Campsite Review Lake Martinez Campground

Campsite Review: Lake Martinez Campground

Campsite Review: Lake Martinez Campground is a military-only recreation area on the Colorado River, north of Yuma Arizona. It is a nice place to visit provided that occupancy is more than half-empty (it was). If every site were filled, the place would be too crowded to fit our RV.

It is very rare to find a campground that has water access in southern Arizona. Lake Martinez is one of these few places. Yuma is typically very hot for most of the year. This means that Lake Martinez is a winter destination.

There are 17 partial hookup RV campsites. At the ends of each peninsula, there are trailers parked for short-term rentals. The terms cabin or cottage would be too generous.

What Lake Martinez has, which is better than any other place nearby, is that it is a recreation fishing camp right next to a wildlife refuge.

Here is our blog post about our stay at Lake Martinez: Like water on Mars?

Lake Martinez is a nice campground at a very nice place that sadly suffers from overpricing and neglect. (Observations and Cautions below.)


Website: Lake Martinez

Address: 9448 N Roadrunner Rd, Yuma, AZ 85365

Link to Google Map for the area: Lake Martinez

Phone Number: 928-783-3422

Reservations: 928-269-2262

Here is the link to an article on authorized patrons: Who can stay at military campgrounds?

Season: The Campground is open year-round, and summer temperatures are very hot.

Dates stayed: November 8 – 15, 2020

Comfort: The weather was hot yet seasonal.

Elevation: 180

Our site: # 10 All sites are back-in

Price paid: $32 per night for partial hookups, this may be the most expensive military campground we have stayed in that was not full hookups, on the beach in San Diego.

Hook-ups: Electric and water

Dump station: No. An RV dump is located about three miles away.

Restrooms: Clean, functional, but minimum, two steps above a pit toilet. Given the size of the park, the availability of showers is inadequate. All the trailers have indoor plumbing but the septic system for the trailers was inadequate.

Shower: Yes

Laundry: No

Potable Water: Yes

Water to fill your RV storage tank: Yes

Cell service: Verizon – weak signal, AT&T – no signal


Campsite Review: Lake Martinez Campground insider info:

Lake Martinez is a military-only recreation area that is about 40 miles from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma and is operated as part of the Military Welfare and Recreation (MWR) department. In the past, it was a place for Marines to fish and then gradually became what it is today. During the summer the location is brutally hot and gets very few visits. Starting about November the weather becomes more bearable even though it is still very warm.

The Lake is part of the Colorado River and the location is just north of Yuma Proving Grounds, a remote camp, operated by the Army for testing.

Lake Martinez only has partial hookups for RVs. I am happy that there were no sewer hookups because the sites were so close together that the sewer would have been right next to my picnic table. Uck.

Sites #1 – 3 and #17 are identified as “Prim” sites. I assume the person misspelled prime. These sites seem to cost the same and may have some provisions for a BBQ. See comments about prices below.

The very best site is #17 which is all alone, far from the sites that are too narrow. Site # 12, at the end of the row, is probably the second best. Site #13 might work but only if you have a very short RV. Sites #4 and #5 have some possibilities.


This region abounds with both coyotes and rattlesnakes. Pets are in constant danger from both. Rattlesnakes are a danger to pets and humans. Make sure you watch your step. I wouldn’t call them abundant, just dangerous.

Centipedes and scorpions are probably here as well. I didn’t see either one.

Lake Martinez has gradually changed over the years. It went from a place that was little more than a place to fish, to also now including some trailers (called cabins). The trailers are sparsely furnished to the point of bringing your own kitchenware.

As part of renovations, the MWR has included RV spots that include electricity and water. All the RV sites are extremely close together. Parking is on narrow concrete pads. When we were centered on the pad, our slides reached all the way over to the next pad. Thankfully it was still pre-season and the sites next to ours were unoccupied. A much better design would have been to spread the sites slightly and park in the gravel having the concrete pad as a patio.

There is no dump station, which creates a limit to stays. I counted only 17 sites, but the website claims 20 sites. Some sites are reserved for two-week limits and others allow up to three months. The website has different prices than we were charged.

Prices on the website are all over the place and range from $12 and up sometimes changing on holidays. I am very dissatisfied with the prices it is overpriced and impossible to tell what the correct price is from the written documents.

The trees in the satellite view along sites #5 – 12 are gone.

Frequently groups of single Marines will rent one of the trailers and then spend the weekend drinking beer in large quantities and making lots of noise. Thankfully this did not happen during our stay.


The bonus is the lake. Assuming you have a boat, you have a few options to launch it and there is a dock area on the west side of the campground that seems to be well-maintained. The dock area on the east side has sunk to the bottom and is unusable.

Boat Dock, now on the bottom behind site number 8
Boat Dock, now on the bottom behind site number 8

Layout and Satellite Views

Campsite Review Lake Martinez Campground Layout
Campsite Review: Lake Martinez Campground 6
Campsite Review Lake Martinez Campground Satellite View
Campsite Review: Lake Martinez Campground 7

That is our campsite review of the Lake Martinez Campground. Here is the link to our interactive map. Campsite Reviews

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Website: Lake Martinez

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