Big Bend of the Colorado Recreation Area is about five miles south of Laughlin on the Needles Highway, administered by the Nevada Division of State Parks.
Bring the kids to play in the water, have a picnic, take a hike — quiet pleasures abound here, but with a seasonal twist.It’s a 24-unit full hookup campsite with excellent facilities, and it’s a day-use activity area with a 2-lane boat launch ramp, shaded tables and barbecue grills, and about two miles of sandy beach.
There is a 2-week maximum stay, with campsites available on a first-come, first served basis. They are easily available in the summer months when temperatures can rise above 110° at the unshaded campsites, but harder to find as the temperatures cool. From late autumn through early spring the campsites are filled with snowbirds down from the frozen north who tend to stay for the maximum.
It’s the opposite at the beach. In the winter, when the campsites are full, the beach is often deserted. It seldom freezes here but it’s not warm enough for unbundled-up romping at the river’s edge either. What is exciting and invigorating in the summer sun can be downright chilly in February; boat launches are much reduced.
But in every season the contrast between the wild Nevada side of the river and the densely developed Arizona side is profound. Bullhead City across the water is a bright and busy urb with all the urban conveniences (and inconveniences), and the row of riverfront villas with boats moored to little docks seems exotic from the raw natural landscape of Nevada.
And of course Laughlin is only five miles away with its glowing Strip along Casino Drive offering pleasure and enjoyment of every kind, 24 hours a day.
Campground is always open. Park hours vary by season.
January & February: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
March, April & May: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
June, July, August, September: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
October: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
November & December: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Nevada residents get a $2 Park entrance discount
Leashed pets allowed
Entrance fee: $9 per vehicle
Boat launch: $15
Camping: $20 per night + $10 per night for full hookups
Camp+boat: $26 per night + $10 per night for full hookups
Each campsite also has a ramada, fire pit, BBQ grill, picnic table with concrete slab and a tent pad. Nearby bathroom facilities are nearby with flush toilets and showers.
Dump station available near entrance for non-campers ($6)
Garbage dumpsters nearby