4-S Beach Campground at Picacho State Recreation Area is a campground with only 4 primitive campsites for boaters and car campers right along the Colorado River. 4S Beach is somewhat a primitive campground in the Picacho SRA, and is one of the most northern campsites in the recreation area. 4-S Beach is accessible for boat-in and car campers via a long rough dirt roads.

Wildlife is abundant in the area around Picacho State Recreation Area. Frequent wildlife sightings include wild burros, bighorn sheep, fish, and migratory birds. The area the larger Picacho State Recreation Area is popular for bass fishing, waterskiing, and hiking.

There are 4 family campsites at 4-S Campground for boat-in tent camping, as well as car camping. each campsite include picnic tables, fire rings, and shade canopies. Access to camping supplies is limited due to the remote location of the campground.

4-S Campground Features

Campground Type: Organized, Primitive
Number of Campsites: 4 Campsites
Cost: $15/night
Use Level: Low to Medium
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Fire Rings: Yes
Drinking Water: None
Toilets: None
Showers: None
Trash/Dumpsters: None
Hiking Access: Yes
Beach/Lake Access: Yes
RV/Trailer Length: None
RV/Trailer Amenities: None
Cell Phone Service: None
Wifi: None
Operating Season: Campground open year-round

Getting There

Geo Coordinates: 33.069997, -114.687388
Nearest City/Town: Yuma, Arizona
Elevation: 200 Feet
Location: Imperial County, California
Paved Road Access: None
Proximity to Stores: 28 miles to Yuma, AZ
Directions: From Yuma, AZ exit Interstate 8 at Winterhaven Road and head north. Travel for a quarter mile, and make a sharp right to Picacho Road. Drive on Picacho Road for 19 miles to Picacho State Recreation Area Main Campground. From the main campground travel up Intra-camp road to reach 4-S Campground.

The road to Picacho from Winterhaven is paved only for the first 6 of 24 miles. The last 18 miles is over a dirt road that is passable for cars and vehicles with trailers and motorhomes. At times during the summer thunderstorms are likely to cause flash flooding in the washes, temporarily making short sections of the road impassable.


Phone: (760) 996-2963
Web: Picacho State Recreation Area
Reservations: Not Accepted – First-come, First-served

When To Go

Spring, Early/Late Summer, and Fall (and possibly Winter too) – Trying to find the best season to camp at 4-S Campground really depends on what you are looking for. If you are looking for boating, then Early/Late Summer (mid-summer is way too hot out here) and Fall are your best bets due to the tempurature. If you are simply looking for waterside camping, then you can camp here pretty much year-round, expect summer, which again is very hot.

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What To Do

Boating – There are plenty of places for boating around 4-S Campground, including the Colorado River and Taylor Lake

Hiking – The area around 4-S Campground is surrounded by hills and mountains with hiking trails

Fun Facts

Over 100 years ago the land that Picacho State Recreation Area sits on now was home to the gold mining town of Picacho, which had 100 residents. You can still find some remnants of the gold town around the campground, including an old cemetery.

Image Credits: California State Parks

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Justin is an IT Professional, focused on cloud, mobile, and infrastructure management and security with his consulting business, as well as chief bottle washer for this website. In addition to NextCampsite.com, Justin also runs and writes for the technology infrastructure-focused blog OddJobsInTech.com, and the mobile device-focused blog EnterpriseMobileDevice.com.


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