The abundance of dams along the Colorado River creates a number of large lakes in arid regions of the Southwest where large, natural bodies of water are nonexistent. These lakes provide unique recreational opportunities and offer an exceptional contrast to the scenic desert landscapes that surround them.
One of the most popular and interesting lakes along the Colorado River is Lake Havasu, well-known for one particular historic point of interest, the London Bridge. The London Bridge is one of the main attractions at Lake Havasu that sets it apart from other desert playgrounds.
More than 2.5 million visitors flock each year to shores of Lake Havasu to enjoy the scenery, the cool waters of the lake and abundant recreational activities. Water sports, hiking, off-road opportunities and cultural and natural history draw visitors year round.
Impounded by Parker Dam, 45-mile long Lake Havasu is nestled along the foot of California's Chemehuevi Mountains near Interstate 40. The lake is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) which oversees nearly 1.4 million acres of public lands in both the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts along the Colorado River, Lake Havasu and the Arizona uplands to the east.
This area is best known for the boating, fishing and sightseeing on Lake Havasu. The backcountry surrounding the lake is virtually undiscovered by the many tourists and outdoor enthusiasts who venture to the lake. The backcountry offers miles of quiet, seldom-visited lands including six wilderness areas, historic mines, abandoned town sites, unique wildlife, interesting geology and numerous trails and roads for adventurers who like to explore.
The diverse landscape ranges from sand dunes and rugged canyons to mountains and basins. Adding to the textures and shapes of the region are the diverse flora and fauna. Towering saguaro cactus stand like statues along the hillsides, along with ocotillo, barrel and prickly pear cactus. Bighorn sheep, coyotes, reptiles, and over 200 species of birds and wildlife can be viewed throughout the region. The Bill Williams National Wildlife Refuge is located at the south end of the lake and is an excellent location for wildlife watching.