB Radio:

Imperial Dam Campsites

There are a number of campgrounds at Imperial Dam LTVA ranging from the more crowded lake view areas, to the more remote areas where there can be hundreds of yards between campsites. There are campsites located behind hills and some on top of the hills. You will oneed a hilltop location if you want cell reception. Please see our new interactive maps which divide the Imperial Dam LTVA into neighborhoods to better find your campsite location.

The Lakes

While you are free to use the lakes for recreation, camping lakeside is restricted to the Squaw Lake Campground, Senator Wash North Shore and Senator Wash South Shore all of which are limited to two weeks and requires its own camping fees. However, day use is all part of your LVTA permit, so you are free to park in the day use parking areas and enjoy the water. Additionally, there are boat launch areas at both Senator Wash and Squaw Lake.

The Christian Center

If you’re one of the hundreds who enjoy wintering here at Imperial Dam LTVA, or are considering it, you will be grateful for the services provided by the Christian Center, and for free. Mail, phone messages, package delivery, fax services and some of the friendliest people on the planet. You can even get your propane tanks filled or make copies of your important papers. Last, but certainly not least, they have non-denominational services in their air-conditioned church.


Verizon Cell service is available from most hill-top camping areas. While not authorized by the BLM, there is a Pirate WiFi service available near Admin Area. The Christian Service Center has a Computer Center with WiFi and computers available. Satellite TV and Internet is of course available to those who can afford it. Over-the-air, high-def TV service, including channels ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CW and 3 movie channels are available as well as some Spanish and Religious channels. However, to really keep on top of the happenings at Imperial Dam LTVA, you will need a CB radio and long range antenna.

Emergency Response

There are emergency facilities available at the Proving Grounds Army Base, 3 miles, Yuma, 22 miles, and El Centro, 40 miles away. So before you write off getting that CB, know that emergencies via CB and the Emergency Response Team have an average response time of 8 minutes, where 911 calls can take over an hour. The reason is that the Imperial Dam LTVA Community monitors CB channel 12. 911 calls are responded to from Yuma or El Centro, 22 and 40 miles away respectively.

The Desert

The entire Imperial Dam LTVA is located in the desert, complete with all of its marvels. The Senator Wash Reservoir, Squaw Lake and Colorado River bring life to the otherwise barren landscape. Burros frequent the area and the vastness of the surrounding desert offer both hikers and off-road enthusiasts a fantastic place to explore.

What You Should Know

  • 01

    Fees are $180 for a stay of up to 7 months, during the period between September 15th and April 15th. You may also purchase a 14 day pass for $40.

  • 02

    Registrarion is mandatory in-season. You will receive a sticker for each of your vehicles that must be displayed in the upper right side of your windshield.

  • 03

    Stays in the off season (April 16th through September 14th) are allowed for up to 14 days in a 28-day period. After 14 days, you must move to a different location at least 25 miles away and for at least 2 weeks before returning. Fees are $10 per vehicle for day-use, $15 per vehicle for overnight use, or $75 annually per vehicle. Temperatures can far exceed 100 degrees in the summer.

  • 04

    Once registered you will have full use of the dump stations, potable water stations, boat launch and lake and desert recreation areas. You will also be entitled to use the showers (for a fee) and lake-front day use areas.

  • 01

    Non-denominational church services are available at the Christian Service Center in their air-conditioned church every Sunday at 10 AM & 6:30 PM. Bible Study is every Wednesday at 6:30 PM.

  • 02

    Mail & Package delivery service is available at the center for registered guests. You can have your mail and packages delivered to “YOUR NAME”, C/O Christian Service Center, 2225 Ferguson Road, Winterhaven, CA 92283.

  • 03

    Propane, Copy and Fax services and Emergency Notification service are available for registered guests. There’s even a thrift store.

  • 04

    The Christian Service Center provides many services specifically geared to long term RVers staying at the Imperial LTVA including storing your trailer in the off-season.

  • 01

    The Yuma Proving Grounds is actually an Army base with stores, movie theater, gasoline and more.  Take advantage of their day passes and discover it for yourself.

  • 02

    Yuma is a small city located at the southern tip of Arizona. About the only missing major store is Costco, but there are four Walmarts. Yuma is about a 45 minute trip, located approximately 22 miles away.

  • 03

    While probably not on your list of places to see, the BLM’s Yuma Field Office for the Imperial Dam LTVA is in Yuma, AZ, yet the actual LTVA is on the California side of the Colorado River, in Imperial County.

  • 04

    Baja Mexico is on everyone’s list of favorite destinations. Here you can find inexpensive, good quality doctors and dentists as well as low-cost prescription drugs. We recommend crossing the border and shopping at Los Algodones.

Comments 2

  1. Pam

    Under “what you should know” point#3, it is not free in off season. You must have the annual pass which costs $75 to stay 2 weeks then move 25 miles away for at least 2 weeks before returning for up to 2 weeks again, etc.

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