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Big Bend of the Colorado

State Recreation Area


About Big Bend of the Colorado

Situated on the shores of the Colorado River at Nevada’s southern tip, Big Bend of the Colorado River includes about two miles of sandy shoreline. Because the park is downstream from Davis Dam, the river is clear and cool year round. Popular activities are camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, swimming, hiking and bird watching. The variety of waterfowl and shore birds that make this park home include mallards, coots, herons and geese. Hawks, roadrunners, quail, hummingbirds, doves and owls are also abundant in the park. The nearby town of Laughlin offers the amenities of a Nevada gaming town.

Park Detail


Camping: Big Bend boasts a 24-unit campground that is accesible year-round. All sites are available by reservation. All sites are designed to accommodate RVs with hook-ups for water, electric and sewer. In addition, most of the sites have pull-through parking pads that can accommodate any size RV. The sites also have a tent pad, a shade ramada, barbecue grill and fire pit. Three of the sites are ADA equipped and available for those visitors with the proper ADA permit. Other amenities include restroom and shower facilities. Camping is limited to 14 days in a 30-day period.

First Come, First Serve Camping: Behind the campground loop of the park, there are 8 campsites that remain first come, first served. The sites are a short walk to the campground loop’s restroom and shower facilities. Each site has a fire ring, picnic table and shade structure. Site specifics can be viewed on reservenevada.com.

Picnicking/Day Use: Day Use Reservations are required for daily access before 11:30am from May 11 - September 30. After 11:30am, remaining spots will be available on a first come, first served basis. Shade ramadas are located along the shoreline in both the day use and boat-ramp areas, some of which have tables and barbecue grills. These are available for reservation. 

NOTE: Big Bend’s popularity can make it difficult to enter the Day-Use area during its peak summer time visitation after 11:30am. On weekends, during the busy months of June, July & August, the parking lots are often full from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. When the park has reached capacity, or reservations have been booked up, walk-ins and drop-off are not allowed. It is recommended that large groups make day use reservations as far in advance as possible. Carpooling allows the park to accommodate more people during peak visitation.

Boat Launch: A two-lane boat ramp offers access to the river through a man-made lagoon that shelters the ramp from the river's current. A paved parking lot is available for boat trailers.

Hiking: About four miles of trails weave throughout the developed area of the park. The canyons in the area of the park west of the Needles Highway offer plenty of undeveloped areas to hike and explore.

Programs: Information about program scheduling may be obtained from either park staff or kiosks. Upon request, special presentations can be arranged for groups.

Hours: 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: 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
  • September & October: 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • November & December: 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.


  • Day Use Reservations are required for daily access before 11:30am from May 11 - September 30.
  • Operating unlicensed vehicles is not permitted. All vehicle operators must be licensed. Drive only on designated roadways.
  • Pets are welcome, but they must be kept on a leash of not more than six feet in length.
  • Removing, disturbing or damaging any historic structure, artifact, rock, plant life, fossil or other feature is prohibited. State and federal laws protect this area and its resources.
  • The use of drones or any remote controlled aircraft is not allowed.
  • Trailer parking is not permitted in the day use parking area.
  • Fires are permitted only in the grills provided.
  • Charcoal is not allowed in the day use area. You may bring your own gas, propane or electric grills only.
  • Use garbage dumpsters provided.
  • Glass containers are prohibited in the day use area.
  • Creating a wake or exceeding 5 mph in the boat ramp lagoon is not permitted.
  • Boating and fishing on the Colorado River is regulated by Nevada, Arizona and California. Visitors are responsible for knowing the regulations and license requirements for each of the states.
  • Visitors are responsible for knowing all park rules and regulations in effect. Detailed rules and regulations are posted at the park or viewed on the Park Rules page.
  • Those with developmental and/or physical limitations are invited to enjoy all of the recreational activities of Nevada State Parks. If you would like to request additional support or accommodations, please call the Nevada State Parks division office. We continually seek ways to provide recreational opportunities for people of all abilities and welcome any suggestions you may have.
  • View a list of frequently asked questions.


The Colorado River is the main attraction in the park. Because the park is located just downstream of Davis Dam, the river is clear and cool year round. Although the park has approximately two miles of shoreline and riparian areas, the majority of the park is comprised of canyons and washes. The area is rich with beautiful formations and scenic viewpoints. (READ MORE)


People have lived in southeastern Nevada for the past 13,000 years. The earliest inhabitants of the Colorado River Valley were the Mohave. Their name has been translated to mean “people who live along the water.” They lived in dwellings above the floodplain and farmed near the water.  Historical petroglyphs can be found throughout the valley and within the recreation area. (READ MORE)

Park Fees

Day use entrance fee: $10.00 per vehicle (Non-NV Vehicles: $15.00 per vehicle)
Boat launch:  $20.00 (Non-NV Vehicles $25.00)
Camping:  $20.00 per vehicle, per night (Non-NV Vehicles: $25.00 per vehicle, per night) + $10.00 for sites with utility hook ups
Camp and boat:  $30.00 per night (Non-NV Vehicles: $35.00 per night) + $10.00 for sites with utility hook ups
Bike in:  $2.00 per bike


Photos of Big Bend of the Colorado State Recreation Area

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