Part three: Lake Havasu City
Lake Havasu City sits on the Arizona side of Lake Havasu, which is part of the Colorado River. It is a fairly new city that started out as an Army Air Corp rest camp. In the late 1950’s Robert McCullough purchased land there and by the early 1960’s established Lake Havasu City.
McCullough wanted to attract visitors to the area and purchased the London Bridge for $2.5 million from the city of London when the bridge there was replaced in 1968. Stone by stone, the bridge was disassembled and shipped to Lake Havasu to be rebuilt exactly.
Today, the bridge is the second-largest tourist attraction in Arizona, after the Grand Canyon.
I have to say, it wasn’t as impressive as all of the other sites to see in the area.
Upon recommendations from friends whose house we stayed at, we chose to go hike the trails at SARA Park. And we were very glad we did.
SARA (Special Activities and Recreational Area) is an 1100-acre recreational area with spectacular mountain views and hikes to Lake Havasu. Grabbing the camera, water and a couple of hats, we studied the map to determine which trail we would take.
The yellow trail was 2.5-miles through an area called SARA’s Crack all the way to the lake. I’d seen a few photos of this hike, so we picked it and headed out on the rocky dusty trail.
Our spirits were high as we hiked closer and closer to tall ancient lava flows and volcanic rock. It was fun to walk through the giant rocks and we stopped to take photos along the way.
Thinking we had made it through the “crack”, we were a bit surprised to see the rocks getting closer together. We climbed through areas that needed a rope to help repel down. But the place that made me wonder what the heck we’d got ourselves into was a makeshift bridge across some water.
Someone had placed an old aluminum ladder between the rocks and fashioned a rope overhead to hold onto while crossing. John made it through first and turned back to offer his hand to me.
I threw my backpack with my camera and said, “I don’t care if I fall in, but please save my camera!”
It was fun and challenging and once we got through the crack, the trail opened back up to loose sand and rocks. We met a few people along the trail, and one family in particular I stopped and asked if we were close to the water.
The adult in the group told us it was about a half mile away, but not to get too excited because the lake view was such a disappointment. We said goodbye and marched on toward the water.
There were several points where the trail was almost lost but it finally opened up to a beautiful cove filled with birds and wildlife. John and I looked at each other and wondered what that guy was thinking.
After resting a bit and soaking my feet in the cool clear water, we looked around to see if we could find another trail back.
Remember that “not wanting to backtrack” thing I wrote about?
We climbed up from the water’s edge and found the blue Over Pass trail. The 2.5-mile hike back was a bit more difficult for me, as it was hot and dry. By the time we got back to the car, I was more than ready to get my hiking boots off.
After cleaning the dust off and splashing cool water on my face, we were ready to go sit on the patio at Martini Bay overlooking the water and the London Bridge and enjoy a…martini.
We enjoyed our stay in Lake Havasu City and hope to go back with our friends next time.
Goodbye for now, Arizona. We sure enjoyed your stunning beauty, earth energy and spectacular hikes.