Louise Speaks: This is the first stop on a 7 day 3 stop RV trip. We are wagon masters for this so we got to pick the stops and the things to see and do…quite a powerful task. Since we are trying to do all the state parks in Arizona and camp at all the parks that offer camping, Buckskin was the reason for this stop. Parker is right on the state line of Arizona and California and sits right along side the river. In fact the state line is in the middle of the river. So if you are boating, you cross the state live very easily. Buckskin Mountain State Park is right on the edge of the river, and just beautiful. We are here in February and on a Wednesday so not much is happening, but the park is full. There are 8 Rigs on this trip and we are ready for a fun time. The weather today is just perfect. The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing and it is very comfortable. This will not be the case in 4 months. Parker’s temperature can exceed 100 degrees, but being along the river definitely helps. With visiting Buckskin today we are half way through visiting all the state parks in Arizona, and we have camped at half the parks that offer camping. Maybe this should be a goal for 2017…to complete this state park mission and be done with Arizona.
Buckskin Mountain is a second developed area of the park is known as the River Island Unit or River Island State Park. Both park areas have shoreline on the Colorado River and views of the Buckskin Mountains. We have not yet visited or camped at River Island State Park, so we do have to make another trip out this way but not during the summer months…looks like a fall or winter trip later in the year. Like I mentioned, Buckskin is right on the rivers edge and the park provides camping and water recreation opportunities. There is also plenty of fishing and one of our members spent a whole day doing just that.
Buckskin Mountain State Park is primarily operated by volunteers with only a few park rangers split between the two parks. Both sites are home to many different kinds of birds, insects, fish & plant life, as well as a winter haven for travelers from up North. What this means, is remember when I said the park was full. Well because of the weather and the location, what Arizonians call “SnowBirds” people from the northern part of the United States flock to Arizona for the winter months, so parks like this are full to the brim. Come May and later, you could just drive up and get a spot.
I’m just kidding about the park being empty during the summer months. The area is just beautiful. You have the river on one side and beautiful Arizona mountains on the other. Buckskin Mountain State Park commands one of the finest views along the Parker strip, an 18-mile stretch between Parker Dam and Headgate Dam. This picturesque park provides scenic respite, mountain hikes, a desert escape and fun-filled water adventure. In the summer Buckskin is popular for boating, jet skiing, swimming and camping. In the winter, visitors appreciate the mild climate and enjoy camping, fishing and hiking in the park. Buckskin is a year-round destinations for those looking to discover a variety of recreational and cultural resources. The Colorado River Indian Reservation is just east of Parker and archaeological sites are scattered up and down Arizona’s “west coast.” Parker Dam, the world’s deepest dam, is located approximately five miles to the north on Highway 95. About 25 miles north is Lake Havasu City, home of the famous London Bridge. This 1,677-acre park has been operated by Arizona State Parks since 1967.
Like I said we are half way through visiting the state parks in Arizona, and this one is moving close to the top. It is just beautiful here. I know it will be hot in the summer, but you are walking distance to the rivers edge where there is a swim beach. If you are lucky enough to have a boat or water vehicle, I’m sure you would not mind the temperatures at all. There are plenty of trees so you are in the shade, so sitting outside, watching the hustle and bustle of the river would still prove to be a wonderful time, no matter what the temperature. Each site has a fire ring, picnic table and the RV spots are very spacious so you are not right next to your neighbor. The park is clean as are the restrooms and showers.
We truly enjoyed this park. We are here for two days so we are going to enjoy the sites. There is a casino in Parker where we all went to play bingo our first night. There are plenty of bars and night life along the river, but in February they are only open on the weekends. Of course there is fishing and water activities, but we are visiting an old mining town…to be blogged about seperately. I would highly recommend coming to Buckskin Mountain State Park. There is lots to do, or it’s a great place to just do nothing.