Friday, November 10, 2017

Needles, CA and Lake Havasu City, AZ

Continuing our meander south we spent two nights in Needles, CA. Desert View RV Park was peaceful for our brief stay and within walking distance of the Colorado River and a terrific lunch at the Riverfront Cafe.

Early morning light on the Colorado River. 

We took a little drive and discovered Goose Lake, part of Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. We could have walked for several flat miles but there are very few birds there at this time of year; looks like a good place to take a kayak out exploring.

Havasu National Wildlife Refuge.



We spent the next four nights at Lake Havasu State Park which gave us time to visit some cousins who live in the area and do a little hiking in the local desert. Our beachfront site, #41, was spacious and fairly private but very noisy over the weekend due to a RC plane event around the corner from us as well as a busy boat launch...there are a lot of loud, fast boats on Lake Havasu! Week days are much quieter on the lake.

Site 41 was a nice beachfront site.

View of the north half of the campground.
Sites are extremely varied at this park, some private and well separated, some with zero privacy.

SARA Mountain Park is a large recreation area for hiking and mountain biking in Lake Havasu City. We've done the popular Crack Trail there before so this time we chose to hike SARA Mountain Park Loop. It's supposed to be five miles with some rolling hills but we took a wrong turn and ended up with a seven mile double loop with some big hills!

We loved the cloudy skies as we headed into the hills.

Red rock grotto.

Big views to the Colorado River from the blue trail.

Our wrong turn took us up and over and around a big mountain.

Another day we hiked the Water Tank Trail, a 6.2 mile out and back hike on a jeep road through the hills just south of town. I had researched the route via satellite and discovered a single track trail that would make our hike into a loop. It turns out SARA Mountain Park trails connect to the jeep road allowing many miles of hiking in this area. It looks really good for mountain biking.

The jeep road cuts through Aubrey Hills.


That's horse hoof point and below it to the left, barely visible, is the "tank",
a flat corrugated metal water collection device that flows water into a metal tank for wildlife use.

Our return trail below the Aubrey Hills.

We enjoyed brilliant sunsets daily over Lake Havasu from our site.



Onward to Buckskin Mountain State Park...




15 comments:

  1. How funny, I reserved Site 41 for our one night stop at Lake Havasu SP. Looks like a nice spot! Based on your pictures and Hans hike recommendation we may have to extend our stay. Thanks for the post!
    Julie (and Casey)

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    1. It is a nice site, just be prepared for some noise if you are there over a weekend!

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    2. Surely it can’t be as loud as Marine Dr and the fighter jets! We will be there on a Friday night so hopefully we will miss the Saturday boaters. If not, oh well.
      J

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  2. I wondered about that park in Needles. We're always in Laughlin in April, but I've thought about a Needles stop off I-40 when we're passing through. Love the red rock grotto!! Lake Havasu is one of the busiest places I've ever been during the summer, but was hoping it was quiet this time of year :-)

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    1. Desert View was not bad at all, nice privacy oleanders between sites and some desert views too.

      It amazes me that Havasu is so busy during the hot season! It is much quieter at this time of year.

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  3. Haha! We arrive in site 41 Monday for four nights!! Luckily, we could only get weekdays which keeps away on the weekend when it is too crowded and noisy. We were in 43 for our last visit and fronted in which was very nice. We'll probably front in again so we have the water view out the window from our chairs. We did at least four hikes in SARA Mountain Park and got lost on each one even with directions and a map. There are so many "new" trails and poor trail markings. The Lizard trail was the only one we didn't get lost on. Enjoy your new "home!" At least you didn't have far to drive:)

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    1. You were fortunate to get weekdays only at Havasu! There are so many use trails in SARA park, it is crazy! I think the trails that stretch to the south towards the Water Tank might be newer.

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    2. I'll have to check those trails out. Last time we were there I picked up a booklet of hikes the VC had put together. Maybe they have an updated booklet!

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  4. That is some gorgeous hiking! Looks like a really sweet campsite, too -- except for the loud boats. The wildlife refuge looks like just the kind of kayaking we love (and no gators!) ;-).

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    1. We are in some serious desert hiking now, very few plants, some decent long distance views!

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  5. Beautiful Lisa! Lake Havasu has been on the list for awhile! Love the pictures of the Wildlife Refuge. Great hikes!

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    1. You guys would enjoy the off road riding around here.

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  6. Beautiful sunset and wide sweeping views!

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  7. You gave us some great ideas for our visit at Christmas. Can't beat those sunsets.

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  8. I would not mind revisiting Lake Havasu and and do the Sara trails again. We enjoyed our hike/bike in that area and we were camped at Cattail Cove State Park (one of Steve's fave SP in AZ).

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