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Betty's Kitchen National Recreation Trail
Getaways Close to Home > Betty's Kitchen National Recreation Trail (AZ) 
17 miles southwest of Yuma, Arizona.
The Betty’s Kitchen trail and interpretive area offer a lush, shady environment along the Lower Colorado River. Visitors can kick off their shoes while casting a line and fishing from the pier, pack a lunch or barbecue in the picnic area, or take a stroll along the 0.5-mile interpretive trail. No matter what the time of year, Betty’s Kitchen promises visitors a peek at some of Arizona’s wildlife.
From Yuma, take State Highway 95 (16th Street) east 5 miles to Avenue 7E. Turn north on Avenue 7E, following it 9 miles to a point just past Laguna Dam. Turn left at the sign for Betty’s Kitchen Wildlife and Interpretive Area.
Visitor Activities
Fishing, picnicking, wildlife viewing, plant viewing, birdwatching, hiking, and interpretive tours.
Special Features
Betty’s Kitchen is named after a café that stood at this site in the 1930s. This oasis in the desert boasts a variety of flora (palo verde, buccaris, quailbush, mesquite, cattails, cottonwoods, and willows) and fauna (diamondback rattlesnakes, desert cottontails, common king snakes, raccoons, tree lizards, great horned owls, egrets, and numerous
migrating songbirds) which may be sighted along the interpretive trail.
Permits, Fees, Limitations
There is a per-vehicle day-use fee.
Camping and Lodging
Free primitive camping is available at nearby Mittry Lake Wildlife Area. Camping for a nightly fee is available at BLM’s Imperial Dam Recreation Area, approximately 15 miles north on State Highway 95. Motels and hotels are available in Yuma.
Food and Supplies
No food or supplies are available on-site. Restaurants and food stores are located in Yuma.
First Aid
There is no first aid available on-site. The nearest hospital is located in Yuma. There is also a medical facility at the Yuma Proving Ground, 9 miles up the gravel road past the Mittry Lake Wildlife Area.
Additional Information
Betty’s Kitchen is best visited during the spring, winter, and fall. Daily summer temperature highs are 100°-118°F. Although mosquitoes are generally not present, they occur periodically, so insect repellent is recommended. Most anglers fish for bluegill, channel catfish, and flathead catfish, although largemouth bass can also be caught at Betty’s Kitchen. The best time of year for birdwatching is during the spring migration in April and May. The Betty’s Kitchen Protective Association assists BLM with management of the site.
Contact Information
BLM - Yuma Field Office
2555 E. Gila Ridge Road
Yuma, AZ 85365
Tel: (928) 317-3200              

Betty's Kitchen Photo

A BLM employee, “armed” with a scaly partner, talks with a group of local students about wildlife in the Betty’s Kitchen area.   (Lori Cook, BLM Yuma Field Office)

Betty's Kitchen National Recreation Trail Map

Last updated: 10-23-2009