The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has set up a few rules and regulations relative to your use of BLM land. The following is by no means meant to be all inclusive or representative of all the rules that have been established by each local LTVA (Long Term Visitor Area) but should give you a general idea before you get there. BLM offices or any LTVA hosted site will be happy to give you information specific to each boondocking site.
Most BLM land is open to boondocking (dispersed or dry camping), as long as it does not conflict with other authorized uses, does not occur in areas posted closed to camping or in some way adversely affects wildlife species or natural resources. A letter from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Cheyenne, Wyoming provides a more precise description of what you may do on BLM lands.
With exceptions (including day use), the following Arizona rules typically relate to all BLM sites.
Winter visitors who wish to stay within BLM LTVA areas may purchase a long term visitors permit for ($180.00 US - September 2007 price) for the entire winter (September 15th to April 15th) or may chose to purchase a short term permit for $40.00 good for fourteen consecutive days with the option to purchase an unlimited quantity of additional permits. For this fee you will receive a sticker, good for all LTVA's for the year, that must be affixed in a clearly visible location on the bottom right-hand corner of the windshield on all camping units. Permits can normally be purchased at the local contact station (at the gate if there are volunteer personal there) or the BLM field office in charge of the area.
You cannot reassign or transfer your permit.
Boondockers who wish to stay on the desert outside of an LTVA may camp in one location for up to 14 days in any 28 day period at no charge. After 14 days campers must move to a new site not less than a 25 miles radius distance from their original camp site.
The 28 day period begins when a camper initially occupies a specific location on public lands. The 14 day limit may be reached either through a number of separate visits or through 14 days of continuous overnight occupation during the 28 day period. Although the permit may not be reassigned or transferred to another vehicle, two secondary vehicles are permitted.
After the 14th day, the boondocker must move outside of a 25 mile radius of the previous location until the 29th day since the initial occupation. This rule is in place to prevent damage to sensitive resources that might be caused by sustained use of the area.
You cannot have more than two secondary vehicles within the LTVA.
Your LTVA camping unit or campsite cannot be left unoccupied for a period of greater than 5 days without advance approval by an authorized BLM officer.
Boondockers must not leave any personal property unattended for more than 10 days.
Boondocking units or campsites cannot be left unoccupied within any LTVA for more than five (5) days unless approved in advance by an authorized BLM officer.
A minimum of 15 feet of space must be maintained between boondocking units.
Campers, trailers, and other units must remain mobile. (i.e.: wheels must remain on all wheeled vehicles.) Pickup campers may be set on jacks manufactured for that purpose.
Unless otherwise posted, quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. in accordance with applicable state time zone standards. Operation of audio devices or motorized equipment, including generators, in a manner that makes unreasonable noise, as determined by the authorized BLM officer, is prohibited. Amplified music is allowed only within La Posa and Imperial Dam LTVAs and only in locations designated by BLM or when approved in advance by an authorized BLM officer.
Motorized vehicles must remain on existing roads, trails, and washes. Roads or trails commonly in public use cannot be blocked by parked vehicles or by any other means. The speed limit is 15 miles per hour unless otherwise posted.
Visitors are cautioned to watch their pets so that they do not fall prey to coyotes or other desert predators. They must be kept on a leash at all times and owners are expected to clean-up and provide sanitary disposal of pet waste.
Boarding or keeping livestock (horses, cattle, sheep, goats, etc.) within LTVA boundaries is prohibited.
Campfires are permitted in LTVAs subject to all local, state, and Federal regulations but no wood collection is permitted within the LTVAs.
A maximum of 1 cubic yard (3' x 3' x 3') of firewood will be allowed per individual or group campfire at any one time. The nearest BLM office should be contacted for current regulations concerning wood collection.
LTVA permits are required for dumping within all LTVA campgrounds.
Fixed structures of any type are restricted and must conform to posted policies. This includes, but is not limited to fences, dog runs, storage units, and windbreaks.
Archaeological or historical properties including, but not limited to, petroglyphs, ruins, historic buildings, and artifacts that may occur on public lands cannot be disturbed. (i.e. Do not alter the natural landscape by painting rocks.)
Use of firearms or weapons is prohibited inside or within one half mile of the LTVAs.
All commercial activity requires a vending permit. The nearest BLM office should be contacted for information on vending or concession permits.
An authorized BLM officer may revoke, without reimbursement, your LTVA permit if you violate any BLM rule or regulation, or if your conduct or that of your family, guest, or pets is inconsistent with the goal of BLM's LTVA Program. Failure to return any LTVA permit to an authorized BLM officer upon demand is a violation of these supplementary rules. If the BLM revokes your permit, you must remove all of your property and leave the LTVA system within 12 hours of notice, and you may not enter any other LTVA in Arizona or California for the remainder of the LTVA season.
La Posa, Imperial Dam and Senator Wash LTVA: In these areas the normal Long Term Visitor Area Permit is valid for up to 7 months only, from September 15th through April 15th of each season. From April 16th to September 14th there is a $10 fee for day use, a $15 fee for overnight use or $75 annual fee for up to 5 people per vehicle . An additional $1 per person fee is charged for each person over the 5 person limit.
Users can buy a Short Term Permit a 14-day stay for $40.00. This permit is only valid per vehicle and entitles the holder to access all fee sites located in the Yuma Field Office jurisdiction.
Pilot Knob, Dunes Vista, Midland, Tamarisk, and Hot Springs: Boondocking is restricted to self-contained units only. They must have a permanent affixed waste water holding tank of 10 gallon minimum capacity. (Port-a-potty systems, or systems which utilize portable holding tanks, or permanent holding tanks of less than 10 gallon capacity are not considered to be self-contained.)
La Posa, Imperial Dam, and Mule Mountain LTVA: Restricted to self-contained camping units, except within 500 feet of a vault or rest room.
Hot Spring, Tamarisk, and Pilot Knob LTVA: Boondocking is not allowed within one (1) mile of the LTVA boundary.