A must-see and on the very top of Lake Havasu City’s attraction list, is the world famous London Bridge. In 1962, the City of London decided to put the 130-year old bridge up for auction due to its sinking into the Thames. In fact, “London Bridge is Falling Down” is a nursery rhyme that ironically preceded the bridge’s original 19th century construction.
Robert P. McCulloch, founder of Lake Havasu City, AZ, submitted the winning bid for $2,460,000 in 1968. Following the careful reconstruction of the London Bridge, Lake Havasu City rededicated it in a ceremony on October 10, 1971. Since then, it has consistently remained a top national attraction in Arizona, drawing in thousands of international visitors from around the globe each year.
Just a short boat ride from Havasu Springs Resort beholds the beautiful 6,105 acres that is the Bill Williams National Wildlife Refuge. Travel up this secluded section of the serene Colorado river and you will be absolutely captivated by all the breath-taking scenery! Stunning rock cliffs, angelic cattail-filled marsh, and one of the last stands of naturally regenerated cottonwood-willow forests are just some of the magnificent sights you will see along the river. This special ecosystem provides a treasured and impressive habitat for many resident and migratory wildlife, including 355 species of birds, 34 documented reptiles, 40 species of butterflies and 57 species of mammals and 7 amphibians. Though very small, the refuge has retained nearly all of the original terrestrial wildlife species found here at the time of exploration.
Although it may surprise you, Lake Havasu City is actually home to more lighthouses than any other city in the entire United States. These intricate 1/3 scale replicas are not only real and actual functioning navigational aids, but are also built to the specifications of famous lighthouses on the East Coast, West Coast and Great Lakes. More than 18 charming lighthouses can be seen along the desert beach shores that span the peaceful lake. Most ofthese lighthouses can be hiked or walked to, however some are only accessible by boat.Sunset Charter & Tour Co. Lighthouse Tour takes you aboard the Kon Tiki Canyon Cruiser for a two hour narrated journey. Take in the gorgeous lake views while you learn a detailed history on over a dozen miniature lighthouses along the water’s edge. The tour also stops at picturesque Copper Canyon, former site of the largest producing copper mine along the Colorado River during the mining era in the late 1800s. Photo opportunities are endless. Wildlife such as bighorn sheep, burros, coyotes, and a variety of beautiful water fowl and birds are only some of the desert magic you can witness on this ride, so keep those eyes open and don’t forget your camera!
This local favorite is a paved asphalt loop around the interior of the Island. Great for beginners or low-stress impact walkers. The loop is easy to traverse and level. It was originally built by the City of Lake Havasu in the 1980s. The Island Trail is designed with
instructions that are for pedestrians to travel in a counter- clockwise direction and for bicyclists to travel in a clockwise direction. It is a popular serene trail with amazing views of the lake and mountains. Just drive over the London Bridge on to the Island, and park in the parking area along McCulloch Blvd.
Length of hike: 3.5 miles
Hiking time: 1.5 hours
Trailhead GPS coordinates:
N 34°28.113’ W 114°21.265’
Bike, run, or casually stroll along this lovely level, paved concrete sidewalk path that runs the entire Bridgewater Channel through Rotary Park. It is a fast, easy route past a swimming beach and lighthouse to take in the beauty of the area. You can start your walk under the bridge at the English Village and then continue south on the paved walkway along the lake to the far end of the park and back again. This trail provides spectacular views of the lake, mountains, and the London Bridge. Kids can play on the playground, throw around the volleyball, or enjoy use of the Patrick Tinnell Memorial skate park.
Length of hike: 2 miles
Hiking time: 1 hour
N 34° 28.333ʹ W 114° 20.808ʹ
The Pilot Rock Trail offers a refreshing desert mountain hike in rejuvenating boundless terrain. This popular trail is an old mining road that leads to a red lava rock out cropping in the Colorado River. It used to be used by steamboat pilots for navigation. Pilot Rock still serves boaters today, with a navigation light that shines bright in the evening hours. The end of the trail offers a panoramic view of the lake, Pilot Rock, and picnic tables.
A variety of geology, flora, and fauna await you on this stimulating hike. The Water Tank Trail passes the majestic rocks of Aubrey Hills, named for Francis Zavier Aubrey, a Canadian guide noted for his prowess in taking wagons and flocks over challenging western trails.On this hiking trail you will see a fenced-in lovely wildlife watering area maintained by Arizona Game & Fish. This area is a frequent lookout area for Big Horn sheep.
This hike while easy, travels along a gravel wash. The trail follows Mockingbird Wash down to Lake Havasu at Solitude Cove. There are rest rooms and picnic tables available. The end of the trail opens up on the breath-taking lake so you can jump in and cool off. Several boat-in campsites managed by the BLM arae also along the end of this trail. A very unique kind of hike that provides serene desert views and a quiet calmness.
The recreational land known as the Parker Strip stretches over 16 miles along the banks of theColorado River. This is a popular place for tourism of all types including boating, fishing, wake-boarding, camping, and off road vehicles. Some of its popular attractions include the Parker Dam,Copper Basin Dunes, and the Desert Bar.
The Parker Dam Road highlights the scenic, natural, historic, and prehistoric values along an 11 mile (18 km) road that travels along the California shore of the Colorado River. This spot has attracted people, wildlife, and vegetation along a linear oasis, thus creating its nickname, “Thread of Life.”
This day use area is a great place to stop with the family. There is river access, tree-shadedpicnic areas, and a Back Country Byway site.
There are two open off-highway vehicle areas on the California side of the Parker Strip. These are open play areas. The sites include parking area, unloading ramp, and vault toilets. Vehicles must be street legal or have state required off-highway vehicle stickers (if appropriate by your state).
There are several great bars on the Parker Strip where you can get a drink, unwind or party, but there is only one bar where you can also walk away with an appreciation for the artsy, quirky funk of the lower Sonoran Desert that is unique to any place on earth. That place is the Nellie E. Saloon, commonly known as the Desert Bar in the heart of the Buckskin Mountains just 15 minutes away from Havasu Springs Resort.
Families, kids, and pets are welcome. However remember to bring cash – no credit or debit cards are accepted. Ken Coughlin, founder of this saloon, built the Desert Bar at the site of an old copper mining camp in 1975. Although all remnants of the original camp are gone, its spirit lives. Today, while maintaining its Old West character, the inside of the saloon now boasts many vintage and one-of-a-kind features. Its windows are made out of old glass refrigerator doors, the bar stools are hand welded steel, the ceiling is made of stamped tin, and the saloon’s electrical supply is completely solar powered.
Off-road enthusiasts who come to the Desert Bar via the “back way” also have the opportunity to experience the steep hills and beautiful scenery on the way.You can see the magical wildlife and unique desert plants that give visitors a true taste of real Arizona. Offroad only, no paved roads Open October – April from high noon until sundown. (closed in the hot summer months and at the discretion of the owner).