Boondocking at BLM Hot Spring LTVA between Yuma, El Centro


Once again we came to soak in this “historic and still active hot spring” between Yuma, Ariz., and El Centro, Calif.

This is our second visit to the Hot Spring Long Term Visitor Area that sits on Bureau of Land Management property adjacent to I-8 near Holtville, Calif.

There are two small pools that attracts both “local and winter visitors” who come to boondock on BLM land and relax in these soothing waters.

Most of those winter visitors are snowbird RVers, from Canada and other up-north locations, who are escaping the bitter cold for the milder climate of the southwest desert near the Colorado River.

BLM’s Hot Spring’s soaking pools may be a bit crude for some tastes, however, both are continuously feed by natural springs. The larger of the two is quite warm at 105-degrees. There is an adjacent rainbow-type shower for visitors to rinse off both before and after soaking. (No soap is allowed.)

Many of the LTVA campers fill containers with the spring water to carry back to their RVs for washing. (No potable water on site.) Just about all the long term visitors here have solar.

BLM Hot Spring LTVA

Facilities: Vault toilets are located near the Hot Spring (suggest bringing own TP). The nearest dump station and drinking water are in Holtville.

Costs: LTVA permits are required from Sept. 15-April 15. (There are two types of permits: long term and short visit. The long term permit is $180 for the entire season. A short visit permit is $40 for 14 consecutive days from date of purchase. Both permits are good at all LTVAs, and permit holders can move from one LTVA to another without additional fees. Permits can be purchased on site or at any BLM field office including: Yuma: 938.317-3200.)

Julianne G. Crane

Photos: (Top) LTVA sign. (Middle) Visitors taking a plunge in the hot pools at BLM Hot Spring near Holtville, Calif. (Bottom) Jimmy and I sitting at our site about 400 yards from soaking pools. (Julianne G. Crane).

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