Thursday, January 30, 2014

1/30 Buckskin Mountain State Park

I have slowly been exploring the Colorado River south of Lake Mead.  Last week was at Big Bend of the Colorado River, and then at Lake Havasu State Park.  Now I am about 30 miles south of Lake Havasu City and taking it very easy. 

What has surprised me is that from Mead south through at least Parker, Arizona, the river is one long (165 miles) jet boat racetrack.  The river runs initially south along the border of Nevada and Arizona, and then along the border of California and Arizona.  Every few miles there is another marina and boat launch.  There are also tons of mobile home parks and RV campgrounds.  It seems like a lot of the mobile home parks are used only a few times a year, much like cottages are in Michigan.

I am used to the Colorado as it is in the state of Colorado--full of rocks and rapids and perfect for rafts and kayaks.  Along this stretch, there are three dams that break up the length and hold back water--Hoover Dam, Davis Dam, and Parker Dam.  Not sure what is south of here, but probably more dams.  The result is a wide, deep river perfect for racing about with huge and very noisy engines!!

Here is my campsite along the river in this state park.  It is very pleasant here during the week where there are fewer boats.  I can imagine it will be very noisy on weekends.

Here is the upstream view of the river:

And the downstream view.  You can see a mobile home park and a campground across the river in California, both much more crowded than the state park I am staying in.

Temps here have been in the low 70s, with nights in the low 50s.  (Air conditioning during the day and my electric heater at night!)  However, this is among the hottest places in Arizona, so in the summer it can get to be 120 in the daytime.  You can reserve one of these covered picnic areas along the river.  Each comes with an electrical hookup and restrooms are nearby.
This is the other side of the picnic shelters.  The water is very clear and there is a bit of a beach for swimming.

I decided to take one of the trails up to the bench at the top of the ridge behind the campground.  Not a bad trail, but steep.  It was a little hazy or cloudy today, so the sun was not too bright and hot.

This is a longer, two-mile loop trail with a bridge over the highway for hikers. 

Nice view of the campground from the ridge. 

Tomorrow, I head for Phoenix! 

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