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When construction of Parker Dam was completed in 1938, the reservoir it created to supply water to Southern California and Arizona became Lake Havasu. The lake is a 45-mile-long playground for water sports of all kinds. Whether it's waterskiing, jet skiing, stand-up paddling, powerboating, houseboating, swimming, fishing, or you name it, if water is required, it's happening on Lake Havasu.
With a boat, you have more options: you can find a quiet, secluded cove or beach to swim or fish. If you have a need for speed, you can plane up and down the lake with or without a skier in tow.
Cattail Cove State Park. On the eastern shore of the lake 15 miles south of Lake Havasu City is 2,000-acre Cattail Cove State Park, a popular spot for fishing and boating (you can rent boats at the marina). There are 61 first-come, first-served campsites ($15–$26) with access to electricity and water, and public restrooms with showers. AZ 95, 15 miles south of Lake Havasu, Lake Havasu City, AZ, 86405. 928/855–1223. www.pr.state.az.us/parks/CACO/index.html. $10 per vehicle on weekdays, $15 on weekends. Sunrise–10 pm.
Lake Havasu State Park. Near the London Bridge, Lake Havasu State Park has an interpretive nature garden and a level 1.75-mile trail that's perfect for watching the sunset. With three boat ramps, extensive docking, electrical hookups, and about 45 first-come, first-served campsites ($30–$35 daily, including day-use fee), it's an extremely popular spot in summer. 699 London Bridge Rd., Lake Havasu City, AZ, 86403. 928/855–2784. www.pr.state.az.us/parks/LAHA/index.html. $10 per vehicle on weekdays, $15 on weekends. Sunrise–10 pm.
Equipment and Rentals
If you don't have the equipment or the vessel necessary to enjoy your water sport, you can rent one from a number of reputable merchants.
Arizona Water Sports. You can rent Jet Skis, jet boats, ski boats, and pontoon boats here, as well as a variety of other water toys, from wakeboards to inner tubes. The company also has branches down at Parker Dam and at Blue Water Resort & Casino, in Parker. 655 Kiowa Ave., Lake Havasu City, AZ, 86403. 928/453–5558 or 800/393–5558. www.arizonawatersports.com.
AZ Built Sports. In addition to renting motorboats, outrigger canoes, and kayaks—not to mention a wide variety of bikes—AZ Built Sports offers stand-up paddleboards, which have become an extremely popular way to play and exercise on the lake. 191 Swanson Ave., Lake Havasu City, AZ, 86403. 928/505–8669. www.azbuiltsports.com.
Sand Point Marina and RV Park. You can rent everything from Jet Skis to pontoon boats, by the day or by the week, at this park, which has a 104-slip marina, convenience store, and café. 7952 S. Sandpoint Rd., Lake Havasu City, AZ, 86406. 928/855–0549. www.sandpointresort.com.
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