Quartzsite, Arizona, is a popular winter destination for people spending a few weeks or the entire winter. Quartzsite attracts rock hounds who want to spend their days searching for stones or rocks, either in the vast desert surrounding the town or at the many flea markets and gem shows here. The Chamber of Commerce estimates over 1.5 million people visit Quartzsite each season. Besides rock collecting, the area is perfect for outdoor activities like golf, hiking, bicycling and exploring the desert.
Quartzsite is located on Interstate 10, 17 miles east of the California border. It has many RV campgrounds where people can stay for the entire year or for the winter season, which runs from November to March.
Guests at the RV campgrounds have full hookups for water, sewer and electricity. The over 70 RV camp spaces fill up quickly, especially in January and February, the height of the season for RV and gem shows.
Most of the RV campgrounds do not have amenity packages like swimming pools. Quartzsite does have a 27-hole public play golf course. The town of Quartzsite has an 80-acre park and The Colorado River is located 17 miles away, where people can enjoy boating, swimming, fishing and other water sports.
RV campers can camp on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land at a cost of $180 for the entire season. The BLM has five areas where campers can stay for free for 14 days or less and another where they can stay for the entire season. If another site is available, campers are free to move their RVs from one BLM camping area to another.
BLM campers take advantage of private services to fill their water tanks and drain the gray and black water holding tanks so that they do not need to drive to Quartzsite. One of the advantages of staying on BLM land is that it's easy to head off on long hikes in the desert or take a mountain bike on a spin across the desert without encountering any vehicle traffic.
Navigating Around Quartzsite
Since Quartzsite is such a popular place in the winter, making reservations is important to secure a place in the RV campground. The BLM offers permits on a first-come, first-served basis. Traffic in Quartzsite becomes quite congested in the winter, so using a bicycle or walking to get around town may be the best solution for enjoying the many swap meets and gem shows that take place during this season.
Most people drive to the destinations where they want to search for rocks and gems, and the closest hiking trail is 19 miles away in the Kofa Mountains, making driving a must to reach the trail head.