Arizona's Most Underrated State Park Offers Waterfront Camping And Unmatched Hiking

Ah, Arizona. Home to stunning deserts, breathtaking sunsets, and... sparkling water surrounded by mountains? If you thought that the only scenery you might find in the Grand Canyon State would be arid and sparse, prepare to be surprised. Buckskin Mountain State Park is a little-known waterfront Sonoran Desert oasis that is one of Arizona's best-kept secrets, offering a captivating blend of natural beauty and outdoor adventure.

Buckskin Mountain State Park is a hidden paradise along the Colorado River on Arizona's western edge that offers the perfect blend of rugged desert and peaceful water. The park has plenty of waterfront camping and hiking trails that showcase the beauty of the desert. You'll get to witness a variety of unique plants and animals on the trails and have refreshing fun in the sun on the water. This park is a must if you're looking for an authentic Arizona experience. It's an opportunity to discover an unexpected oasis in the desert beyond the conventional. Discover a slice of Arizona that remains blissfully underrated.

Camping, hiking, and water adventures at Buckskin Mountain State Park

Buckskin Mountain State Park is a beautiful and peaceful place to enjoy camping or RVing. You can choose from 80 sites with water and electricity and 15 with sewer service. Each site includes a BBQ grill and picnic table, perfect for spending time with loved ones. You can also enjoy free high-speed WiFi at the group ramada. When camping at Buckskin Mountain State Park between April 1 and September 30, you must reserve at least two nights for weekend camping. During Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day weekends, a three-night minimum stay is required.

The park has a variety of hiking trails for you to explore. The Lightning Bolt Trail is a short, half-mile round-trip hike with stunning views. For a longer hike, try the one-mile Buckskin Loop Trail or the 2.3-mile (one-way) Lamb Springs Trail. Market Trail is 0.9 miles long and features incredible views of the Colorado River and remote mountains. The Copper Mines Trail is a scenic 0.6-mile one-way hike that leads to abandoned copper mines. For some water activities, the park has a two-lane launch ramp for both motorized and non-motorized watercraft. You can fish for bass, catfish, and panfish here, too. The park has a designated area for swimmers, although no lifeguard is on duty. Arizona and California share the river, so be aware that watercraft regulations for both states apply.

Planning your visit to Buckskin Mountain State Park

Buckskin Mountain State Park is located in Parker, Arizona, along an 18-mile stretch of the Colorado River known as the Parker strip, about 30 minutes south of the lakeside town of Lake Havasu City. It's also within driving distance of other appealing attractions, such as the Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge and the Parker Dam.

If you're considering a visit, being aware of the weather is essential. It's usually dry and comfortable in winter with highs in the 60s or 70s, great for hiking and observing the wildlife. It can be scorching hot in the summer, with temperatures reaching 108 degrees Fahrenheit in July. It's best to plan your trip for the spring or fall when the weather is cooler. No matter when you visit, it's a good idea to pack sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water to stay cool and hydrated. Buckskin Mountain State Park is open 24/7, 365 days a year, so you can plan your visit at your convenience, whether you're looking for a day trip or an extended camping adventure.

The park charges an entrance fee of $10 per vehicle or $3 per cyclist/walker, and camping fees start at $35, depending on the type of site you choose. Whether you're a nature enthusiast or simply seeking a peaceful desert retreat, Buckskin Mountain State Park is a destination worth exploring.