Where is Lake Havasu State Park
Located near the California border, Lake Havasu State Park resides entirely in western Arizona. The state park’s most notable feature is the lake that provides its name. Each year, visitors travel to Lake Havasu State Park to enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities. The most popular activities the park provides access to are swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, and camping. The park also contains several amenities including three boat ramps, over 40 campsites, a special event area, picnic area, and beach area. Lake Havasu State Park is located 195 miles and a three-hour drive west of Phoenix, Arizona. Other notable large cities within five hours of the park include Las Vegas, Nevada and Los Angeles, California. Lake Havasu US State Park is three and a half hours from Grand Canyon National Park.
How Large is Lake Havasu State Park
Lake Havasu State Park covers a total of over 920 acres. Lake Havasu itself covers over 90 square miles and has a maximum depth of around 90 feet. In addition to the lake, Lake Havasu State Park also contains acres of shoreline, beaches, and desert. The state park is one of the most visited state parks in Arizona and receives the majority of its visitors during the summer season. The only hiking trail in the park is the Mojave Sunset Trail that extends for just under two miles. The park also contains the Arroyo-Camino Interpretive Garden which educates visitors about the park’s various species of vegetation and wildlife.
Lake Havasu State Park Weather
The weather at Lake Havasu State Park rarely ever changes from being hot and dry. In the summer, temperatures in the park average between 80- and 105-degrees Fahrenheit. Some days in the summer can exceed 110 degrees. In the winter, temperatures in Lake Havasu State Park cool slightly and average between 40- and 65-degrees Fahrenheit. The highest temperatures occur in the park in June, July, and August. The coldest temperatures arrive in December and January. On average, Lake Havasu only receives about five days of rain per year. These five days accumulate to a total of four inches of rain per year.
When did Lake Havasu become a State Park
Lake Havasu State Park was first established by the state of Arizona in 1965 through coordination with the federal government. The initial size of Lake Havasu State Park was much larger. However, over the years most of the park’s acreage has decreased through several land exchanges with the federal government. Today, the park manages Lake Havasu and the surrounding area in coordination with Cattail Cove State Park. The two parks’ provide joint access to Lake Havasu and consistently work together to establish plans for the area and its protection.
Things to do in Lake Havasu State Park
Visitors traveling to Lake Havasu State Park will find a variety of activities waiting for them when they arrive. The most popular activities and adventures the park provides access to are listed below:
Visit the Lake Havasu Visitor Center
Our State Park Visitors Guide thinks a trip to the visitor center is the best way to begin any trip to Lake Havasu State Park. The visitor center contains several educational exhibits and displays, as well as park maps and other helpful park literature. Checking out the visitor center first is a great way for visitors to get oriented with the park before exploring further. The visitor center at Lake Havasu State Park also contains a gift shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs.
Hike the Mojave Sunset Trail
The Mojave Sunset Trail is the park’s only hiking trail. The trail traverses across the park’s shoreline and the park’s lowland desert. The Mojave Sunset Trail is a great way for visitors to experience both ecosystems and environments found within Lake Havasu State Park. The trail is rated at a difficulty of easy and extended for 1.75 miles.
Explore the Arroyo-Camino Interpretive Garden
Exploring the Arroyo-Camino Interpretive Garden is the perfect follow-up activity to hiking the Mojave Sunset Trail. The garden contains several vegetation species found throughout the park as well as displays that educate visitors about each species. The garden is also a common place visitors spot several of the park’s wildlife species.
Hit the Lake
Boaters arriving at Lake Havasu State Park can take advantage of one of the park’s three boat ramps. All watercraft is allowed on Lake Havasu and the Colorado River. However, the park urges visitors to be familiar with both Arizona and California boating regulations since the two states both monitor the lake and river.
Cast a Fishing Line
Lake Havasu State Park holds some of the best fishing in the whole state of Arizona. Anglers visiting the park will want to make sure they bring all of their freshwater equipment and tackle. The three most targeted species found in Lake Havasu are largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and striped bass. An Arizona fishing license is required to fish in the park and all Arizona fishing regulations are valid.
Swim a Little
Lake Havasu State Park contains a designated swimming area complete with a white sand beach. However, visitors are also allowed to swim from the shore or from their boat. The park urges visitors to be careful around the shore as it can be rocky and dangerous in places. There is no lifeguard on duty anywhere in the park.
Enjoy a Beach Day
There is nothing wrong with a classic beach day. Visitors at Lake Havasu State Park can catch some rays, relax, and enjoy time with family and friends while on the beach. A swimsuit, sunscreen, and sunglasses are all that's required!
Set Up Camp at Lake Havasu State Park
Lake Havasu offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy a stay at a campground or several lakeside cabins. The campground contains sites complete with electric and water hookups and several other amenities. The cabins at Lake Havasu are air conditioned, furnished, and have their own outdoor barbecue area.
When to Visit Lake Havasu State Park
While the park receives most of its visitation during the summer season, a visit to Lake Havasu State Park can be enjoyed by the whole family year-round. The park hardly ever receives adverse weather. However, in the summer temperatures can sometimes exceed 110 degrees and get dangerous for anyone with existing health conditions. All of the park’s amenities including the campground, boat ramps, and visitor center are open year-round.
Must Have Items to Bring to Lake Havasu State Park
A trip to Lake Havasu State Park requires a little packing and planning. Several essential items visitors should consider bringing with them when they visit the park are listed below.
Water, Electrolytes, Snacks
Dehydration is a real concern in Lake Havasu State Park. In the summer, visitors at the park need to be extra cautious and aware of how much water they are taking in. List of Parks highly advises all visitors arriving at the park should bring water, electrolyte beverages, & snacks with them.
Swimsuit, Sunscreen, Sunglasses
In order to enjoy a day at the beach or a day on the water, visitors of Lake Havasu State Park should come prepared with a swimsuit, sunscreen and sunglasses. The sunscreen and sunglasses can also be utilized throughout the park.
Anglers hoping to catch a record largemouth or striped bass will want to make sure they remember all of their rods, reels, and lures. Popular lures used at Lake Havasu include crankbaits and soft plastics.
The best way to remember all of your camping equipment when packing for Lake Havasu State Park is to create and utilize a camping checklist.
A day at the beach can be perfect with just a good book to read and a towel to lay on. However, visitors may also want to bring other equipment like frisbees, footballs, or tools to build a sand castle.
Where to Stay in Lake Havasu State Park
Visitors looking to stay within Lake Havasu state park will want to make a reservation for one of the park’s campsites or lakeside cabins. The cabins and campsites can be reserved online through the park’s website and reservation portal. Visitors looking to stay at a hotel or other lodging establishment near the park will want to seek out options in Lake Havasu City.
Food Near Lake Havasu State Park
The closest food to Lake Havasu State Park resides in Lake Havasu City. The city contains several restaurants, fast food establishments, and grocery stores that are sure to provide needed sustenance and supplies. Visitors looking to camp in Lake Havasu State Park can shop for groceries and supplies in the city before arriving at the park.
Airports near Lake Havasu State Park
The closest international airport to Lake Havasu State Park is located in Phoenix. The Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is about 200 miles and a three-hour drive away from the park. The next closest international airports to the park are located in Las Vegas, Nevada and Los Angeles, California.