San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area
Betty's Kitchen Wildlife and Interpretive Area is located near Yuma, Arizona, along the Colorado River. Home to both a Watchable Wildlife Viewing Area and a National Recreation Trail, the area provides a site to enjoy the outdoors by bird watching, fishing, walking, photographing nature, or picnicking.
Once the site of several residential leases including a popular cafe called Betty's Kitchen, the area was flooded in 1983 by high water from the Colorado River. In 1986, the Bureau of Land Management cooperated with the newly formed Betty's Kitchen Protective Association to clean up the site and establish a wildlife and interpretive area. The area is managed for its riparian habitat values, to provide environmental education, and for resource-related recreation. Today, the volunteers from the Protective Association lead interpretive tours and help BLM clean up and maintain the site.
Betty's Kitchen is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Admission is free. Parking, restrooms, and picnic tables are available. The area contains a 1/2-mile walking trail. Fishing is permitted at the site; a valid fishing license from Arizona Game and Fish Department is required.
Guided tours of Betty's Kitchen are offered by the Betty's Kitchen Protective Association. Information about tour arrangements can be obtained by calling the Protective Association at (520) 627-2773 or the BLM at (520) 317-3200.
Rules and Regulations:
- Betty's Kitchen is open for day-use from sunrise to sunset. No camping is allowed.
- Vehicles must be kept within the parking area. No vehicles are allowed on trails.
- Pets are allowed, but must be kept on a leash.
- Please enjoy the plants and animals you see. No cutting or damaging of plants or other natural features is allowed.
- Fishing is allowed, as regulated by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. No hunting is allowed. No discharge of firearms is permitted.
- Please build fires only in the enclosed fireplaces. We encourage you to bring charcoal for your fire since firewood is very scarce.
To get to Betty's Kitchen, go 7 miles east of Yuma on Highway 95. Turn north on Avenue 7E and follow this road for 9 miles to just past Laguna Dam. Turn left at the sign for Betty's Kitchen Wildlife and Interpretive Area.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication