Just north of Parker Arizona, along the Colorado River you will step over into a world of wonder where mountains reach into the sky and sink below the water. Where willow trees sway as if they are dancing to a romantic tune that only they can hear. This magical place, they call the Buckskin Mountains, is where I found my love for Arizona. My first trip through Arizona took me though red rocks and mountains and desert terrain. Vast areas of BLM land with campers dotted along the edges among the saguaro cactus and washes are viewable as far as you can see along I-10 near Quartzite. A huge meca for campers in the winter, Quartzite offers a multitude of free BLM land camping areas, RV services, and of course the Big White Tent with hundreds of vendors specializing in RV products. I really wasn’t there for the shopping but instead wanted to have that awe inspiring experience of the desert that so many others have mentioned. Being from the east coast I am used to palm trees, sandy beaches, ocean waves, clear pristine springs, and huge oak trees providing full shade from the sun. I just couldn’t seem to find the beauty in all the sparse treeless land or maybe it just wasn’t my time. I traveled on with my journey still in search of the awe and wonder.
I visited several other places including the mountains and beaches in California and decided to go back through Quartzite again and traveled north to Parker. Along the way I heard of a place called Buckskin Mountain. There was a campground where a lot of the RV folks were going to dump and fill their tanks. I thought I would wander up that way to see something different as I wasn’t really impressed with what I had seen so far. As I traveled down the road the mountains and surrounding shrubs seemed to change. Even the air seemed different. I was so absorbed in the different views that I almost missed the turn for the campground. As I turned in and rounded the corner it took my breath away. The beauty of the Colorado river against the high red peaks and the blue sky left me in awe. I had found my awe and wonder. It pulled me in like a magnet. I meandered through the park to pick the perfect site.
Tucked into the side of the mountain was a beautiful campsite with a wonderful shade tree where birds played in the branches. The air was clean and fresh, no smog, no smoke, no dust and it lifted my spirits immediately. The river below glistened with beams of sun bouncing off of it and it was so quiet you could hear the willow trees swaying in the wind. It was truly magical.
As the sun set I could hear the Coyotes in the distance. I think I might have seen one perched on the ridge above me looking down as I cooked dinner on the camp stove. I settled in and listened to the night sounds of the owls and coyotes.
In the morning the mountains were a blaze with the sunrise and it was almost as spectacular of a show as the sunset. Arizona does have the most incredible sunsets. Little hummingbirds and rabbits came out and played all around the campsite. Buckskin mountain is home to bobcats, gray fox, hawks, and many different kinds of birds including 3 types of hummingbirds. There were also hundreds of half dollar sized holes all over the ground. I asked the park ranger what those were because I thought perhaps they were either mice or snakes. Unfortunately I was right. The Ranger said they were coachwhip and king snakes that were probably fairly dormant in the cold weather. All though I am terrified of snakes this didn’t deter me or take away from my experience at all.
There are natural bridges and arches to be seen in the area and a few good hiking paths including a pretty cactus garden in the park. The Colorado River separates Arizona and California and you can see the California side from the Arizona shoreline.
I have experienced spiritual awakenings and feelings of peace or rejuvenation in different locations around the world. I heard some folks mention something about an energy vortex and I wasn’t sure if that was what I experienced, but I fell in love with Arizona that week.
As I traveled the roads and camped in many other spots along the way, none would compare with Buckskin Mountain. Somehow it opened my eyes to the wonder all around me. Even in the sparse vast BLM lands there were amazing colors, sunsets, rock formations, tiny flowers, plants, and wildlife. It was hard to say goodbye but I know we will meet again one day.
My friends, if you ever get the opportunity to find yourself in Arizona, be sure to visit Buckskin Mountain. You might just fall in love.
Campground Review – Buckskin Mountain State Park Campground – Arizona — Rating 5 Thumbs Up
Near Parker Arizona along the Colorado River and Buckskin Mountains with camping and water activities
Activities –Hiking, Boating, Kayaking, and Fishing- Bass, Bullhead, Catfish, Sunfish and Carp
RV and Tent Camping Sites with Electric, Water, picnic table and fire ring. All campsites were clean, fairly level, many had shade trees with had plenty of room. Free Wi-fi by the office but I was able to connect with my Verizon and get a full strong signal.
Excellent Service from Park Rangers and Hosts
Facilities – Clean Bathrooms, Hot Showers, Dump and Fill station, Gift Shop, Beach Area, Dog Park
I have heard that it gets very busy on holiday weekends.
Live a blessed life my friends and keep doing great things.