The Needles, Colorado River, Topock, Arizona

by Will

Colorado River and The Needles

Colorado River and The Needles

Needles Mountain Road is a convenient place to camp, just off I-40 2 miles east of Topock, Arizona. The Colorado River is only 2 miles west. Havasu National Wildlife Refuge is on this side of the river (Arizona Side) and lies about a mile to the west and south. No motorized vehicles are allowed in the refuge, so it makes for an excellent hiking playground. The scenery in the refuge is worth every step. Highlights include The Needles Mountains, Topock Gorge, River Island, and north of I-40, Topock Marsh. The camping area is on BLM land.

RV Campsite GPS Coordinates: N 34 43.116’ W 114 26.341’

Elevation: 740 feet

Campsite Directions: From Topock, Arizona head east on I-40 for 2 miles and take Exit 2 for Needles Mountain Road. Turn right on Needles Mountain Road heading south then southwest for 0.3 miles. On the right, before the road descends, you'll see a faint road leading to a few campsites. To reach the main camping area continue on the main road another 0.3 miles to the large "RV Park" where there's room for several RVs of any size. The road does descend and cross a wash. I wouldn’t recommend taking giant 40 foot motorhomes or trailers on this road, but it may be possible.

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The Needles Video Slideshow

The Needles RV Camping Journal

December 3rd, 2012

I have a great view where I’m camped. I can see the Colorado River below to the west, the Chemehuevi Mountains across the river, and the Mohave Mountains are right here to the south.

Recreation: There were a few visitors out exploring the washes and primitive roads with 4WD vehicles and OHVs. Motorized travel is limited here as the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge lies only about a mile to the south and west, where no motorized travel is allowed.

Hiking is the best way to really see the sights. There are several washes that make perfect hiking trails.

The refuge is also littered with wild burro trails, which also make great hiking trails…just don’t get lost in the maze of paths going this way and that. The primitive roads see few vehicles and are also excellent for hiking or mountain biking.

Colorado River Hike: This hike is a must do for its spectacular views of The Needles and the Colorado River through Topock Gorge. Taking the main jeep road south and west will lead you to a small canyon just wide enough for a vehicle. This road ends at the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. From here you can hike the wash down to the Colorado River. There’s a way to reach the water by descending just south of the gauging station and under the cliff, where you’ll come to a small but pretty sandy beach.

Weather: During the 12 days I was here it was mostly sunny every day. Highs were in the mid 70s and lows in the mid 50s. I didn’t have much wind, just a light breeze during the day.

Wildlife: I saw bighorn sheep, wild burros, black-tailed jackrabbits, gambel’s quail, ground squirrels, many birds, ducks, gulls, and lizards.

Insects: I didn't see many insects, no problems.

Cell Signal: My Verizon cell phone signal was very strong. I had very fast Verizon mobile broadband internet too.

Peacefulness: This camping area is a short distance from the road so vehicles can be seen and often heard. I-40 is very close too, and traffic can be seen and heard on it. It’s not very peaceful here as traffic on I-40 can be heard 24/7. There is also a busy train track next to the interstate.

Shade: None, it’s mostly creosote bush.

RV Solar: Plenty of sun for charging with solar panels.

RV Campsite Rating: 7 out of 10. It’s a very convenient place to camp if you’re just passing through…and if you’re looking for adventure and superb scenery you’ll find that too. Exploring the Mohave Mountains next to the Colorado River is your prescription for fun - and that’s why this RV campsite also makes a great destination!

Comments for The Needles, Colorado River, Topock, Arizona

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Jul 18, 2013
Exit 2 South
by: dzrtboy1

Yes, just a short drive south takes you to a wide flat roomy area for rv stays, hiking and atv riding. Evidence of 4x4 and atvs are everywhere descending westward to the 1st big wash. If you follow this main wash towards the north/northwest though generaly windy you can find yourself at the end of the wash which is thoroughly corruted with dead-live verde and salt cedar trees- brush so much so it is nearly impossible to penetrate to the actual river bank. All of this is still outside (north) of the Wilderness boundary. Still the wash is a great classroom for a variety of wildlife. An observant walker/driver can spot a dirt roadpath opposite of the wash (left) not far from descending down from the top flat. This road winds itself along the top hills to a small parking area. At this point the road descends down into a narrow winding wash until you come to a steel blackade with the sign of the Wildlife boundary. In 1990 abouts, you had to get out and walk from their. Now someone has made a 4x4 route around the barrier over the right hill and down to the other side where you can drive several miles eventually to the river as long as you bear right along the main wash. This too is plugged up with thick growth of trees/brush. I would not recommend getting caught with a vehicle past that barrier. Once past the barrier and when the narrow wash opens up considerably another road is on the left side of the main wash Y which goes over the low hills towards the SW eventually into another wash and an old mine called YUCCA Mine. Long abandoned. Across this wash the road continues wxsw up up and up to the base of one of the needles. An old abandoned mine is their also. All and all it makes a healthy full days walk to your vehicle and back to the barrier. You had better be hydrated and fit for this mine walk. It is worth the siteseeing. About a 12 hour jaunt taking your time to smell the roses. Plenty of water, snacks, walking stick, camera, binoculars and some friends. BTW, the second mine is called Gold Dome Mine. Don't bring your detector! dzrtboy1.

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