Thunder Mountain Trail, Red Canyon, UT


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"With more than 300 days of sunshine a year -- and a unique mix of tranquil waters,      
rugged mountains, and tons of fun -- it's hard to stay inside. Everywhere you
look, folks are hiking, biking, boating, fishing, golfing, off-roading,
shopping, dining, and enjoying seasonal activities . . ."
~ Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors' Bureau website

This was our second of two day trips in January to help us decide where we wanted to go this spring after leaving Yuma Proving Ground.

A couple of our RV park neighbors like camping in the Lake Havasu City, AZ area farther north of us so we drove up there on this date to check it out as a possible destination before or after visiting Joshua Tree National Park.

View of Lake Havasu from an overlook south of the city

It was a great day for a drive -- sunny, 50 F to the low 70s, minimal wind, brilliant sunset, end of the full moon.

This trip was much less tiring than the large loop we did in southern California last week. It was "only" about 150 miles to the northern end of Lake Havasu City, which stretches out quite a ways on the Arizona side of the Colorado River. Our only side trip was a short one down to the Parker Dam at the southern end of the very long lake. Roundtrip distance = about 300 miles.

Our route was simple: just follow US95 north to Quartszite, cross I-10, and follow AZ 95 through Parker on the east side of the river to Lake Havasu City. Here's our track, marked in yellow:

YPG is about where I put the green dot in the lower left corner.

Most of the scenery was new to us north of Quartszite. Near Parker we stopped to sight-see and take photos at Parker Dam, which controls the flow of water in the Colorado River from the southern end of Lake Havasu:





Lake Havasu stretches from the Parker Dam north past Lake Havasu City to Needles.

I got these photos of the mountains and lake, including the one near the beginning of this entry, between Parker and Lake Havasu City:






Lake Havasu City is similar to many other towns and cities in Arizona in that its population swells in the winter months, when snowbirds from farther north in the U.S. and Canada flock to its warmth. The official population is over 52,000 people.

Our favorite part of the city was the nice park along Bridgewater Channel.

This body of water flows under the London Bridge, which was dismantled in London, England and shipped to Arizona. It was originally built over the River Thames in 1831:


I don't know why the bridge didn't remain in England when it was dismantled. It's now called the world's largest antique.

The Convention and Visitors' Bureau website notes that when it was disassembled, each piece was numbered so it could be reassembled properly in Arizona in the late 1960s, with some structural modifications to make it strong enough for modern vehicle traffic. We drove over it to get to the city park:






Jim and Casey head toward the London Bridge.

There were lots of colorful ducks in the channel of water.

We enjoyed walking along the channel and spending some time in the fenced dog park run by the Lion's Club.

Casey had a blast at the dog park, which is one of the nicest we've seen in all of our travels. It's very large, well landscaped, has some shade and lots of grass, and there are a few benches to sit on. This photo doesn't even show all of the dog park:

Casey was quite the social butterfly. She played with every dog, from small terrier to St. Bernard, and greeted every person. She was aware each time someone new came in and quickly went up to them. She got loads of attention. She came back to us occasionally but we kept a much closer eye on her than she did on us.

Cody hung closer to us and got some petting, too. He's becoming more "clingy" as he gets older; he's almost 13 now, pretty old for a Lab.


We kept an eye out for RV parks and campgrounds along the river between Parker and Lake Havasu City.

We could see some private RV parks on both sides of the river but didn't go down or try to cross the river to see any of them because they looked so crowded, with RVs practically sitting on top of each other. We're spoiled with the larger sites at most military campgrounds!

Above and below:  This one appears to have mostly mobile homes and/or park models.


This RV park looks nicer to us than the one above.

The RVs are very crowded here.

The campground that we could see from the road on the Arizona side of the river that we liked the best is at Buckskin Mountain State Park north of Parker. I don't have any pictures of it.

Although we have decided not to visit this area again this spring, it looks interesting enough that we may come back for a while another year if we can find a suitable place to camp when we want to be there. We had an enjoyable day trip today and we learned some new things about this part of Arizona, so it wasn't wasted time or gas.

Next entrybike rides to scenic Mittry Lake, near YPG

Happy trails,

"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup

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2016 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil