We have been wanting to go to Lake Havasu all winter because my Aunt Helen and my cousin Beth live there. My aunt is a long time resident of the Lake Havasu City. David was able to visit my aunt and Lake Havasu when he was there on a business trip many years ago but I have not been there. I finally made it to Lake Havasu this past week! We had a great time with my aunt and cousin and we explored the area too.
Located on the Colorado River, Lake Havasu was formed when they built the Parker Dam in 1934. The city that sprung up on its eastern shore is a magnet for boaters, water sports enthusiasts, fishermen, as well as Spring Break vacationers. While we were there, they had boat races featuring high performance racing boats. The number of cigarette boats that invaded the city for the weekend surprised us. There were boats everywhere!
Perhaps the most iconic symbol of Lake Havasu is its famous London Bridge. This bridge, which was originally built in the 1830’s and spanned the Thames River, was moved to Lake Havasu in 1968. Why would anybody move a bridge from London, England to Lake Havasu City, Arizona? We found out that the State of Arizona gave the land to Robert McCulloch provided that he develop this vacant, desert land. Robert Plumer, a real estate agent and friend of Robert McCulloch, found out that the London Bridge was for sale and he floated the idea of buying it and moving it to Lake Havasu City. McCulloch, the city’s founder, had been looking for an attraction to lure tourists here so he decided to purchase the bridge and move it to the Arizona desert.
Robert McCulloch purchased the London Bridge from the City of London for $2,460,000 and then spent another $4.5 million to relocate it. The 930 foot long bridge was deconstructed in London and each piece of granite was numbered. It was shipped to Lake Havasu and reconstructed in its current location. The London Bridge opened in 1971. Robert McCulloch’s gamble paid off since there are many visitors who come to Lake Havasu every year. Many of those visitors have decided to remain in the area and buy homes there. Lake Havasu City is a growing and bustling place thanks to Robert McCulloch’s vision.
Near the London Bridge is Rotary Park. We spent some time walking in the lovely park which is located along the shore of Lake Havasu. It has very well developed paved trails/walking paths, swimming areas, children’s playgrounds, and sports areas for volleyball, Bocci ball, cycling, etc. After walking around the lake, we ate our picnic lunch overlooking Lake Havasu.
Lake Havasu also has numerous small lighthouses that have been erected around the waterfront. Many of them are accessible to pedestrians. Ironically the first one that we found was a replica of one from my home state. The Lake Havasu Lighthouse Club supports the 25 functional replicas around the lake that are indeed used for safety purposes. There is even a boat tour available to view the lighthouses!
After lunch, we drove to Lake Havasu State Park and Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. These are both located on the water at the north end of the lake. We drove through the State Park which has a campground, lots of green space, and beach areas. We also took a short hike to an overlook in the National Wildlife Refuge. It was another beautiful view and was so peaceful there.
Another one of the highlights of our visit to the Lake Havasu was a hike that the local residents call “Sara’s Crack.” It is a trail in SARA (Special Activities and Recreation Area) Park and is called the Yellow Trail on the official maps. It follows a wash through a slot canyon (“Sara’s Crack”) to Lake Havasu. People that we met coming back from the hike told us, “It is a great hike” and they were so right.
We were also excited because, as we progressed down the wash, we saw two bighorn sheep on the mountain above us!
In the slot canyon, we had to climb over several obstacles and had to rappel down a short section as we maneuvered through some tight places. It was such fun!
On the other side of the canyon was the deep blue lake. The Yellow Trail ended at Balancing Rock Cove. There is a covered picnic table and outhouse building there. We took a break and ate our picnic lunch that we packed. From that vantage point we could see many of the racing boats fly by.
We made our way back via another trail, the Blue Trail. It is a high rim trail and it provided us with some amazing views of Lake Havasu and the surrounding mountain ranges.
This hike via the Yellow Trail and the Blue Trail is said to be 5.4 miles round trip. Since we hiked down to Balancing Rock Cove for lunch, we actually hiked 6.3 miles. This was an amazing hike and we would highly recommend it. Be sure to bring lots of water and do not attempt it during the summer months because there is little shade, especially on the Blue Trail.
The highlight of our trip to Lake Havasu was getting to visit with our family. It is such a blessing when you get to connect again with family after a long time. We also enjoyed exploring Lake Havasu and the surrounding area. It has some beautiful sites and wonderful people, too!
We are heading north to Nevada for the RV Dreams Rally. This was the view from our camping spot in Henderson last night.