Thursday, January 28, 2016

1/27 Drive Into Willow Beach Marina and Campground

I had to take pictures of the drive down into one of my favorite campgrounds, where I am staying right now.  It's a unique drive in that you are a long way from much of anything, and as you drive down, you are convinced that somehow you took the wrong road, even if it is the only road around.

Heading east from Las Vegas and Boulder City, you take U.S. Highway 93, over the bridge near the dam and into Arizona.  After about 12 miles, you will see a sign pointing toward Willow Beach.  It isn't a town--it's part of Lake Mead National Recreation Area.  Turn right, because its the only way you can turn onto Willow Beach road.

I have never seen anyone at the entrance booth, so you can skip it. You can also ignore the signs that say "Storm Damage on Roadway" because there is damage every time it rains.  Luckily, it does not rain very often, but even if it does, the road is almost always passable.

Road is fairly good with very little traffic.

You are slowly going downhill to the Colorado River. One of the rangers told me today that when he first brought his wife here, following the moving van, she was pretty upset at where in the heck he was taking her! 

After about a mile, the road enters a small canyon.  Notice that the soft sand on the right has been scraped.  Don't pull off because it is a VERY soft shoulder.  Just keep going.

The only way rain water can get down to the river is to follow this road down the canyon, so it does.  Floods pull a lot of sand with them and deposit them on the road.  Here is a section where the flood actually pulled up the asphalt roadway, so it is gravel for a short way.

Sorry for the hazy photos, but I was taking them through the windshield and into the sun.  It was really a beautiful day with blue sky, but it was late afternoon.

Almost there, but another short gravel section!  Check out how much sand they had to remove here. 

 Voila!  We come out of the canyon, and there is the marina and the beautiful Colorado River!  

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