Quartzsite, AZ

at the Quartzsite Swap Meet
at the Quartzsite Swap Meet

I first heard about this place from a crusty old ex-truck-driving woman who was working as the campground host up at Mount Charleston, along with her husband. They would stay up at Mt. Charleston all summer, then take their RV down to Quartzsite in the winter. There’s a lot of BLM (government-owned) land down there, which means you can camp out for free on it — as long as you move your campsite every 10 days or so.

Thousands and thousands of “snowbirds” take their RVs down to Quartzsite every January for this ginormous swap meet — I mean, like a million people congregate down there in the desert to sell junk and swap shit. It’s incredible. I wandered around in my favorite Mrs. Roper caftan, with a big old Cuba Libre, and it was better than Burning Man!!

In the bookstore
In the bookstore

There’s also a super cool funky old used bookstore in town that’s run by a dedicated, leathery nudist named Paul Winer, who wears nothing but a leather penis pouch on a thong. He is wiry, bearded and fabulous — and he also performs as a boogie-woogie pianist by the name of Sweet Pie! He has the sweetest, most gentle disposition of anyone I’ve ever met. If you go down there….tell him I said hi 🙂

That desert is full of kooks. There’s also a really cool greasy-spoon-type restaurant called something like the Quartzsite Yacht Club…which is all nautical-themed and shiplike, in the middle of the desert. The food isn’t that great — I actually prefer Silly Al’s Pizza, across the street.

Either way… I love this town! MANY more photos and info here.

More Kooky Desert Locations


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Hi, thought you might like to know. You can camp and go nude in the Quartzsite area at what is called the: “Magic Circle.” There is a web site; just “Google” it will give you the details and how to find it the next time you go to Quartzsite.


Quartzsite gathering is getting smaller each year, town taxes and politics contributed to killing the golden egg layer.

BLM rules in many areas is 14 days then move 25 miles. Quartzsite is one of the few areas it is enforced. There is a huge LTVA where you can stay 7 months for $180, “Magic Circle” is part of it.

RTR (free cheaprvliving gathering) is getting bigger each year, complete with “Burning Van”.

Donald Zandstra

I am the current webmaster for the Magic Circle, and have been going there since 2000. I have been very active with the Magic Circle, and I am currently on the “committee”. I have been going to Quartzsite since about 1998. If you have any questions, please contact me.

Ralph Russo

WH,Can you go to The Q for a few days this January and do a few videos?You are so friggin cool.Maybe one day we can hang and have Steak n MUSHROOMS..For dinner of course.lol.

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